There are a few statistics that stay top-of-mind for any hotel manager. Occupancy rate, or the percentage of rooms that are full on any given night. Your hotel’s occupancy rate is an indicator of the health of your business, along with revenue per available room (RevPAR), and overall profitability. There will of course be seasonal and event-based fluctuations in demand. You might encounter 80% occupancy on a day, and the next day, it may fall to 30%. If you’re not capable of putting more heads in the beds, you’re likely to witness stagnant revenue, which will make survival difficult. Keeping your hotel as full as possible will ensure that you have money coming in through both high and low seasons. Want to learn how to increase hotel occupancy with proven strategies and techniques? Find out for yourself as you read further!
1. Increase value with specials and packages.
Throughout the year, you can increase the value of your property by introducing specials and packages. These works better than discounts for increasing demand, as they include something extra for the same price and can help you stand out from the competition.
One popular way of adding value to your packages is to bundle various services and amenities together. If you have an on-site spa and restaurant, add a spa lunch and massage for guests who stay for three days mid-week. For guests visiting during festive period, you can add a warming cocktail at your bar. Tailor your packages to the occupancy period and the guest type to get the highest return on your investment.
2. Invest in guest services and staff training.
If you notice that your occupancy rates are lower than that of your competitors, your reputation can make a difference. No matter the time of year, hotels with the best guest and planner experiences will almost always come out on top. By investing in staff training and guest services programs, you can impress guests and ensure that a good portion of the travelers to your area will choose to stay at your property.
Enlighten your staff about the different types of guests your property is targeting. Work with your sales and marketing teams to understand what guests might likely desire in a hotel and clearly pass on that information to team members that have direct interactions with guests.
3. Add mostly requested amenities.
Hotel amenities go through fluctuations in demand. Take a look at your utilization rates for the different amenities you offer so that you can understand how demand for your amenities changes over time. Double down on high-demand amenities in your sales and marketing communications, and consider special packages promoting the lower demand amenities to guests.
If you notice that guests are asking for certain amenities a lot, consider adjusting your offerings. For example, if a lot of reviews in the area mention a lack of baby beds and highchairs for feeding a baby, you can dance to the tune and with that you can capture a new audience segment by being the hotel that caters to travelers with kids. By listening to what your guests want, you’ll find ways to increase demand and, in turn, increase hotel occupancy.
4. Manage your online reputation.
Your reputation online, including reviews, search results, social media posts, awards, and photos from corporate events, play a major role in guests deciding where to stay. Much of your online reputation is out of your control, but there are a few things you can do to engage with guests online and ensure that they see you in a positive light.
For starters, respond to all negative feedback online in a timely manner, offering constructive steps forward and personalized communication with guests.
Combat negative information by posting frequent social media updates and highlighting positive guest experiences. Showcase top corporate events, recent updates to your hotel, and great team members on your website, social media, and through partnerships with bloggers. By improving your hotel’s reputation online, you’ll be more likely to increase occupancy and maintain target rates during periods of low demand.
5. Create engaging events for specific audiences.
Events are great for drawing in a crowd, and the right event can result in a substantial increase in both demand and occupancy. But events should never be one size fits all. Think back to the target groups and the marketing you’re already doing to reach them. Is there an event that fits in with the marketing strategy for each group? For example, if you’ve decided to target adults in their 20s to late 30s, you can host a comedy or dance show. Or if you target retirees for mid-week travel, can you hold an event where a local author speaks about financial planning in retirement? Or can you target house hunters by teaming up with a local real estate agent who can offer home buying tips?
By creating targeted events for specific audiences, you can measure their impact on occupancy rates by segment and make sure that you’re getting a good return on your investment. You’ll also develop a positive reputation with a new segment of guests, fueling other strategies you’ve applied.
The trick here is to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and understand their journey of booking a hotel room either for business or leisure activities. It would be best to have creative strategies to increase value and put you ahead of the competition as it will increase the occupancy rate without denting the reputation. Why not implement these strategies to help you increase hotel occupancy