In the hospitality industry, there is only one boss who is the guest. He has the power to take away business from you by spending elsewhere. As the New Year heralds in assurances of growth, revenue and business opportunities for hoteliers according to a study by STR and Tourism Economics, it is indeed the perfect time to make some resolutions to entice more guests.
Resolution # 1: Be available where they are: This point has been stressed multiple times before but it remains as important in 2015 as well – Be present where your prospective guests are available because the decision making starts from the moment they plan to travel.
It could be on social media platforms, travel group forums they might visit, specific booking websites or simply their inbox (by running advertisements). Just by finding out what kind of visitors you are likely to attract and making your brand/packages visible on channels they visit will increase your chances of being booked.
The key here lies in focusing on Return on Experience (ROE) rather than ROI right from the first phase of the guest life cycle. To understand how your hotel can enjoy higher returns on guest experience, download this e-book Simple Ways to Enhance Guest Experience
Resolution # 2: Facelift your website: Once you have attracted prospective guests to your website, a great website can act as a powerful tool for getting confirmed reservations. For hoteliers, a website provides a platform to present their services to their audience. So, building a great website with amazing design and robust content will help you garner the right set of audience to book your hotel.
Resolution # 3: Become a social butterfly: Social media is touted to be a very powerful tool for hoteliers. According to eMarketer, the numbers of social network users on mobile have increased from 58.8 percent in 2012 to 79.1 percent in 2015. So, this year take some time off to review all your social media accounts to see how active you’ve been with your followers. Hotels need to plan more strategies on social media as it’s the biggest and most powerful platform (not to mention free) to attract guests. Make it a point to post at least once a day and make sure you follow travellers.
To learn how to convert your Facebook Fans into Guests, download A Hotelier’s Guide to Using Facebook Effectively
Resolution # 4: Write till your ink be dry: If you still haven’t started writing blogs on your website, then it’s about time to start blogging. Blogs bring plenty of opportunities to provide the right kind of information and valuable content to attract new guests.
Resolution # 5: Be present in your guest’s pocket: Mobile devices play a big role in the industry today with travelers booking hotels, flights and restaurants on their devices. According to a survey, more than 50% of the US citizens have smartphones and 76% of the millennials rely on their mobile devices for information (Source: business 2 community). Provide a user-friendly mobile optimized website for travelers to give them the luxury to book on their phones. Offer the ability to add room preferences on the device before check-in. Also, provide simple maps and GPS services for local attractions.
Resolution # 6: Avoid charging when you can give it free: Offering free access to the internet is becoming a necessity to attract more guests to hotels. Guests want to be connected with their friends and family throughout, or even to look up for some local attraction nearby. If you are charging your guests for internet access, then it’s time that you offer this service to them free of cost. It might make that minor difference you desire in enhancing your occupancy rate.
Resolution # 7: Provide facilities for the health-conscious: More and more travelers are looking for healthy food options, access to gyms and spas. Your hotel should focus on guests’ health and wellness by providing nutritious meals, work-out facilities to the fitness conscious which includes workout attires and shoes, fitness kits and fitness equipment. You can offer fitness equipment in rooms for guests who prefer to stay docile. Yoga is becoming a trend among travelers so you can arrange for yoga classes for your guests.
Resolution # 8: Provide an eco-friendly atmosphere: Not only are guests growing more tech-savvy, they are also getting eco-friendly. Travelers are actually looking out for green hotels on metasearch platforms like TripAdvisor. Few practices like having the sheets and towels changed not so frequently, saving water and energy are being preferred. Green practices will attract more guests in the long term.
Hotelogix wishes you and your hotel success this 2015!