While most hotels will be busy during the upcoming summer holidays, they often have to struggle with empty beds, especially in the low season. The Tyrolean company Greenstorm is taking steps to address this through an environmentally friendly and at the same time unconventional idea. Hoteliers exchange their free rooms for new e-bikes and e-cars without having to pay for them. The concept seems to be a winning formula for everyone involved, as Greenstorm now has more than 1,100 hotel partners in six European countries
Vienna / Kufstein, 24.06.2019. 2018 was a record year in Austria from a tourism point of view. Accommodation establishments recorded almost 150 million overnight stays, an increase of 3.6 percent compared to the calendar year 2017. But not all that glitters is gold. Even in the 4-star and 5-star establishments, for which there is a high demand, the beds were only just over 50 percent occupied in the 2018 summer season. On average, even this figure was out of reach for 3-star establishmentss and private quarters. “Low occupancy rates are a problem for hoteliers, especially in the off-season, as empty rooms are always the most expensive option for the host. This is precisely where our ‘e-mobility in exchange for empty beds’ model comes in,” states Philipp Zimmermann, who himself comes from the hospitality industry and, together with Richard Hirschhuber, has been managing partner of the Tyrolean e-mobility service provider Greenstorm since 2016.
New e-vehicles, new guests .
In concrete terms, Greenstorm equips hotels with new e-bikes from top manufacturers, e-cars such as Tesla and e-charging stations, and in return receives vouchers for vacant hotel rooms. The company sells these vouchers on selected online platforms and makes them available to renowned companies such as Daimler and Swarovski for their loyalty programmes. In this way, the Greenstorm model enables the hotelier to address in particular those target groups who would not otherwise book with him. At the same time, the hotelier benefits from the advertising effect, which does not entail any costs. “The hotelier always retains sovereignty over the travel period. He alone determines for which dates he makes the vouchers available. Thus he gets new guests, who will eat and/or drink in his establishment and may become regular guests”. Zimmermann thus describes one of the substantial advantages of the exchange business for Hoteliers.
With the e-mobility provided by Greenstorm, hotels can enrich the in-house offer for their guests without incurring any costs for the hosts. While e-bikes always remain in the hotels for one season and are replaced by new ones should the cooperation with Greenstorm be extended, the new e-cars are lent to hotels for three years. E-filling stations are also made available to the hotels via the exchange model. Greenstorm itself will pay for the electricity costs incurred, and also for any repair costs for e-bikes.
Over 1,100 hotels rely on proven concept
The fact that Greenstorm has obviously hit a nerve with its environmentally friendly approach to higher capacity utilisation is shown by the steadily increasing number of cooperation partners in the hotel industry. The company currently has more than 1,100 hotel partners in six European countries – in addition to Austria and Germany, Greenstorm is also active in Italy, Switzerland, Slovenia and Croatia with its exchange concept. “It is particularly pleasing for us that about half of all new customers choose us on the basis of recommendations from other hoteliers. This shows that our concept is spot on and leads to a win-win situation for everyone involved,” emphasises Zimmermann. Greenstorm wants to continue to massively expand both the number of partner companies and its electric vehicle fleet.
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