In cities with a steady stream of tourists, business trippers or both, many hotels will have no problem maintaining a high occupancy rate throughout the week and even throughout the year.
But not everywhere is a New York City or a Las Vegas, which means that some hotels struggle to fill rooms on certain days of the week or during a particular season.
Fortunately, though, some tactics have helped other accommodations to boost demand in slower times. Here are eight ways to do so — and increase your occupancy and revenue in the process:
1. Offer a Hotel Package
Plenty of hotels are more than just a place to stay — they have fitness classes, spas, restaurants and other features that could entice people to make an otherwise unscheduled visit. If yours has extras to flaunt, use them to your advantage. Put together a package that includes a hotel room and access to some or all of these unique features. Make sure you price it right, though — if the hotel’s full every night at a rate that’s too low, you won’t make any profits, thus rendering boosted occupancy worthless.
2. Work With Local Tourist Attractions
It might be tough to get customers to take time off mid-week to come to your hotel. So, get a little bit creative and think of the tourist attractions nearby. Then, reach out to them to create another sort of package, which would provide access to the landmark, as well as a night or two at the hotel. This option can be enough to entice weekday vacation, especially if the attraction or site you work with is a big enough of a draw.
3. Build a Mailing List
Do you know who your best customers are? If not, start there — pinpoint your regular guests and put them on a mailing list. Then, send them monthly or biweekly emails with special offers just to entice a visit during slower times. You can also try snail mailers, too, which also contain promotions or discounts to be used during the week or in the offseason.
4. Provide Them a Service
We’ve already touched on the benefits that hotel amenities present when it comes to creating a package deal. But you can also pique guests’ interest with the services you provide on-site. Perhaps your hotel has conference rooms, for example — start marketing as a destination for business meetings, and you’ll be able to pull in mid-week customers. You can also present a ballroom as a wedding venue, which, again, is sure to draw clients for ceremonies and overnight stays post-nuptials.
If your property doesn’t have these features, you might consider adding them or finding room for such events to take place. That way, there’s a reason for guests to make the trek year-round.
5. Work With Local Businesses
Now that you’ve pinpointed potential conference spaces, reach out to local businesses and let you know you can host their next meeting. Even if you don’t have room for a full-on conference, you can still advertise to companies nearby — if they fly in potential employees for interviews or staff from other offices, for instance, you could build a relationship and become their go-to place to lodge their visitors.
6. Rely on Local Events
Another great way to fill rooms is to keep up with local events that might draw guests into town. There are plenty of apps to help you track upcoming concerts, festivals, conferences, etc., and you can use this information to your great advantage. Start by reaching out to event organizers to see if you can market to attendees as a potential place to stay. If not, put yourself out there — get involved or become a sponsor so that your hotel’s name appears in some of the promotional materials. Some visitors will be sure to stay with you upon seeing that.
7. Suggest an Extended Stay
If you mostly draw in weekend guests, try wooing them to stay longer with a nice added-day discount. You can offer it to them after they book for the weekend — perhaps they can stay on Sunday and Monday nights, too, for a more reasonable price. Or, you can propose the same deal when they check in. Even if they don’t take you up on the offer immediately, they might change their tune after a few great days at the hotel.
8. Talk to Real Estate Agents
Perhaps the property market surrounding your hotel is hot right now. Use that to your advantage by reaching out to realtors and building relationships with them so that, when their clients come to town to look for a new home, they will direct them to stay at your hotel. Then, once they close on a place, they can come back and visit again as they wait to get their keys and move in.