I recently spoke to a friend who works for a five-star hotel in a first-tier Chinese city about the precipitous decline in room bookings since the economic crisis hit. He told me that – despite the drop in business – his chain has no plans to drop its prices for fear of devaluing its brand image, especially for customers who value exclusivity.
This valuable lesson came to mind this morning as I skimmed the last week’s newspapers for stories that I might have missed, and came across this unusual promotion in Shanghai Daily:
THE offer of a free ticket to the plum blossom exhibition at Century Park in exchange for a bag of household rubbish found few takers at the weekend, park officials said yesterday.
“More than 20,000 visitors came to the exhibition on Saturday,” said Sun Jiayi. “But very few exchanged garbage for admission.” The offer holds good until the exhibition ends next month.
Alas, the paper didn’t report as to whether this promotion helped or hindered admission at this year’s festival.