Those from the hospitality industry are aware that low occupancy is one of the leading causes for poor revenue after the peak season is over. But with new technology trends, effective strategies, and automation tools, hoteliers are set to reverse the tradition.
Tips to Increase Occupancy and Bookings in Low-Season Months
- Figure Out the Peak and Off Seasons
This is one of the most crucial steps to increase occupancy and revenue in low seasons. Look at the past reports and try to figure out when your hotel sees a surge in tourists and when it is low. This will help you devise a better strategy to attract more business around the year.
Some important factors that affect visitors are;
- The location
- Special seasons and months
- The main tourist attraction in that place
- Holiday seasons
- Know Your Guests to Set the Right Target
What type of guests visit your hotel in the off-season? Dig in your guest booking history from the existing database and make a note. Once you have the data handy, group your visitors and customers based on their:
- Age group
- Visitor type—whether solo travelers, couples, families or corporate visitors
- The frequency of booking
- Offer Promotional Packages and Discounts
To avoid the rush and enjoy better deals, more visitors and tourists try for deals during off-season months. Make use of this opportunity and offer your guests exclusive package deals. You could also provide attractive offers and coupon codes for a long stay. Some common and favorite package deals many hotels offer, depending on the location and tourist attractions, include scuba diving, safari, sightseeing, spa and retreat.
- Use a Hotel Revenue Management System.
Leverage the power of automation and AI to make data-driven decisions. It is a top priority across the hospitality industry. Hotel revenue management system is one of the most popular tools among hoteliers because this eliminates the need for manual entries. Instead, a revenue management system for hotels uses artificial intelligence to automatically set dynamic pricing depending on seasonal demand, supply and competition. Revenue management for the hospitality industry uses algorithms to account for multiple external and internal factors and update room rates round the year.
- Rewards Program for Your Loyal Customers
It is one of the most effective strategies to encourage repeat bookings and visits. Create a list of frequent visitors and loyal customers and create effective rewards program to attract them. Offer special discounts for low-season bookings. It is important to realize that one rewards program does not work for all. If you have a mix of guests, say corporate visitors and families, there should be different deals to cater to their needs.
- Keep an Eye on the Competition
Discounted prices offered by the competition may lead to loss of business at your end unless you adjust prices accordingly. Keeping an eye on hotels in your area that offer similar amenities would help you decide when to offer discounted room rates and grow your hotel business.
More the difference between the old and the new prices offered, higher are the chances of attracting new customers.
- Online Travel Agents (OTAs)
OTAs connect you to customers across the world who might not be aware of your existence. They offer a level of security and comfort to travelers and inspire them to explore places they would not visit otherwise. OTAs provide a space where you can create and popularize your brand, and earn revenue during seasons when direct bookings thin out. You can also convert OTA bookings into direct ones through special services like discounted stays for future trips.
These strategies are not limited to hoteliers. Guesthouse owners, motels, hostel owners can also apply these tips to increase revenue.
Karan Iyer is an end-to-end digital marketer and blogger at Aiosell- Automated Hotel Revenue Management Software who inherently understands the hotel industry with his hospitality background. Karan knows how to convert the pain points and challenges of the hotel industry into business opportunities, and that's what he writes about for his readers. He also shares industry trends, insights and news to help his readers stay up-to-date.