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Term Definition

What is the meaning / definition of Transient in the hospitality industry?

At most hotels, guests fall into two main categories: group and non-group. Amongst the non-group category are Transient Travellers: these are guests who are predominantly on-the-move and seek short (and often urgent!) hotel-stays.

Transient travellers can include:

  • Walk-in guests
  • Guests with a last-minute booking, and/or
  • Simply individual guests requiring a short stay at the hotel

Such guests are usually not looking for anything more than a basic service: a clean and comfortable room for the night, and a nice breakfast in the morning. Normally, rooms with a bath/shower, telephone and TV usually suffice (i.e. rather than suites etc.) for customers, with some overnight-staying guests possibly wishing to take advantage of some available in-house hotel services, such as laundry and pressing.

Note: In the Hospitality Industry, in fact, some hotels are classified as "mainly transient" (rather than "residential"). To be included in this category at least 75 per cent of guests must be transient travellers.

When deciding whether to accept transient guests or groups, a hotel must assess which will yield the highest revenue. A group booking, where twenty rooms are booked for five nights in a row, may seem like an attractive proposition to a hotel's revenue management team, but in actual fact there may be more profitability overall in refusing the group booking to leave rooms available for transient guests instead. The best way to make this judgement is to utilise a Displacement Analysis tool.

See Also:


  • Transcient

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