Fighting the slump: How to increase bookings during slower months

bookings during slower monthsIt’s been long accepted that a hotel’s ebbing low-season revenue is just another one of the industry’s unpleasant realities. No matter how large or small the property is, every hotel owner has struggled with managing the slower season. Unfortunately, the inevitable rise and fall of occupancy rates are one of the most intractable problems in the hospitality business.

If you want to protect your hotel from losing money during these slower periods, it’s best to be proactive and use a mix of tried-and-true tactics and creative marketing methods to smooth out seasonal swings. In turn, you can better manage your revenue, safeguarding yourself from financial loss. To help you secure consistent year-round direct booking growth, try using the following strategies.

Organize exclusive events

Events, whether they come during the low or high season, can boost reservations for a hotel, especially if the establishment goes to great lengths to mark or participate in the occasion. Each occasion is an opportunity to promote your hotel’s additional amenities, such as the available rooms and upgrades, the dining options, the offered on-site activities, and the luxurious spa treatments you provide.

Curate a one-of-a-kind experience and exclusive offers to set yourself apart from the competition. Find out what off-season celebrations and activities might attract tourists to your area. There’s also the option of teaming up with the event’s sponsors to provide exclusive deals to attendees and participants. This will allow you to take advantage of fantastic advertising possibilities, allowing you to draw in a greater number of customers.

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Re-evaluate your pricing structure

During the slower seasons, when the demand for reservations is lower, you will need to become a bit more assertive in trying to attract guests to your property. Offering a discount to these customers is one way to drift through the off-season. People are always on the lookout for a good deal, and offering rebates on rooms at your hotel will attract more guests and keep the momentum going.

People will be more interested in staying at your property if you lower your costs and provide a variety of bundles or a la carte upgrades. Students, families, and even businesses might be encouraged to frequent your property if you provide exclusive discounts to them. It is best to set pricing that appeals to potential visitors and allows you to generate a profit if you want to get the most bookings and income out of your business.

Turn to digital marketing

Marketing is arguably the most crucial aspect of any business, and with the proliferation of digital marketing, it would be foolish not to utilize this resource whenever possible. The off-season is a great time for hotels to make the most of email, social media, and blogs to drive bookings. Create a marketing pipeline with your team and use well-planned keywords for advertising to consumers seeking these services.

While digital marketing is effective on its own, though, it may be much more effective when combined with local marketing strategies. This includes tactics such as building relationships with surrounding businesses to increase your hotel’s profile in the community. Develop a welcoming and exclusive ambiance for the guests, giving them an experience that will give them something to think back on.

Get in touch with previous guests

After implementing new rates and introducing specials and packages to your guests, your next step is to initiate communication with your prior hotel visitors. There are several possibilities to bear in mind when considering these previous guests, however. Direct communication with them, especially those who have visited during off-peak times, is one of the most straightforward techniques. 

You can also check your log book and filter out these guests. Send them an enticing email outlining the latest deals and activities and, in the message, offer a few different discount vouchers to encourage repeat business. Even if previous customers don’t show up, you may gain new ones by word of mouth if you offer them a discount and encourage them to bring a friend.

Rent out unused spaces

Sometimes luck isn’t on your side, or people don’t want to go outside for whatever reason. This might owe to a busy season or last-minute work before the holidays. In these cases, as a last resort, you can rent excess space to college students, start-ups, or hobbyists to keep the place running. Similarly, you can start making money by renting out your yard for events like weddings and birthday parties and renting out your pool to non-visitors.

Staying afloat during uncertain times

It’s not unusual to see your bookings go down between the holidays, and as long as it’s temporary, it’s certainly nothing to be alarmed about. However, if your property is remaining slow during peak travel time, then it could mean that there’s something else at play. Looking into hotel revenue management services can help you get to the bottom of why your RevPAR is so low, allowing you to maximize your profits with minimal effort. 

In this highly competitive industry, it’s essential to take all necessary measures to help stave off slower period slumps. However, if you implement even a few of these recommendations, you may enjoy ongoing bookings even during the slowest of times. And in turn, these off-seasons may soon seem like a distant memory – all while you enjoy a steady income stream and an endless line of satisfied guests for the months and years to come.

Tags: bookings during slower months, digital marketing, exclusive events, previous guests, pricing structure


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