Even with the rise of private vacation rentals and other accommodation alternatives, hotels have never been so popular. The industry is valued at more than $600 billion and hotels all over the globe remain many travelers’ number one choice when looking for a place to rest their heads.
However, even though the hotel industry is a successful one, it’s also a competitive one. Hotels are competing not just with one another, but also with countless other forms of accommodation out there, and every hotelier has to do whatever they can to keep up with the competition.
Of course, the most obvious way to ensure that your hotel stays ahead of the game and continues to be successful in the long term is by making sure that your occupancy rate remains high, all through the year, but this can sometimes feel like a challenge.
Almost every hotel goes through low periods of the year or even in the week, with days and nights in which several rooms are still open, available, and unused. With this in mind, here are some useful tips to help you raise hotel occupancy rates.
Make the Most of Modern Technology
Modern technology can assist us all in a range of ways, both in our personal and professional lives and there are plenty of apps and programs out there that can give hotels an edge. Hotel PMS, for instance, is a great option for improving guest experiences and freeing up your staff.
With a dependable property management system in place, guests will be happier at your hotel and more likely to recommend it to those they know, while staff will have more time and motivation to dedicate to making the place even better.
Improve the Guest Experience
Following on from the previous point, one of the best ways in which you can drive occupancy upwards is to make your hotel more appealing to prospective guests. The guest experience is more important than ever before in today’s world, and there are many ways you can improve it.
Modern hotel guests don’t simply want a safe space to sleep and won’t be satisfied with a basic bed and bathroom. They want features, amenities, services, technology, and more. Things like self-check-in, digital keys, reliable internet access, in-room coffee machines, and more can all help with this.
In order to actually make your hotel more appealing to your guests, you need to know more about what they want from the experience. Following industry trends and seeing what the competition is doing are a couple of ways you can do this.
However, one of the best ways to learn more about your guests’ wants and needs is to actually ask them. Set up surveys and questionnaires that guests can fill in, both during and after their stay, and use the feedback you gather to take your hotel to the next level.
Use Events and Offers During Lulls
Every hotel has lulls now and then, and this is a perfectly logical aspect of the hotel industry. There are simply always going to be certain days of the week or times of the year in which your hotel has fewer guests, simply due to lower tourist or traveler numbers.
However, you can still try and ‘jazz up’ the lull periods with special events and offers to bring people in. If you don’t get many mid-week guests, for instance, consider setting up a mid-week discounted rate to attract new arrivals or set up a cultural event or art exhibition to get people through the door.
Marketing is one of the most important aspects of the hotel industry, and it’s one that too many hoteliers often overlook. People won’t find their way to your hotel and be drawn in if you don’t take the time to sell it to them.
Build your marketing strategies with care, thinking sensibly about who your main audience is, what they want, and how you can show them that your establishment is their best choice. Those running a boutique hotel, for example, will want to show off their eco-friendly attitude and arty activities, while those with hotels near airports should prioritize transport links and speedy check-outs in marketing.
Running a successful hotel isn’t just about sitting back and watching the profits rise during the busiest times of the year, but also taking action to raise occupancy rates during the tougher times. Keep these tips in mind and turn your hotel’s lulls around.