Those who have been in the hospitality industry long enough know that the revenue earned depends significantly on the season. Achieving a full occupancy rate during peak season is easier because of the high influx of guests. However, the low or off-season comes eventually, when it’s more challenging to book guests.
If you are struggling to attract guests to your hotel, keep reading. This blog discusses proven techniques for increasing your bookings all year round!
But before we dive into the strategies, let’s first explain what an occupancy rate is.
What is an Occupancy Rate?
Occupancy rate is the number of occupied rooms divided by the number of available rooms. The resulting number is the occupancy percentage and is one of a hotel’s most compelling performance indicators. High occupancy rates mean more guests, thus translating to higher revenue.
Hoteliers must prioritize increasing the occupancy rate all year, not just during the off-seasons. Here are the top 10 ways you can do so:
1. Create Specials and Packages for Guests
Increase the value of your property by introducing specials and packages to your target market. An excellent way to do this is to bundle services and amenities together.
For example, if your hotel has an on-site spa and restaurant, offer a bundle that includes a spa lunch and massage for guests who book a three-day stay. Likewise, if you are located near a beach, you can create a special winter package with a branded throw blanket and a warming cocktail at the hotel’s bar.
At innRoad, we have add-ons that you can easily add in your booking engine to manage special offers and packages for guests with a breeze.
2. Implement Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are a must in every business. It’s a great way to meet the needs and wants of your existing customers and motivate them to keep coming back, helping you increase profits. Special discounts, reward points and limited offers are excellent methods to attract repeat guests.
3. Leverage Specific Events
Special events can help improve guest bookings during the off-season. The right event can increase demand and occupancy. However, to do this properly, you need to segment your target market and organize the event that is relevant to that audience. For example, if your target is retirees for mid-week travel, you can invite a local expert to speak about financial planning in retirement.
Another thing you can do is to partner with local event organizers and set special promotions. An excellent way to do this is to offer room discounts for anyone who will be present or partakes in the event.
4. Partner With Local Businesses
Speaking of partnerships, a strong relationship with other businesses in your community effectively generates more revenue. Find out which local businesses may benefit from a co-marketing arrangement. For hotels, the ideal partners would be travel agencies, tour operators and conference centers.
5. Optimize Your Online Presence
Improving your hotel’s online visibility improves its ability to attract more travelers. Thanks to the internet, travelers can now compare different hotels, analyze their rooms and consider their rates. So make sure your hotel has a strong web presence so you don’t miss out on guest booking opportunities.
Also, ensure that your hotel has a positive reputation online. A lodging with many positive reviews naturally attracts more visitors. On the other hand, prospects might have second thoughts about booking a venue with strikingly low star ratings and lots of negative feedback from previous guests. By improving your online visibility and reputation, you are more likely to increase occupancy and maintain rates during periods of low demand.
6. Add In-Demand Amenities
For hotels, the options for amenities are endless. Toiletries, coffee or tea kits and a complimentary breakfast are a must. Other perks like free parking, a fitness center, spa and 24/7 WiFi are also commonplace.
If you notice that guests are asking for specific amenities, consider adding them to your offerings. For example, if reviews mention the lack of cribs and high chairs, immediately add them to cater to travelers with kids. By listening to the needs of your guests, you’ll find ways to increase demand, which can boost your occupancy rate.
7. Try Dynamic Pricing
Dynamic pricing (also referred to as time-based pricing) in the hospitality industry utilizes flexible pricing for rooms and services based on market demand. Based on this concept, prices should be increased when the demand is high (i.e. during peak seasons or local events) and decreased when demand is lower.
With innRoad, you can automate rate changes in response to changes in booking activity. For instance, our Yield Management tool can increase or decrease your rates based on your occupancy percentage. It allows you to automatically issue a rate change when you receive a Surge Alert (during times of high booking activity) or reach a specific occupancy target.
8. Attract Large Groups
Weddings, reunions and corporate outings are just some events that bring large groups to your hotel. Use photos of past events in your marketing campaigns to showcase your property’s potential. You can also create specific packages that include custom menus and group room rate discounts.
9. Run Remarketing Ads
Remarketing ads are online advertisements that are shown to people who visited your website, viewed your social pages, stayed at your hotel or joined your email list. They are prospects who already have an interest in your property and offerings. Remarketing ads remind them of your business and nudge them closer to the decision to book a stay.
10. Streamline Your Processes
Finally, the most effective way to optimize your operations is using hotel management software. A hotel management system helps you streamline many of the administrative processes mentioned above to boost your hotel’s overall performance. The ideal software allows you to easily manage inventory, variable room rates, reservations, payments and efficiently manage your revenue.
The Best Way To Increase Your Hotel Occupancy
A smooth check-in and check-out process for your guests is the best way to increase your hotel’s occupancy rates. In addition, it’s important to keep your visitors satisfied and give them memorable experiences they’ll be sharing with family and friends.
An effective property management software like innRoad will let you manage your property from any device anywhere in the world. With our cloud-based, mobile-friend platform, you can easily streamline your operations, manage your revenue and allow your guests to make direct bookings.
Speak with one of our property advisors today by calling 855-942-6074 or by requesting a free demo.