AVT, Inc, a leader in automated retailing systems, customised kiosks and self service stores, announced that they have created a new business unit focused on the multi-billion dollar travel industry. Their core product is designed for placement in hotels or resorts as a better performing alternative than a typical gift shop, or as an adjunct to an existing store.
The system is called U-Shop, and is a combination of the popular and trend-setting Utique unit and AVT’s patented self-service retailing technology. The system offers hotel owners a low priced, upscale automated store for selling everything from sundry items to consumer electronics.
A report published by the American Hotel and Lodging Association stated that in 2011, the industry generated revenues of $137.5 billion. In the United States, travel and tourism is among the nation’s largest services industries. In fact, it ranks as one of the top 10 largest industries in 48 states plus the District of Columbia. Globally, the industry rakes in $593 billion according to IBIS World.
The latest statistics by the U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industries show that visitors from overseas spend on average $1,883 while visiting the United States, with some groups of tourists spending upwards of $2,932 per visit. A big chunk of their spending — about 33% — goes for gifts and souvenirs, like those sold at an automated hotel gift shop.
“We are excited about this new business segment at AVT and see this a long-term revenue driver,” stated James Winsor, CEO of AVT. “People spend money while on vacation or on business travel, and that provides opportunities for hotels to increase profits by offering desirable items in a convenient manner, 24-hours a day,” he added. “The new U-Shop from AVT creates new revenues sales opportunities for hotel owners, at a far lower operating cost than a traditional retail space.”
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal said that the right mix of products is vital. “Quality shopping options can keep guests entertained on the property—and keep them from straying off to spend money elsewhere. A mediocre shop, on the other hand, with lackluster products and spotty service can reflect poorly on a hotel’s brand,” the article stated.
“AVT prides itself on having the best systems and merchandisers in the business,” according to Shannon Illingworth, Founder and CEO of AVT. “We tailor graphics, branding, and merchandise to each hotel’s locale and audience.”
Whether it’s the latest gadgets or everyday items, AVT’s unique systems allow automated sales of items that suit a wide variety of budgets and desires.
“Travellers are a unique group of consumers,” Illingworth stated. “They not only buy items they need, but while on vacation, they are relaxed and tend to spend more money than usual, often purchasing items that remind them of their visit,” he added. “Our automated shops are perfect for the travellers of all kinds, including those who need to pick up something as a last minute gift for someone back home.”