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Gearing Up For Rio 2016 (Part 1) – Prep Your Hotel For The Olympics & Maximize Revenue!

Prabhash Bhatnagar
Prabhash Bhatnagar

Brazil Olympics 2016, Brazil hotel Olympics, Rio Olympics 2016 hotels

Brazil may be going through a financial crisis but that’s done little to deter the Olympic spirit encapsulating the country. The department of tourism anticipates between 300,000 to 500,000 visitors for the event as hotels across Rio de Janeiro prepare themselves for what’s bound to be an extremely busy period for hospitality.

Consider the following bits of information released by the Brazil Hotel Association, the Rio Conventions Bureau, and the Federal Tourist Agency –

Bookings have increased by 200% compared to the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Bookings are at 98% for 5-star hotels in the region

Bookings are at 88% amongst 3-star properties

98.3% of hotel rooms in the Ipanema and Leblon area are sold out

96.7% of rooms in Barra da Tijuca are sold out

Guests are flying in from around the world for the extravaganza and by employing a few uncomplicated strategies, hotels can make the most of this period of high occupancy to maximize ADR – remember, keeping your guests engaged is the key to encouraging additional spending!

Include relevant merchandise in the gift shops

One of the best things about the Olympics is the sheer diversity of people attending the event – there are over 200 countries participating in over 300 activities, attracting guests from all corners of the globe. Be sure to stock up on country flags, celebratory whistles, and all sorts of props like disposable sunglasses. Most of the people attending are here to support their country and enjoy the event, not to shop – so make sure that you update all gift shops with the right type of affordable merchandise. Researching a little on the spending trends at gift shops for the previous Olympics can give you an idea about how much guests are likely to spend on such a trip.

Turn your restaurants and bars into screening locations

There are few things that get people more excited than sporting events and game nights can be absolute goldmines in terms of the revenue they bring in. Embrace the Olympic spirit by lining your restaurants and bars with flags of competing countries and deploy free-standing display boards outside the entrance detailing the event being telecast that night. Offering country specific culinary specialties on the corresponding nights can also go a long way in exhibiting your hotel’s engagement in the ongoing Olympics.

Include special offers in the confirmation email

Almost everyone reads their confirmation emails, making this one of the most prized pieces of real estate you have for advertising! Make the most of your confirmation email space to get guests familiar with your points of sale and the special activities and cuisines you have lined up for the games – as we discussed in the previous point, displaying images of your Olympic themed restaurant and perhaps offering special meal discounts on account of say, a victory, can drive more fans to your food and beverage stalls. Additionally, this helps build loyalty and encourages guests to book directly the next time.

Keep followers engaged on social media channels

Advertising and national coverage rights for the Rio Olympics 2016 is owned by the NBC network and commercial sales up to the month of May have already crossed the $1 billion mark – that’s a lot faster than it took the London 2012 Olympics to reach the benchmark. With advertising metrics on their way to breaking all sorts of records, hotels who can’t afford the rates still have an extremely powerful platform on their hands – social media. Keep posting regular updates about the event and build all the hype you can for the final few weeks. The key here is to keep guests engaged and leave your hotel’s mark in every discussion. For instance, photo sharing contests, polls and other sorts of activities are a great way to drive more engagement.

With a little over a month left until the torch is lit, the next 30 days are going to be a crucial period for hotels in terms of exhibiting their involvement in the world’s largest sporting event – the repercussions of a successful campaign for this month can have year-long benefits and significantly boost your hotel’s brand in the overall scheme of things.

Stay tuned for our next post on the series, where we’ll discuss how cloud technology like a property management system can play a huge role in helping independent properties deal with this hectic period.