Two tips for independent hotliers to help you thrive this holiday season

The Thanksgiving travel weekend has come and gone, but the holiday travel season is just getting into full swing.  For independent hotel operators, completing a successful holiday season serves two very important purposes.  First, it ensures a strong finish to 2016.  If your reservations and revenue goals are within arm’s reach, a strong December can catapult you past the finish line.  Secondly, it provides great momentum for kicking off 2017 and keeping your hotel positioned to achieve its long-term milestones.

As you navigate the final weeks of the year, keep these 2 tips in mind to help you survive the holidays:

Communicate early and often

While holiday travel delivers more booking opportunities, it also creates more chances for unexpected events, such as sudden inclement weather, delayed or canceled flights, clogged roadways, etc., to impact your daily operations.  This month, make it a priority to communicate early and often with your guests, team members, vendors and everyone else you rely on to help operate your hotel.

For example, if a fast-moving snow storm may impact afternoon arrivals, use social media to alert guests of road conditions and provide tips for traveling safely to your hotel.  Proactively communicating during the holidays will not only benefit your guests and team members, it will enhance your efforts to deliver a high-quality hospitality experience.

Plan ahead

As mentioned above, the holidays are ripe for unexpected events to occur at what feels like the worst times, but with a hotel full of guests and more on the way, you’ll need to find ways to keep operations running smoothly with minimum interruptions.  Here’s where planning ahead can be crucial to your independent hotel’s success.

Rather than scrambling for a solution after something has occurred, anticipate some of the events that may need immediate action and create a plan to quickly solve them.  For example, if you may need extra towels and linen during high-occupancy holiday weekends, plan to adjust the frequency of your laundry service or store more items on-property over the coming weeks.  Although the need for additional towels and linen may prove minimal, having a plan in-place eliminates the risk of upsetting your guests and disturbing operations during this very important time of the year.