Seeing the ‘Sold Out’ sign at your hotel’s gates is arguably one of the best feelings for a hotelier! I get it. But how often have you had that feeling of late? If you aren’t already smirking at that question, you need to read on…
How to increase hotel occupancy?
The one question that unites hoteliers across the globe, and understandably so.
Increasing hotel occupancy is the most basic step towards a successful hotel business, because at the end of the day room sales is directly connected to revenue and isn’t that what we all are here to increase!
Before we get into discussing a few simple and effective tips on how to increase hotel occupancy and how a PMS can help you with it, let’s understand the fundamentals.
What is Hotel Occupancy Rate?
Acknowledged as a popular indicator of a hotel’s success, occupancy rate is thus calculated:
Occupancy Rate = Total numbers of rooms occupied (for a specified period of time) divided by the total number of rooms at the property, times 100
This formula will give you the occupancy rate for that specific period of time. You could calculate this weekly, monthly, quarterly, and so on.
Suppose your hotel has a total of 120 rooms of which 83 are occupied. Your occupancy rate, therefore, is 69%.
The general consensus is that the higher your occupancy rate, the better it is for your business. That being said, every hotel goes through phases of low occupancy. Depending on various factors, it is possible that you witness low occupancy trends through the week, over the weekend, during certain seasons, etc.
There isn’t much you can do to get complete control of occupancy, but there are definitely tips to keep it as consistently high as one possibly could.
Here are 5 of the best tips on how to increase hotel occupancy
Let’s take a quick look at five of the best tips on how you can go about increasing your hotel occupancy.
1. Customized packages and promotions
The good thing about investing in a hotel management system is that it allows you to create special packages as and when you need to. These packages can be defined in the backend catering to very specific audiences and their expectations.
For eg: you could create a package especially for all your corporate guests. Business travelers have different expectations from their hotels, when compared to leisure travelers and so being mindful of their requirements while defining a package can help you win them over. Let’s say you come up with a package for your corporate guests which includes free wi-fi, access to the spa to relax after a long day’s work, provide taxi service at a discounted price, etc. Your corporate guests will be more than happy with such a package because it tells them that you are listening to their needs, encouraging them to choose your hotel every time they visit your city.
The thing about packages is that the better your understanding of your guests, the higher the level of customization will be and in turn, the better the chances of customer delight and loyalty.
2. Discounts and loyalty programs
As with packages, carefully planned discounts can also help win over guests – after all who doesn’t like a good offer! If you see that your property is getting a lot of guests within the age bracket of 18-22, around a certain time of the year, then you could throw open your doors to them for the rest of the year by offering a student discount.
Similarly, you can offer discounts like a family discount, group booking discount, a minimum 3 rooms to avail 15% off, book three months in advance and get 20% off, etc. The options are endless!
Craft these such that you tempt guests to make bookings at a time when you anticipate your occupancy to be low. Loyalty programs are also a great way to entice guests and increase occupancy during low seasons.
3. Engage with your guests
One of the coolest things about a hotel PMS is that you have your guest’s data at your disposal at all times. Create exclusive mailing lists so that every time you have an announcement that might be of interest to a certain segment of your guests, you can engage with them.
Let’s say you have a summer package coming up, you could create a campaign around it and send out mailers to the most relevant database, following it up with social media posts regarding the same. This way they will be informed about it on multiple platforms, reinforcing the message and prompting them to claim the offer.
Creating a package or a promotion is one thing but marketing it effectively is also as important. Mailers are still one of the most widely used, accepted and successful ways to engage with customers. So, cash in on them wisely, using them to your benefit whenever the need arises, without bombarding your guests with mailers!
4. Tie up with corporates
With the number of business travelers on the rise in today’s fast-paced world, it pays to tie up with multiple corporates. Of course, depending on the type of accommodation provider you are, this would mean different things for you. But overall, the business traveler segment is a goldmine that hotels have yet to fully exploit.
For city hotels and accommodation solutions based in big cities, partnering with corporates is an absolute must. The opportunity they provide is too big to miss out on. Reach out to corporates and come up with a compelling package which will make the decision of choosing you over your competitors easy for them. The best part about such a partnership is that you can be assured of steady business coming in from them, regardless of seasons.
A smart PMS will also allow you to pre-define your package such that every time a guest from a certain corporate company checks-in with you, the details of that particular package will be automatically sourced.
5. Create a niche for yourself
Agreed, technology is a huge boon for hoteliers today, but one has to agree that despite it all, the hotel industry is becoming an extremely competitive space. In this backdrop, it is mandatory for every hotel to create a niche for itself. Something that sets it apart from the others. This need not always be dramatic or conspicuous. It can be something as subtle as a hyper-personalized guest experience, which can only be experienced but not marketed.
Gone are the days when guests were easily impressed by over-the-top gestures. Today’s guests are more evolved and aware than ever making them super sensitive, and at the same time really reactive. Good experiences will be lauded just as bad ones will be condemned on social media. Use this to your benefit and create a niche for you that will encourage your existing guests to create more guests for you.
Of the many ways by which you can increase hotel occupancy, word of mouth marketing is a winning strategy. If a friend, family member or a colleague swears by a hotel and urges you to go check it out, wouldn’t you be tempted to give it a shot!
If you are looking for more tips to increase hotel occupancy, then you might want to refer to one of our earlier blogs in which we have discussed at length the many ways by which you can increase hotel occupancy and ensure fully occupancy.
How a cloud PMS like Hotelogix helps you increase hotel occupancy:
Every single factor that might affect your occupancy rates is tackled effectively by our Property Management System that has been carefully engineered, keeping in mind your every need.
We are not the ones saying it. Our customers have said it…
“Thanks to all the integrations it allows, we have increased room sales by 40% which is a dream come true for any manager! With Hotelogix, we make money even when we are asleep.”
Ahnvee Resorts and Sports
Here’s how we make it happen through the Hotelogix PMS integrations:
- By helping you connect to the world’s best OTAs via a Channel manager
Hotelogix Property Management System integrates with the best-in-class channel managers from across the globe to help you connect with the most popular OTAs, and increase your online visibility and occupancy.
- Web booking engine integration to increase your hotel’s direct bookings
With our Hotel Management System, you can expect to see a definite increase your direct bookings. We help you integrate with web booking engines from where you can drive more bookings via your hotel website, instead of fully depending on OTAs.
- By allowing you to track, monitor & stay on top of your online reputation
Having an awesome online reputation is a huge plus in today’s digital world. Hotelogix allows reputation management integrations with which you can not only automate guest review requests, but also help push all reviews you get on review sites to your website and vice versa.
- With revenue management tools to bring you the revenue you deserve
We support integration with world-class Revenue management tools that will help you price intelligently and sell more rooms. We help you with revenue optimization, competitive pricing and so much more to assist you get your occupancy up and bring you the revenues you dream of!
This article was originally published on hospitalitytech.com