How building relationships this holiday season can help independent hotels

The holiday travel season is often hectic, but also extremely valuable for independent hotels. From November through January, operators focus on providing excellent hospitality to ensure their guests depart with warm holiday memories. While managing within the “four walls” will always be the priority for hoteliers, the holidays also offer great opportunities to build relationships that can deliver long-term benefits.

Your local reputation = reservations

As an independent property operator, you know that your hotel’s reputation is critical to its success. While reputation management for hotels generally centers around online reviews, building rapport with the local community can also impact a hotel’s good fortune.

Hotel guests can come from across the country or around the corner, but it’s much easier to book local guests with a strong reputation in the community. During the holidays, community events, organizations and charities provide local businesses with lots of opportunities to align themselves with good causes. Independent hotels can get involved by volunteering time, purchasing sponsorships or donating money to show their local support. Showing community goodwill is proven to enhance the reputation of businesses, so for independent hotels, paying it forward can eventually lead to the ultimate payback – reservations.

Staying in the know

How current are you on politics, business dealings and general happenings of your local area? Well, if there’s room for improvement, attending holiday gatherings in your local community may be the solution for getting and staying “in the know.”

In every community, there are politicians, business people and influencers who are making decisions that will shape its future and potentially impact your independent hotel – with or without your input. If a neighborhood rezoning, real estate development or a new hotel opening are in the works – you should know about it! Holiday events are the perfect venues for connecting with the right people who can help you keep a finger on the pulse of your community’s innerworkings. Keeping yourself and your hotel in the know can be the difference between staying ahead of the curve or having to catch up from behind.