Saturday, 20 December 2014

Revealed: Hotels People Want to Stay In Charge More

From the Guardian

More than half the luxury hotels in the Caribbean have been accused of “excluding families from poorer backgrounds” after a Guardian study found that a few of them are charging as much as £4000 for a week, with Mustique's most expensive package coming in at £8000.

With the average price of a flight for a child at peak time costing £300, according to the study, parents faced with forking out for holidays over the summer period are having to count the increasing cost of going to the Caribbean.

Eleven hotels, most of whom have been highly rated by Johansens in the past 10 years, charged a premium at peak times. Turks and Caicos and Anguilla both charge £3000 plus VAT for their packages while St John’s prices range from £6000-8000 depending on the season.

17 comments:

Mark Wadsworth said...

Jesus wept.

thethoughtgang said...

When I clicked to the 'source' article I was 50:50 over whether this post was a spoof.

Decide for yourself whether that reflects worst on me or on the Guardian.

DBC Reed said...

Problem is there is a cultural difference between the Premiership and the Bundesliga over pricing. Google: Bundesliga chief exec says EPL prices not an option in Germany.As with house prices Germans seem to have a greater sense of fairness.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Damn. It was a spoof, but too perfectly done and adding or subtracting nothing from the original sentiment.

This has been referred to as "parody singularity".

The Stigler said...

DBC,

But the clubs aren't really being unfair. They're just pushing money from fans into players wages in a crazy arms race. The reason why Chelsea and Man City aren't charging for mascot places is that they have very rich sugar daddies.

I do have one hypothesis, which is that English fans have given up on the national squad. They've attached themselves to a club doing well. If you're German, you know you've got a good chance of a World Cup win.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Some leagues know how to solve this arms race. They simply do not sign up players from other clubs. It's like the truce between American software companies.

I don't know why they are referred to as "high tech". They make few advances in technology, it's the programming which is the cutting edge bit.

The Stigler said...

Mark,

It's not really the programming that's of value, it's the hard problem-solving.

Most programmers can solve problems like "how do you do a shopping basket for Japan"? They go off, do their research, find that Japanese postcodes are unusual, add some Japan-postcode related changes. Useful, requires skills, but not that hard.

Things like "how do you verify a user is human" required someone to invent the Captcha that puts up images that computers can't read, but humans can (like images of house numbers in photographs). They're now working on improving that using things like measuring how you move to the box and click the button. If you'd asked me to solve the "make Captcha better" I wouldn't have thought of that.

DBC Reed said...

Before the discussion goes over the hills and far away on the American software issue, I would point out that UK football has a Priced out style rebellion on its hands which is very similar to the kind of trouble we stir up about housing.(Exactly the same if you consider Match tickets as a short term very intense form of rent).If you look up Spirit of Shankly ticket prices on the net you will find that this huge supporters organisation for possibly the most tribal of English clubs is kicking off (appropriately) on ticket prices and their lack of conformity with the rate of inflation.If you look up Clive Efford launches Labour's proposals to put fans at the heart of Football's future you will further find that they ,and other dissident supporter groups, have captured a corner of the Labour Party and launched an onslaught on Gothic Laissez faire in football or the just leave it to the rich and they'll look after us school of thought.
The radical football supporters have had more political success in affecting policy in their area than we have had in ours.

The Stigler said...

DBC,

But some people are paying Liverpool's ticket prices, presumably?

I'm not sure what else you do with something in limited supply but to sell at the highest price or to factor in some sort of long-term commitment (like the way the last night of the proms tickets require you to have attended half a dozen other proms).

I sympathise because I have the same problem with Burgundy. I really can't afford the good stuff any longer because of being priced out by richer people. Many drinkers I know probably appreciate it more than many of the rich people who are buying it. Likewise, I'm sure that there's some rich fans getting seats over poor fans who love the club more. But how do you measure that? I've met well-off superfans of clubs. People who try and go to every game and have done for decades.

DBC Reed said...

This comparison with Burgundy is a bit inappropriate isn't it? We are talking about match tickets to the People's game and affordable houses.You are saying that if the sacred Market Forces price ordinary people out of huge football grounds and houses in most of London (and where there's any work), so be it, the system's working perfectly.There is surely a difference between a minority taste like Burgundy and purchases made by the great mass of people.
The Germans seem to get the difference and don't encourage rent seeking at a macro or institutional level in mass markets like housing and football.If laissez faire price setting is subject to rent seeking as Adam Smith said at the outset then the rational response is to do something about it.Not try to turn the clock back to pre 1850 when the rich were investing the capital made from the slave trade in factories full of British child labour (also slaves because they could n't give informed consent)killing and injuring themselves processing the products of slave labour such as cotton,tobacco etc.

The Stigler said...

DBC,

How is there rent-seeking in football? OK, Northampton Town got Northampton to build them the Sixfields stadium, but the same thing is true about the stadium in Berlin.

Liverpool charging more for a ticket because they're one of the biggest clubs isn't rent seeking. Stop going if you don't like the price or watch it on Sky. For me, I quite like a game of football, but it's £20 to see Swindon, and I'd rather see 2 films at the cinema or go to a wine school evening.

DBC Reed said...

Taken aback by your knowledge of Northampton football but the Council originally owned Sixfields letting it to club at peppercorn rent then gave it to them, since when there seems to have been all kinds of property deals with the locals suspecting the worst.
Clearly the diehard Liverpool fan does not have a free-market choice of where to buy tickets: he would not be seen dead at Goodison or travel to Manchester. The clubs can charge what they like; they know it and fans groups like the Spirit Of Shankly know it also.With ever increasing rents and mortgages plus rent seeking by the clubs the fan is in a total fix.
If you supported Swindon ,you would have to lump ticket price increases as you wouldn't be going to Bristol.When I went to Swindon matches back in the day, I was astounded by the hatred from Bristol fans which reached comical extremes.

Bayard said...

DBCR, it's interesting how football match tickets behave like house, in that their price, for the top clubs at least, seems to be dictated by what people can afford to pay. The problem is therefore, that too many of the purchasers of tickets (whether or not they are fans) have too much money to spend on them, in the same way as land prices in London have been boosted by rich foreigners buying land as a safe haven. However, whilst everyone has to live somewhere, no-one has to go to a football match. Yes, possibly there are diehard fans of Liverpool who can no longer afford to attend a match, but, numbers aside, that is more akin to diehard fans of Bugattis who can't afford to own a Bugatti, than people who can't afford to buy somewhere to live. Just because there are a lot more priced-out football fans doesn't give them any sort of right to buy a ticket at a price they can afford.
What they should do, instead of grumbling about it or clamouring for state intervention, is to get all those who can just about afford tickets to go on strike and not buy any until the prices come down.

The Stigler said...

DBC,

"Clearly the diehard Liverpool fan does not have a free-market choice of where to buy tickets: he would not be seen dead at Goodison or travel to Manchester. The clubs can charge what they like; they know it and fans groups like the Spirit Of Shankly know it also.With ever increasing rents and mortgages plus rent seeking by the clubs the fan is in a total fix."

If people are going to be inflexible and keep being loyal to a group of 11 temporarily hired mercenaries from all corners of the globe, that's their problem. I grew out of "supporting a club" when I was in my late teens.

DBC Reed said...

@TS
There's no point in patronising football fanatics for being so childishly partisan .That's just the way they are. (Even as a youth I never got it fanwise. But then pre 1966 football was very unfashionable. I remember supporting Benfica against Tottenham and have always supported France at Rugby.Just a rootless pseudo intellectual I suppose.)
I would have thought people on here who support the free-market system with the kind of blinkered loyalty of football fans ,would be at least intrigued that in housing and match tickets, despite massive demand , prices always go up. They're supposed to go down you know.Absent rent-seeking .

Bayard said...

"despite massive demand , prices always go up. They're supposed to go down you know."

Not sure where you are coming from here. Fixed supply, massive demand: classical economics says leads to spiralling prices. Even if you allow the supply of tickets or houses not be be fixed, then massive demand would still lead to spiralling prices, unless it was exceeded by an even more massive increase in supply.

The Stigler said...

"would be at least intrigued that in housing and match tickets, despite massive demand , prices always go up. They're supposed to go down you know.Absent rent-seeking ."

They only go down if there's a way to increase supply. And that's often how the free market works. The demand and price of oysters led to oyster farming on the west coast of France.

You can even look at how bands play massive venues like the O2 now instead of places like Hammersmith Odeon. They increased the supply of live tickets. But that only works up to a certain point. Eventually, you're so far from the stage that you figure it's not worth going to the gig.