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Amenities/services offered (or not)

Pittsburgh...
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Amenities/services offered (or not)

There have been numerous threads over the last few weeks asking TA to expand the list for amenities and services offered. I think many of us agree that it certainly couldn't hurt to define as clearly as possible things like pets allowed, smoking allowed, handicapped accessible, credit cards accepted, etc. The perceived problem is that accuracy and maintenance of this information could be, shall we say, inconsistent.

Here's my solution. Wherever the amenities/services are listed (yes, it's different for hotels than restaurants), post a comprehensive list with a simple, "Yes," "No," or "Call" next to each amenity. If it is confirmed one way or the other, post "yes" or "no." If it is uncertain, post "call" (or "inquire within," or however they want to say it). My reasoning is that, while having the information posted to a listing is convenient, accuracy could be a problem. Therefore, prompting the reader to call ahead for information that isn't readily available to TA could solve a couple of issues right away. At the risk of adding a little clutter to the amenities list, I'm thinking this could help in some way, especially for amenities that are less commonly requested. Just a thought

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Amenities/services offered (or not)

Great idea and I'm 100% with it.

I don't think there's such a thing as too much information. I mean considering how hotels list the amenities in their descriptor on third party and own sites, having the most in demand facilities and services - to be answered yes no contact is a simple solution.

Hampshire, United...
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for Eastleigh, Winchester
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2. Re: Amenities/services offered (or not)

Sounds good to me

Wales, United...
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for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
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3. Re: Amenities/services offered (or not)

It sound slike a good idea to me too. I agree with the general idea of getting as much info out there as possible. But I foresee some problems with trying to make it simple.

For example, what does smoking allowed mean? Smoking rooms available, smoking allowed everywhere, smoking inside the building in a designated place, or a smoking area available outside?

Also, we have had some long debates on here about handicapped accessible. There are so many disabilites that it's impossible to think of them all, and when people think about accessibility it tends to be limited to wheelchairs and serious mobility problems.

I feel that categories like Pets Welcome and Credit Card Accepted may be easier to define than the smoking and accessibility questions.

The option of call or contact is definitely an excellent idea in my view.

4. Re: Amenities/services offered (or not)

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Pittsburgh...
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5. Re: Amenities/services offered (or not)

I'm pretty certain that something could still slip through the cracks, as no system will be perfect. Definitions/headings could be messed with to make it as obvious as possible what is being discussed. TA could possibly use terms like, "wheelchair accessible" or "smoking rooms available". As with all things, if there is any leftover uncertainty, the "contact" option is always there.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Amenities/services offered (or not)

I agree.

The 'contact' option is fairly 'all encompasing' and would be considerably better than what it is now.

And apologies for the deletion of the previous post. I started going off about lack of action by the hotel and restaurant bodies to implement some sort of accepted uniform minimum standards.

I'd really like to see a bunch like ISO to get involved with accessibility/disabled facilities issues - then have it enforced by like rating houses, so that unless a venue meets these standards, they're not permitted to advertise 'disabled access'

Wales, United...
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7. Re: Amenities/services offered (or not)

>>>I'm pretty certain that something could still slip through the cracks, as no system will be perfect. Definitions/headings could be messed with to make it as obvious as possible what is being discussed. TA could possibly use terms like, "wheelchair accessible" or "smoking rooms available". As with all things, if there is any leftover uncertainty, the "contact" option is always there.<<<

Absolutely. I think it's a good idea, but there is a balance to be struck between simplicity and clarity. As long as the definitions are clear, like in smoking rooms available rather than smoking allowed, it will be a helpful addition.

>>>I'd really like to see a bunch like ISO to get involved with accessibility/disabled facilities issues - then have it enforced by like rating houses, so that unless a venue meets these standards, they're not permitted to advertise 'disabled access'<<<

I agree, but I am not sufficiently knowledgeable about how such thigns work to comment in any great depth on how practical the suggestion is!

Pittsburgh...
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8. Re: Amenities/services offered (or not)

It seems like we're all on the same page. There are semantics wizards out there, and unfortunately, I'm not one of them. Simplicity, though, I think is something that needs to be at least under consideration in terms of what people are going to read and understand. Just in my own little corner of the galaxy, I see a couple of ways this can be done. One option is to define a simple and common amenity such as smoking rooms available, wheel chair access, etc. Another is to add "Limited" or "Restricted" as a 4th designation that could cover many if not all amenities. This covers nuances such as pets/smoking in restricted areas only (or in rooms only), accessibility limitations within the property, wi-fi availability, and I'm sure many others. Perhaps others that have a better way with words than I do can clean up the rough edges.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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9. Re: Amenities/services offered (or not)

Don't hotel websites offer this information already? What is TA to do if I answer yes to a question and you answer no? Maybe you did not see that they had a gym or whatever.

Pittsburgh...
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10. Re: Amenities/services offered (or not)

JP, here's the point of my suggestion. TA lists amenities, yes? Each and every one of those already listed amenities HOPEFULLY can be found on a hotel's website. Yet, TA lists them anyway. Why? Well, as a convenience to users of TA's site. The answer to your question is in the previous posts (and my OP, for that matter). Uncertainty=contact (either phone, website, whatever). I reiterate that people are asking for clearer amenity information. Thus, I suggest what I hope would be a way to state with as much certainty as possible that a property does or does not offer a particular service or amenity, or specifically that they need to contact the property directly to find out.

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