Miami Beach Ramada reports 15% pay helped agent biz grow

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MIAMI BEACH -- The Ramada Miami Beach Inn, which implemented a 15% commission policy (vs. 10%) around Dec. 1, reported that for the first six months the plan was in effect, agent reservations were up by 18%. vs. the same period a year earlier.

The 254-room property receives about 50% of its business from agents, not counting guests sent by agents to tour operators, Bernard Resnick, the inn's management consultant, said.

In addition to the 15% pay, Resnick explained that the inn's management presents a welcome note on arrival on behalf of the inn and it thank s the client for booking through the identified travel agency.

At present, the hotel does business with 800 U.S. agencies, Resnick said. The property will continue the 15% pay indefinitely, he said, and in any consumer advertising, it promotes the use of travel agents vs. the Internet.

Value-added offers from the hotel, Resnick said, have given agents something to sell when clients ask them about Miami Beach. All guests paying rack rates of $89, $99 or $119 (depending on the room selected), qualify for a free Alamo subcompact for each day of their stay. The car is picked up at the airport.

Clients also get a free casino cruise (afternoon or night) on the Princesa, which sails from Bayside Marketplace, downtown Miami. (Transfers are not included.) However, the hotel made arrangements for courtesy limousine transfers to South Beach for clients who make dining reservations at Paesano's Restaurant there.

For more information, call (800) 327-8163.

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