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Hotel F6: Bed bug safe standard to stay on top and increase direct bookings

Wed, 07 Oct 2020 11:34:58 GMT

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F6 is a family-owned independent hotel in Helsinki, Finland that belongs to Nordic Choice Hotels and Resorts network. It was launched in the summer of 2016 and immediately became the gem of the Finnish hotel scene. Soon, the hotel earned the desired #1 ranking on TripAdvisor in Finland. “Our philosophy at the F6 is based on having the right staff at the hotel, and pairing them with high-quality hotel amenities, products and services. Together, they delight our guests and ensure the experience is always exceptional. We never compromise. Quite the contrary, we believe in the power of “WOW”, striving to create it among our guests, and everytime we see that in our reviews it makes us happy.”

Roni Saari, General Manager of Hotel F6

The challenge of staying at the top

How can a hotel that’s number one guest-ranked claim to have challenges? For those who’ve got there know that getting to the top is hard, but staying there is even harder. Expectations are now higher, and the tolerance for even the slightest failure is much lower. That’s why staying at the top for many years in a row does require not overcoming challenges, but anticipating challenges. This is exactly why Roni Saari values the concept of thinking ahead: “We keep questioning established practices and try to run the hotel as smartly as possible. Thinking ahead ensures we keep creating the best guest experience over time.”

Increasing the number of direct bookings

We know that travelers today are more and more anxious about bed bugs”, starts Roni Saari. Today, approx. 33% of people who travel have been attacked by bed bugs and brought the problem home at least once. This costs €1000s to guests. That’s why it’s no surprise that for a large number of guests, the new category of a hotel safe from bed bugs feels reassuring and influences their accommodation choice. To address this need, Valpas has created an online label that can be uploaded to the hotel’s home page. With the Valpas online label, we increase our guest experience by communicating that at the F6 you can stay carefree, before the guests have even booked a room”, says Mr. Saari.

What has then been the realised impact of Valpas online labels on guest purchase behaviour? Since launching the Valpas online label on the F6’s website in 2019, we have been tracking the booking behaviour of users (via Google Analytics) who click the Valpas label, and compared it to users who do not click the Valpas label. From 1,5+ years of data we have found that users who have clicked the Valpas label and are hence aware the hotel is safe from bed bugs, have a 35% higher direct booking conversion rate than a user who does not click the label. Depending on the month (high vs. low website traffic), this means 1-3 additional bookings per month as result of Valpas. This represents a per year increase in revenue of approx. 7500€-20,000€.

Improving guest experience with superior hygiene and bed bug safety

After starting our collaboration with the F6 we installed our patented protocol - each bed was fitted with a set of Nordic designed, smart bed legs that stop bed bugs that come inside guest luggage. The legs stop bed bugs before they infest, so bed bugs don’t cause any harm to guests or room and no interventions are needed. It’s like the hotel has a vaccine and does not need to worry. The protocol works then automatically. During the past two years, the Valpas protocol has prevented 2 bed bug introductions at the F6.

While we had information on Valpas’ effect on direct bookings and an increase in revenue, we also wanted to understand how the average guest felt overall about the new standard for superior hygiene and bed bug safety. We conducted a guest survey with a little over 100 respondents. Unsurprisingly, guests had a 98% preference for safe hotels, with a vast majority (71%) having a very high preference for bed bug safe hotels also for their next stay.

Today, the hotel staff informs every guest during check in about their bed bug safety standard. This ensures the superior hygiene and safety levels are not only there, but also felt and appreciated by their guests. It’s no wonder the hotel’s ratings are sky high: 9.4 overall and 9.6 for cleanliness on Booking.com, 9.6 on Hotels.com and a full 5 on Tripadvisor. The superior hygiene and comfort levels have also become visible in their reviews too.

10.0 Perfect hotel The bigger rooms are very spacious, quiet, clean and modern. Rooms are very stylish and well thought through. For sure the number 1 hotel in Helsinki!

10.0 Amazing!! Everything was great. The location is perfect, the bed was great and breakfast made my trip.

9.0 Hip hotel with thoughtful details Check-in was great and very informative. The look of the hotel was super cool upon first impression and we felt very comfortable in our room. Loved the shower and products as well as the bed linens - super soft! We loved breakfast and the ambiance of the dining area. Great location!

Still number one

In 2017 Roni Saari set a clear vision for the F6. “We want to remain the leading hotel in Finland and be #1 in the future, too. For that, we need to keep delighting our guests with the best experience.” The collaboration with Valpas started in 2018 to delight guests with the peace of mind of a bed bug safe hotel.

During this time the Valpas protocol has prevented 100% of incoming bed bugs and secured the hotel, guests, staff and its reputation from bed bugs without any need for interventions. Based on F6's current ranking as the #1 hotel in Tripadvisor Finland and the many awards listed below, it's easy to sum up that Saari's vision has kept the hotel on the path of success.

The many awards are:

  • Brand Of The Year recognition award in January 2019 by the Nordic Choice Awards

  • Hotels.com's Loved by Guests Award 2019 9.8/10

  • Guest Review Award 2018 by Booking.com

  • 9.5/10 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice 2019 no 1 in Helsinki. Rating 5/5

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