Each hotel has a peak part of the season they look forward to. During this time, the bigger part of their yearly revenue is made. Most hotels these days strive to increase the number of direct bookings during the peak period. This is their most direct approach to increasing their overall revenue.
We are here to talk about a few practical things hoteliers can do to maximize their booking and raise occupancy to previously unseen levels. The global hotel industry was estimated to have made around 550 billion US dollars in 2016.
Still, these numbers are growing as global spending power increases and lifestyle priorities for people change.
Keeping up with industry growth isn’t easy but it can be done if hotels manage to keep up with their season peak.
1. Online Reviews
These days, there is less and less work for travel agencies as the modern, tech-savvy traveler takes care of most things him/herself. Modern tourists want to create their own experience and are not afraid to do hard research to make it happen.
When it comes to hotels they tend to rely more on the personal experience of people who already visited the hotel than advertisement, brand story and so on. Because of this, they will usually check various review sites, any existing testimonials, blogs or even personal videos and photos of other people who stayed at a particular hotel.
The only way to ensure great online reviews is to be active in the online environment. Keeping online reviews positive and ratings close to five stars (nobody gets a perfect score in the long term) requires a lot of work and genuine care for the experience your visitors have.
2. IT Improvement
IT has become a big factor in hospitality industry but most hotels are stills struggling to implement all the technology needed to manage multiple online channels they aim to cover. Their work can be manual and repetitive without necessary automation and, therefore, prone to mistakes, issues with systems that don’t integrate well with each other.
Pinpointing the right software solutions and making a timely investment before the peak season starts can help identify and convert more leads, raising revenue.
A cloud based hotel management software might be a perfect solution to help hotel staff keep up with booking coming in from different channels (OTAs, Brand Website, Google Hotel Ads). The goal is to unify all data and communication so as to avoid booking overlaps, vacancy issues and so on.
Picking the right online hotel software is by no means an easy feat but once you find something that fits things get a lot easier.
While peak seasons don’t fit within the same time span for all hotels, each hotel is facing fierce competition regardless of this.
Most customer choices are oriented around the price they need to pay to get a certain level of accommodation quality. They will usually compare price of more than a few hotels that provide a similar quality of service and go for the most affordable one.
Hotel revenue management is a big factor here. This part of management predicts consumer behavior, optimizes availability and prices to attract as many customers as possible. Their goal is to reduce the amount of time rooms remain vacant but also to keep prices competitive.
4. Direct Booking Incentivization
We’ve already mentioned that direct booking is the most desirable booking outcome. The most direct way to improve the number of direct bookings is to offer customer benefits for doing this.
This can be achieved through discounts on various things (food, beverages, discounts on future reservations, etc), complimentary things (dinners, spa treatments, experiences, etc.) or some other benefit that suits your business model.
Through these incentives you are not only reaching your goal of raising the number of direct bookings, you are also improving customer loyalty.
These are by no means all the strategies you can use to optimize peak season revenue. Still, these four things will help you both reach new potential leads, manage them properly, optimize your vacancy/occupancy ratio and improve your brands image. We hope you have a lucrative season!