Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
To get more bookings for your hotel you must familiarize yourself with the overall performance of your hotel, from accommodations to staff and local tourist attractions to room service offerings and local festivals. Knowing all this will allow you to offer guests packages without overwhelming potential guests with too many choices that can in the end cause unnecessary friction and hurt booking rates. Know who your guests are, why they are staying with you and whether they are traveling on business or leisure. Taking all that into consideration, here are six tips that’ll help you get more bookings.
One: Collect Data to Improve Your Marketing and Sales Activity
Understand what makes your hotel a unique value opportunity for guests. Knowing how having a safe and fun play area for children, a great spa for adults and a spacious conference room for business travelers adds value and will benefit potential guests empowers you. Having that knowledge and understanding of your establishment will then enable you to better market your accommodations to those seeking a place to hold meetings comfortably, relax and unwind at a clean spa or indulge in quality time with loved ones while knowing that their children are safe at play in your arcade or jungle gym. Make sure your staff is well aware of these benefits so they can sell potential customers who come in off the road after having spent the day traveling and are looking for a place to rest comfortably.
Two: Lower Rates Do Not Necessarily Create Demand
Avoid the temptation to lower midweek rates because it can actually set the wrong expectations for future guests and end up eroding your price integrity. Keep in mind that in fact, the discounting strategy of selling more rooms at a lower rate rarely sells enough to offset the reduced revenue. A better strategy is to add value for midweek guests by collaborating with local tourist attractions, submitting advertisements or an editorial to nearby newspapers and use websites and social media to promote midweek breaks that include bus tours, wine tasting trips, or a concert or music festival taking place near to your hotel. When you set a price for your hotel rooms, you should do it by considering various factors like the season, special day, or even the local events happening during that time. Increase your hotel marketing efforts during peak season to make your hotel more visible and drive more bookings.
Three: Showcase Uniqueness of Your Hotel
Having complete familiarity and knowledge about what makes your hotel so unique and attractive to guests is important because it is those unique factors that you should highlight and use to market your hotel through social media platforms, on your hotel website and in all your hotel marketing campaigns. For example, contactless check in for hotels is something business travelers crave, so why not promote that as a special feature for road-weary travelers who would much rather spend time in a hot shower, than stand in line waiting to be checked into their room after a long flight or drive? If your property is pet-friendly, it would be wise to put up photos of guests walking into your hotel, spending time with their pets, with their permission of course on your hotel website or social media websites. If your hotel has an award-winning restaurant attached to it, it would only make sense to note that accomplishment as well in your marketing.
Four: Create a Fast, User Friendly Website with Online Booking
Establish credibility for your hotel by creating a fast, reliable and easy to navigate website that highlights in an efficient way everything that your business has to offer its guests. Hire a professional photographer to ensure that the property pictures on the hotel website are authentic and attractive. Make sure to offer guests who book directly through your hotel website “surprise” gifts, or special services, will leave a great impression on customers and help you to create long-term guest relations. Offering such incentives will also improve the overall guest experience and increase the chances of them recommending your hotel to friends and family. Remember, happy guests leave excellent reviews online, and good reviews will drive more revenue to your property. According to a survey conducted by TripAdvisor, ninety-six percent of their users consider reviews very important before they consider making travel plans or booking a hotel and more than half claimed they would not stay at a hotel that had not been reviewed by anyone.
Five: Attract Guests with Off-Season Offers
Consider the fact that many people prefer to travel during the off-season. For that reason, you can attract bookings by creating some unique packages or by organizing special events at your property during that period. This will not only help you increase revenue during the off-season by maximizing bookings but it will also offer you the opportunity to bring in new customers who would otherwise never frequent your establishment. Try creating special packages for groups and offer discounts to extended stay guests. Do your best to make their stay experience at your hotel the best possible, so that they spread positive word of mouth about your hotel when they leave.
Six: Be Creative
Reach out to local restaurants in October or November and offer up a special rate to groups with Christmas parties planned during the week at those restaurants. Use discount deals to entice your weekend guests to extend their break and stay longer. Reach out to wedding planners and promote wedding parties with discounts for wedding guests at your hotel. Offer two for one meal rates or free drink refills during the week.
When it comes to getting more bookings, you can’t afford to take unnecessary chances based on whimsical decisions. You need to ground your actions in proven results and data. The only way to do that is to test and improve your marketing concepts over time. Limit your packages and navigational options to the essentials. Ultimately, guest experience is what matters the most, so without a positive guest experience it is unlikely you will boost hotel bookings.
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