One basic question which unites hoteliers the world over is how to increase their hotel occupancy and it is the most basic step towards a successful hotel business, because at the end of the day room sales is directly connected to revenue and isn’t that what we all are here to increase!
Before getting into the nitty gritty on how to increase hotel occupancy and how a Property Management System (PMS) can help you with it, let’s understand few basic words.
Hotel Occupancy Rate which is a popular indicator of a hotel’s success, occupancy rate is calculated Total numbers of rooms occupied (for a specified period of time) divided by the total number of rooms at the property, times 100 and this formula will give you the occupancy rate for that specific period of time. You could calculate this weekly, monthly, quarterly, and so on.
Higher the occupancy rate, the better it is for your business. However, every hotel goes through phases of low occupancy which is a seasonal phenomenon.
Here’s a list of tips to help you sail smooth on how to increase your hotel occupancy:
1. Customized packages and promotions
By customizing packages and promotions hotel occupancy can be increased.
Investment done in a hotel management system allows you to create special packages as and when you need to. These packages can be defined in the backend catering to very specific audiences and their expectations.
Every traveller has a different expectation from the hotel corporate traveller will have different expectation while business traveller will have a different expectation.
Business travellers have different expectations from their hotels, as compared to leisure travellers and so being mindful of their requirements while defining a package can help you win them over. Let’s say you come up with a package for your corporate guests which includes free wi-fi, access to the spa to relax after a long day’s work, provide taxi service at a discounted price, etc. Your corporate guests will be more than happy with such a package because it tells them that you are listening to their needs, encouraging them to choose your hotel every time they visit your city.
The thing about packages is that the better your understanding of your guests, the higher the level of customization will be and in turn, the better the chances of customer delight and loyalty.
2. Discounts and loyalty programs
Carefully planned discount and loyalty programs can help you get more guests after all who doesn’t like good bargain.
For example, if you notice that your property is frequented by guests in the younger age bracket of 18-22 during certain months in a year you can throw open your doors to them for the rest of the year by offering a student discount.
Similarly, you can offer discounts like a family discount, group booking discount, a minimum 3 rooms to avail 15% off, book three months in advance and get 20% off, etc. The options are endless!
Cleverly crafted discounts tempt guests to make bookings at a time when you anticipate your occupancy to be low. Loyalty programs are also a great way to entice guests and increase occupancy during low seasons.
3. Guest Engagement
Guest engagement is ideal way to engage with them. Hotel PMS ensures that you have guest’s data with you all the time, creating mailing lists helps you to keep engage with the guest every time there is new announcement that you have to make. This will help hotels to be in direct touch with their guests.
For example, if you have a summer package coming up, you could create a campaign around it and send out mailers to the most relevant database, following it up with social media posts regarding the same. This way they will be informed about it on multiple platforms, reinforcing the message and prompting them to claim the offer.
Creating a package or a promotion is one thing but marketing it effectively is also as important. Mailers are still one of the most widely used, accepted and successful ways to engage with customers. So, cash in on them wisely, using them to your benefit whenever the need arises, without bombarding your guests with mailers!
4. Corporate Tie Ups
In today fast paced world business travellers are on rise and it pays to have tie up with multiple corporate players. For example, by tie up with an airline you not only get cabin crew as the guests but also pilots and trainers etc and this is a regular business.
Depending on the type of accommodation provider you are, this would mean different things for your hotel. But as discussed above, the business traveller segment is a goldmine that hotels have yet to fully exploit.
For the city-based hotels corporate tie up is must as they provide an opportunity which is too big to be missed out. The strategy should be to reach out to the corporate and provide them with competitive packages thus they choose you over their competitors like this you will be assured of steady business regardless of the season.
A smart PMS will also allow you to pre-define your package such that every time a guest from a certain corporate company checks-in with you, the details of that particular package will be automatically sourced.
5. Create a niche for yourself
Hoteliersrelaytoo much on technology today but despite this hospitality arena is extremely competitive these days this makes it important for every player to create a niche identity for itself. It can be something as subtle as a hyper-personalized guest experience, which can only be experienced but not marketed.
The days when the guests were impressed by frivolous gestures are gone. The guests are highly evolved these days and world has shrunk courtesy the social media. Good experiences will be lauded just as bad ones will be condemned on social media. This can be used for your benefit by creating a niche for you that will encourage your existing guests to create more guests for you.
Besides many other ways for increasing hotel occupancy one could be word of mouth marketing which indeed is a winning strategy. If a friend, family member or a colleague swears by a hotel and urges you to go check it out; you would definitely be tempted to give it a shot.
6. Carefully used Property Management System
Effective use of Property Management System helps a hotelier to track down every factor which may affect his occupancy rates.
Thus, after carefully following taking care of these facets which we recommend you are definitely try and increase the hotels profits