It’s come to this: German package tourists booking through Thomas Cook can upgrade their vacations and add a reservation for a poolside lounge chair. “Beach towel wars,” whereby competitive tourists get up early to “claim” a chair with their beach towel, may be a thing of the past if this takes off.
Nine hotels have joined the scheme to stop “beach towel wars”, which see many Germans accused of hogging loungers.
Reserving a lounger and beach umbrella in advance will cost about three euros (£2.60) a day, on top of the holiday package.
Thomas Cook is offering the option at nine hotels in Turkey, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
For a weekly rate of 49 euros per room a family can reserve one lounger for each person, along with a beach umbrella and their own dining table at six Egyptian hotels.
The fact that people are currently getting up early to run downstairs, plop down a towel, only to sit in the same spot for hours and hours, broiling away in the sun, strikes me as sad.
But, from the perspective of the hotels and the booking agency, it’s a great way to boost revenue and improve those customers’ experience… if they book in advance. Otherwise, tourists might show up at a resort and find the pool completely reserved. And they’ll be dissatisfied, to say the least.
But if you’re a hotelier, how far do you take this? What else could be pre-reserve-able, to calm the nerves of guests who, for whatever reason, want nothing left to chance? The hour when housekeeping knocks? Buckets of ice from the machine? Treadmills in the gym?
So: What say you? Is permitting the reservation of a pool chair a good idea, or absurd overplanning? Hit the comments!