For independent hotels, Labor Day weekend may mark the end of the summer busy season, but it also signals the start of shoulder season and planning for holiday travel. Hoteliers who regularly plan ahead for the upcoming travel seasons understand the value and appreciate the benefits of early preparation. Here are a few tips to help your hotel get a jump start on the months ahead and positioned for lucrative rewards.
Take a look back
Looking at how your hotel performed during a specific time period in the past can provide great insight into how it may perform during that same time frame in the future under similar conditions and circumstances. Reviewing historical data will supply you with lots of valuable information, such as how travelers responded to room rate increases and decreases, which days and weeks recorded the strongest and weakest occupancy rates and which special offers and marketing promotions performed best. The goal is to use your hotel’s past performance to create success benchmarks that your team can work to achieve and hopefully surpass.
In creating success benchmarks for upcoming travel seasons, hoteliers must identify opportunities where they can improve upon both positive and negative past performances. For example, reviewing online reviews from the prior year will shed light on how guests viewed their on-property experiences. If guests consistently praised the ease of check-in and check-out, remind your team of the great job they did the year before and then work collaboratively on ways to further enhance the guest check-in and check-out process. Or, if following up on guest requests proved to be a pain point in the past, begin thinking about solutions for improving your team’s attention to detail and placing greater emphasis on providing guests with a seamless on-property experience.
Plan to execute
The final and most important part of preparing for the travel seasons ahead is crafting an action plan. Your plan should contain your success benchmarks, opportunities for improvement and other valuable insights that will serve as a road map to follow and execute against during the season. Having this information prepared ahead of time will allow you to measure performance in almost real-time so you can continuously stay on-track toward achieving your season-end goals.
For more valuable insights on how to maximize your independent hotel’s performance, contact one of our independent hotel experts today.