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How to make the most profit at your hotel with holiday bookings

  Posted in Resources  Last updated 21/11/2023

Art and science of hotel bookings

What are holiday bookings?

Holiday bookings are those unique reservations that come pouring in when the calendar hits peak travel seasons – or even sooner, in the case of early holiday bookings. Whether it’s families planning their great summer escape, couples envisioning a winter wonderland getaway, or friends aiming to celebrate the New Year in a new locale, these bookings are a different breed altogether.

Holiday bookings bring a unique set of guests—each with their own set of expectations and needs. You might find yourself hosting a family reunion one day and a honeymoon getaway the next. The diversity doesn’t stop there; you’ll often see an international mix of guests, each bringing a slice of their culture and expectations to your doorstep. This makes holiday bookings an exciting but complex puzzle, one that requires a nuanced approach to guest services.

In the digital age, the way these bookings are made has also evolved. It’s not just about phone calls or walk-ins anymore; online reservations have become the norm. This shift has made managing these bookings more efficient but also demands a system that can keep up with real-time changes, offer diverse payment options, and provide a smooth user experience.

Holiday bookings are not just about increased occupancy; they’re a gateway to a more diverse and demanding customer base, an opportunity to showcase your hospitality skills, and a litmus test for your operational efficiency. In short, they’re a big deal!

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Why are holiday bookings important to hotels?

Here’s why mastering holiday bookings is so key to hotel success:

  • Cash flow boost: When demand is high, you can adjust room rates to maximise revenue. It’s a straightforward way to improve your bottom line.
  • Turn guests into regulars: Deliver a great holiday experience, and you’re likely converting first-time visitors into repeat customers, even out of season.
  • Streamlined operations: Knowing you’ll be near capacity at certain times of year allows you to plan your staffing and inventory more efficiently.
  • Stand out from the crowd: Offering unique holiday packages or events can differentiate you from competitors. Just ensure that you pick a particular niche, such as cheap holiday bookings or luxury holiday bookings.
  • Community engagement: Hosting holiday events can attract not just guests but also local residents, enhancing your brand in the community.

10 ways to increase holiday bookings online 

The holiday season is a goldmine for hotels, but tapping into its full potential requires more than just waiting for bookings to roll in. Here’s a rundown of ten effective strategies to boost your holiday bookings online and make the most of this lucrative period.

  1. Holiday packages: Bundle up room stays with added perks like airport transfers, complimentary breakfast, or a guided city tour. It’s all about offering value that makes guests hit that ‘Book Now’ button. This is a great choice for group holiday bookings too.
  2. Early bird promotions: Reward those eager beavers who like to plan ahead. Offer discounted rates or special amenities for bookings made a few months before the holiday season kicks in.
  3. Work with local events: Partner with local festivals or events happening during the holiday season. Offer special rates for event-goers and promote it as an ‘Event + Stay’ package online.
  4. Limited time offers: Create a sense of urgency with time-sensitive deals. Flash sales or ‘last-minute’ discounts can drive quick decisions and fill up rooms that might otherwise go vacant.
  5. Gift vouchers: Allow guests to gift a stay or an upgrade at your hotel. Not only does this bring in immediate revenue, but it also introduces new guests to your establishment.
  6. Online reviews: Leverage the power of positive reviews. Feature them prominently on your booking page to build trust and encourage new guests to choose your hotel.
  7. Exclusive events: Host events that are exclusive to guests staying during the holiday period. Whether it’s a rooftop New Year’s Eve party or a Christmas dinner, make it special and make it exclusive.
  8. Special dining options: Offer holiday-themed menus or dining experiences that guests can only get by booking directly through your website. Think Christmas brunches or New Year’s Eve gala dinners.
  9. Post on social media: Use your social media platforms to showcase your holiday offerings. A well-timed post featuring your special holiday package can go a long way in attracting bookings.
  10. Festive decorations: Sometimes, the ambience is the deal-breaker. Showcase your hotel’s festive decorations online to give potential guests a taste of the holiday spirit they can expect.

Image representing holiday bookings

How to master the art and science of hotel holiday bookings

The holidays are often when your hotel needs to hustle the hardest, to make sure you win enough bookings and earn enough revenue to really capitalise on high-demand periods of travel.

You have to think both creatively and strategically to ensure your property is seen by as many people as possible, and so that you can win guests over once they have discovered you.

Download our evergreen ebook to explore more pointers that engage both sides of the brain to enable your hotel to prosper every time the holidays roll around.

Maximise holiday bookings and boost hotel revenue with SiteMinder

Looking to maximise your holiday bookings? The key lies in leveraging the right technology to simplify the booking process, optimise pricing, and manage multiple channels effectively. 

Here’s how SiteMinder can be your secret weapon in making the most out of the holiday rush:

  • Effortless reservation management: Manage all your holiday bookings from different sources in one place with SiteMinder’s unified dashboard. Real-time updates mean you’re always in the loop, maximising your revenue opportunities.
  • Create tailored holiday offers: SiteMinder allows you to easily set up and manage special holiday promotions that attract guests. Use the platform’s analytics to craft offers that really hit the mark with your audience.
  • Optimise for peak seasons: SiteMinder’s data-driven algorithms help you make informed decisions to fill your rooms during the holidays. Balance demand and room availability to set the perfect price and attract more bookings.

Get started with SiteMinder for free or watch a demo to learn more.

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By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of SiteMinder, the leading technology provider delivering hoteliers unbeatable revenue results. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at SiteMinder. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance and value for accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations achieve their goals.

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