It can be easy, and very tempting, to think that slashing rates to virtually nothing will sell more hotel rooms and increase room revenue during the week.
While it may sell a few rooms, the discounting strategy rarely sells enough to offset the reduced revenue.
It’s important to keep in mind that lower rates don’t create demand; they can set the wrong expectations for guests and erode your price integrity. Instead, think of adding value to beat the midweek blues – and also remember increasing your visibility on top booking channels is half the battle.
Here are 11 effective ways to boost your hotel’s mid-week occupancy and revenue:
1. Create and promote special packages.
Packaging allows you to mask actual room rates with features, which add value to staying at your hotel. If your hotel offers additional services like fitness classes and spa treatments, package them together with accommodation for a really great deal that encourages guests to use services they may not have previously thought about.
2. When it comes to marketing, think who might be a weekday target audience, and geographically where they are.
Focus on a radius of 400km or four hours drive for a two-night midweek stay.
Try collaborating with tourist attractions locally and submit advertisements or editorial to newspapers and websites in population centres within the vicinity promoting midweek breaks that include bus tours, wine tasting trips, or a concert.
3. Develop mailing lists.
Develop mailing lists of your best weekend customers and stay in contact with monthly emails listing midweek special offers and promotions.
Remind them that midweek is the best time to visit local shops and attractions; away from the weekend crowds. Mail them midweek discount vouchers too.
4. Use your imagination and create special one-day conferences, poetry readings, art shows, and other cultural events for during the week.
These are especially popular with people in their late 50s and early 60s and importantly these are the people who often have the most disposable income. Think about holding exhibitions of students’ work in conjunction with local schools and colleges.
5. Promote your space to local companies who could use it for meetings and social events.
Be clever and target companies that have branches or offices elsewhere so visiting delegates may need accommodation.
6. Offer ‘2for1’ meal rates.
You can also offer free drinks or desserts for midweek visitors via newspaper advertising and social media posts.
7. Promote midweek weddings.
With more people working freelance or flexible hours, weddings during the week are becoming more popular; especially for second marriages or older couples who value the intimacy of a quieter occasion.
Make sure they don’t clash with corporate events or any other activity that could spoil the atmosphere.
8. Tempt your weekend guests to extend their break and stay longer.
Use discount deals and make sure your guests know about it. Tell them in your pre-stay email and in person when they check in.
9. Reach out to the largest restaurants in town.
Do this in October or November and offer up a special rate to groups with Christmas parties planned during the week at those restaurants.
10. Find out who the local key players are in real estate – commercial as well as residential.
There are hundreds of people in town every night viewing a new house or opening a new office and they need a place to stay.
Offer the realtor or agent special rates, and free advertising in your room brochure.
11. Offer midweek breaks as prizes.
For example, you can make it your prize in Facebook competitions and boost likes at the same time.