No matter the climate in which consumers live, travel is one of the most exciting ways to spend a holiday. That means that every holiday presents a fantastic opportunity for hoteliers to increase their online hotel bookings and revenues using these five tips:
Embrace The Season
Create marketing campaigns that embrace the season!
Whether your property is located on a snow-covered ski slope, or a pristine, white sand beach, determine what would attract potential guests to your property (skiing, sunbathing, scuba diving, etc.) and use that to appeal to your customers’ senses and desire for that fabulous holiday experience.
Appeal to their emotions whenever possible and make it easy for them to picture themselves having the time of their lives on their vacation at your property.
Consider teaming up with local suppliers and build various activity packages that you can offer guests at a discounted rate during the holiday season.
By creating packages that fulfill the vacation desires of your guests, you will be able to increase your bookings during busy holiday travel time – and create a great reputation for your property at the same time.
After all, there’s nothing like a fantastic holiday vacation and guests will want to spread the word far and wide about the amazing time they had.
It’s Party Time!
Every holiday puts consumers in a festive mood, so consider giving potential guests exactly that: an exciting party! To promote the event, you could create a weekend package that includes a two-night stay at the hotel and an exclusive access pass to attend the party.
Don’t forget to tie the theme of your party into your destination – and again, keep in mind what consumers are expecting to experience during their holiday in your destinations. Properties in warmer climates should host a beach or a pool party, complete with a Tiki bar, fruity cocktails and hula dancing. If you are located in a colder climate, consider decorating your party with ice sculptures and plenty of warm food and drink.
Some ideas… A competition between local chefs to see who can make the most delicious soup (and of course, let guests sample them all!). A warm cocktail competition using only warm mixers, like hot chocolate, tea, apple cider, etc. Your only limit is your imagination!
Use Technology to Optimize your Channel Management Strategy
Technology is the best way to ensure that your property has the most online visibility during high-traffic tourism times. By listing your property on as many online travel agencies as possible, you increase the number of ‘eyeballs’ – and online bookings – that your property will receive. Unfortunately though, it is almost impossible to manage a large number of online channels manually – and that is where sophisticated channel management technology comes in.
A two-way, real-time connection between your property’s hotel reservation system and/or property management system (PMS) and the global distribution system will make it easier for your channel manager and reservation staff to manage new bookings. Because your online bookings are updated in your property’s reservation system automatically, no reservations will be missed or lost. A real-time connection also enables the updating of inventory in a property’s reservation system automatically, which helps to prevent overbooking.
Finally, don’t forget to optimize your property’s website using a sophisticated online booking system that enables availability search, booking and payment in only a few clicks. Not only does having an easy-to-use booking system ensure that potential guests don’t get frustrated and abandon the booking midway, it will also convert more direct bookings.
Don’t forget about local guests!
Especially on shorter mini-breaks, hotels will often experience an influx of local guests who are looking for a fun ‘staycation’ in their own hometown.
Consider offering a locals’ discount and/or a package option, offering a reservation to a hard-to-get-into restaurant or a sold-out concert or play (if you are able to secure them).
If not, just try to find ways to make locals feel special. A simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way towards making your local (and international) guests happy… and as you know, happy guests are more likely to return to your property, as well as recommend it to their friends or family.
Founded in 2006, SiteMinder is a leader in the online hotel distribution industry. SiteMinder offers award-winning cloud-based distribution products – including a channel manager, booking engine, PMS/CRS integration and GDS connection tools, to help hotels increase online revenue, streamline business processes and decrease operational costs. Driven by a no-contract, commission-free business model, SiteMinder’s robust product suite and exceptional client support has made the business one of the most recognizable in the industry. SiteMinder has offices in Bangkok, Cape Town, Dallas, London and Sydney, and has more than 11,000+ customers in more than 105 countries.