Every hotel in the business experiences fluctuation in the market depending on the season and demand. With seasonality and varying market conditions, hotels will experience slow periods at point or another. During these low peak periods, revenue managers make the common mistake of lowering hotel rates in order to fill rooms and increase occupancy. However, this kind of marketing mentality does not necessarily create room demand nor will it increase your room revenue. By selling your rooms for cheaper, you may end up not selling enough rooms to offset the revenue lost because of the lowered rates. So instead of reducing your rates during these slow periods, why not add more value that guests would appreciate. A key to increasing room revenue is by adding value while keeping your rates competitive.
Many hotels in your comp set will experience the same low peak periods, so instead of feeling like there is nothing you can do to persuade potential guests to stay at your hotel, think about what kind of added value and perks you can offer guests. There are several ways to gain the upper hand over your competitors during these slow periods. One great way to add value is creating special offers and packages based on trending events going on within the area and demand generators that would attract regional and local visitors. Before deciding on what kind of special you will offer at your hotel during need periods, you will need to identify the following market areas in order to get the best ROI:
Determine Low Occupancy Periods
First things first, hoteliers must review and analyze your hotel’s annual forecast reports in order to determine times that occupancy is steadily declining or/and consistently low. Make sure to keep note of which seasons, months, and weeks your hotel tends to be running slow. Now that you’ve identified the low demand periods for your hotel, it is now time to come up with a strategy that would increase occupancy and more importantly increase revenue. A strategy that would effectively increase conversions during slow periods is by offering specials and packages that would bring added value to those staying with you. Remember to plan ahead and pay attention to what marketing opportunities you can take advantage of during that period. Create specials that are based on trending local events and special occasions. Don’t let your competition take action before you do.
Identify Unique Marketing Opportunities
During low peak periods, it is especially important for hotels to create demand through added value. Hoteliers will need to work harder for these reservations but it is by no means impossible. Low demand periods for your hotel doesn’t necessarily mean low demand periods for local businesses nearby. Utilize local businesses and trending events as a marketing opportunity to draw in guests to your hotel. Look on your city’s CVB website or social media channels for upcoming concerts, festivals, fairs, marathons, and parades. Twitter and Facebook are great tools to find out what is currently trending and what people are talking about. Once you’ve done your research, compile a list of highly anticipated events going on near your property. To fully leverage these events, you are encouraged to create a special for those attending that event. Perhaps you can offer a special discount specifically for event goers. To encourage more direct bookings on your website, you may want to have the special be an online offer only with a code that needs to be entered. Another marketing opportunity you may want to leverage is partnering up with the event as a sponsor. This allows you to have more online exposure since you will be listed as ‘preferred hotel’ in the event’s website. Use social media to promote your specials and extend your reach to a wider audience. By using these tips during low peak periods, you will be on your way to increasing occupancy and boosting revenue.