In many markets, spring break has wrapped up so independent hoteliers can now catch their breath and recover from a few frantic weeks. However, this moment will be short lived because the summer busy season is right around the corner and operators need the time in-between to prepare for the next wave of vacationing travelers – that’s if the groundwork for increasing occupancy and capturing valuable summer bookings has been completed. For some independents, there’s currently a gap between their expectations and their busy season bookings forecast and, understandably, it’s causing concern. Although there are only a few weeks before summer, there’s still time to get bookings back on track. Here’s how:
Right now, travel companies, state tourism agencies and local destination marketing offices are making their springtime push to promote states, cities, events and other vacation-worthy attractions to travelers who are planning their summer trips. Independent hotels needing help reaching large audiences of potential guests should look to these organizations for marketing opportunities that will help them garner attention and ultimately increase busy season bookings.
With time winding down, independent hotels should focus on online marketing campaigns that utilize digital tools, such as email, social media and online ads to target travelers. In many cases, independents will need to promote value-added special offers and deals, such as reduced pricing or “free” perks, to compete with other lodging brands for bookings, so understanding the financial impact of these digital campaigns is vital. The overall goal is to grab the attention of as many travelers as possible and draw them into your online booking channels, specifically your hotel website booking engine, so the odds of securing their bookings increases with every click.
Depending on the bookings outlook for some independents, a more comprehensive strategy may be needed to increase reservations so talking to an outside expert can be of great value. At innRoad, our Property Advisors are experts at helping independent hotels maximize their occupancy, especially during critical times like the summer busy season. Additionally, we’ve recently launched the innRoad Occupancy Valuator, a tool that allows our Property Advisors to analyze your occupancy rate and identify opportunities to give it a lift. If your independent hotel’s forecasted occupancy rate needs a boost, simply register here to speak with one of our Property Advisors and try our new innRoad Occupancy Valuator.