HOW TO INCREASE THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT OF THE DISABLED ROOMS IN YOUR HOTEL?
by FITZROY OF LONDON
The way to increase the ROI on these spaces is to increase the occupancy rate through innovative design.
It has long been known there is an issue surrounding the occupancy rates of disabled rooms in hotels – it is not always straightforward to see why…
Firstly, the occupancy rates can be affected as a result of the design – often hotel disabled rooms and suites are more akin to that of a hospital or clinic – featuring clinical and institutional fittings inconsistent with the design elsewhere. This acts to detract users, both disabled and non-disabled, from using this room – after all, why would you book a hospital-like room when there is a luxury room just next door!
Secondly, given the complex nature surrounding the rules and regulations of the DDA, designers often don’t spend as much time on these rooms as they could – the result is that sometimes the design result of a disabled room doesn’t always meet the disabled user’s need. Before a disabled user travels, extensive research is done as to whether a hotel will meet their requirements – as we all know…bad news spreads fast! If a hotel’s disabled rooms don’t really meet the needs of a disabled user, it doesn’t take much logic to understand the occupancy rate will be affected as they simply won’t be used! Why would you book a room that didn’t meet your needs when there is a hotel next door that has the room you need! This combined with the fact that the population of the elderly (one of the bigger demographics who require that extra support in the bathroom) is increasing at some rate! There will be an increasing number of older people; the proportion aged 85 and over is projected to double over the next 25 years (Office for National Statistics 2017).
Thirdly, manufacturers have not innovated as they should have when it comes to fixtures and fittings for the disabled rooms! This provides issues for the designer – how can you ensure your reaches your design intent if there are no products able to be specified in line with the brief? This provides issues for the user – how can a disabled user expect to use a room that meets their need whilst remaining consistent in terms of design and luxury to ensure their user experience is not affected and they are getting the best value for their money? This cause issues for the hotel – how can the hotel expect to see similar occupancy rates in the disabled rooms to the standard rooms if the designers are struggling to find products and the user is struggling to make the room work for them? The answer is in innovation – the need for manufactures at the cutting edge of design, delivering high-quality products in many designs, many finishes and many sizes!
Find out more at www.fitzroyoflondon.com