the defining qualities of a good negotiator is the ability
to manufacture unusual tradeable variables apparently out of thin
air. An example of this is how time is used as a variable. Most
people would agree that a day comprises 24 hours. But management
consultants know that a day in terms of charging fees is more
likely to be 7 hours, so clients who need more than 7 hours find
themselves paying for more than a day. Car rental companies define
a day as any period up to 24 hours, so clients who want less than
that still have to pay for the full 24 hours. So a ‘usual’ day
becomes subverted into an ‘unusual’ day with a little creative
Most hotels define a day, or to be more accurate a night, as 19
or 20 hours (check in at 15.00, vacate the room by 10.00 or 11.00).
Now a new website Dayuse.com enables hotels to take advantage of
the opportunity of renting rooms for a shorter period during the
day, when they are mainly unoccupied anyway.
International travellers may have experienced this concept
already. A number of on-airport hotels operate a similar scheme for
the convenience of transit passengers who fly in to an airport in
the morning but don’t depart on their next flight until much later
the same day. But Dayuse.com are opening the opportunity to city
centre hotels to earn revenue in the same way.
So who would use a hotel bedroom only during the day? I don’t
think you need to ask! The French have long been aware of this
opportunity for a couple of hours in the afternoon, indeed one
expression they use for having an affair is ‘cinq à sept’* because
in the time window from 5.00pm to 7.00pm it is easy to disappear.
Whatever you actually are doing, you could be shopping, or stuck on
the Périphérique or the Metro, or picking up the kids, or be any
number of places which put you out of sight for a couple of hours
with a perfectly plausible excuse if you need one.
Dayuse.com say that only 20% of their bookings are from airport
transit passengers; the rest are ‘business’ or ‘leisure’ users. The
price of a day-use hotel room is typically half of the nightly rate
or even less, which makes expensive 5* hotels affordable for users,
and gives the hotels additional income, not only for the room but
for the room service (champagne, roses) which might also be ordered
- everyone wins.
So next time you struggle for a way to use a time variable
creatively think of cinq à sept.
*There is also an excellent but little known movie called
Cinq à Sept - see the trailer below