Baselworld Gets Local Hotels to Drop Rates, Stay Requirements

Following the pullout of Swatch Group and other brands, the Baselworld watch fair has convinced local hotels to drop their rates as well as minimum-stay requirements for next year’s show.

Forty local hotels—representing two-thirds of the hotel capacity of Basel, Switzerland, and the surrounding area—have agreed to the participate in a new program designed by the fair.

Twenty-six hotels have been designated “official partners.” That means they will not dictate a minimum length of stay, not compel additional purchases, keep their prices equal to 2018, and cap their nightly rates for double rooms.

The 14 “preferred partners” fulfill three out of those four criteria.

The conditions apply for Baselworld 2019 and affect existing bookings. Further information on the hotel program and participating hotels can be seen here. Prices are guaranteed only for bookings made directly with the hotel, rather than through third parties.

As part of the agreement, Baselworld will help local hoteliers with services, such as shuttle transportation, and the hotels will get preference for outside-the-show events.

When JCK talked to exhibitors and retailers about the show in August, many griped about excessive hotel fees and stay requirements. Still, even the new rates come to close to $600 a night for a superior room at a three-star hotel, something that one attendee specifically called out.

Michel Loris-Melikoff, who was appointed managing director of Baselworld fair in May, called the new program, designed in conjunction with the Basel Hotelier Association, “a significant milestone that sustainably reduces lodging costs for the show’s exhibitors and visitors, while simultaneously establishing transparent conditions.”

Local hoteliers “have affirmed Baselworld’s importance, also for Basel as a city, and they want to contribute toward assuring the trade show’s long-term presence in Basel, which benefits both the city and its surrounding areas,” Loris-Melikoff added.

(Image via: Pixabay)

JCK News Director