At first, the idea of stay restrictions might sound counterintuitive – why limit your guest’s ability to book exactly the stay they want?

NB: This is an article from Atomize, one of our Expert Partners

But depending on your property, guest demographics and demand patterns in the market, stay restrictions can be a great way to boost your business.

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Among other things, they can drive occupancy and revenue, generate bookings on shoulder days and reduce your operation team’s workload. Bring all these points together and you’re on the way to increasing your profitability.

Read on to learn more about how you can use stay controls to achieve these benefits at your hotel.

What are stay restrictions for hotel revenue management?

Implementing stay restrictions allows you to control the types of bookings you accept for certain dates and/or rate codes.

This could mean opening some rate codes only for a limited time or during a specific season. Another option is to manage the length of stay guests can book during high- and low-demand periods. For the best results, use a combination of both approaches for different rate codes and times of the year.

Depending on which systems you use, you can set restrictions in your PMS, RMS or both. To keep them organized, choose one platform and stick with it. That way you avoid mix-ups and you’ll have an easier time keeping track of your controls.

Why restriction management is important

Stay controls have an important role in revenue management because they can help you optimize your inventory and drive business in several ways.

For one thing, they play a part in ensuring you fully sell out during high-demand times like fairs or other multi-day events. They also let you control exactly when you sell special offers to avoid leaving money on the table during peak periods. When used right, stay restrictions can even boost business on shoulder days, drive bookings during off season and increase your average length of stay.

Now, let’s look at some of the most effective types of stay controls.

Common types of stay restrictions

There are many different ways to manage arrivals and stay lengths. Which approach you use, how and when you implement it, depends heavily on your property type, guest preferences and demand patterns.

As a rule of thumb for all properties, it’s best to keep things simple and straightforward. That makes it easier to keep an overview and manage your restrictions effectively.

That being said, here are the most common types of controls and what they can do for your hotel.

Minimum length of stay

If guests want to arrive on these dates, they have to book for at least a set minimum number of nights. This works especially well during high-demand dates for several reasons.

  1. A minimum length of stay keeps rooms from going unsold over busy times, e.g. a multi-day fair. For example, if a guest only booked a stay for the first two nights of a high-demand four-day tradeshow, it would likely be hard to sell that room at your premium rate for the last two nights. But with a restriction in place, you can avoid this issue and maximize occupancy during peak period.
  2. Requiring a minimum stay length is also a way to boost shoulder days that usually see lower demand. Here, you may offer an advantageous deal for guests who tack on a night or two to make the longer stay more attractive.
  3. It increases your average length of stay which results in a lower turnover. This lightens your team’s burden since stayover rooms require less housekeeping. It also means less activity at the front desk. Both of these aspects can help reduce labor costs which is good for your profitability.
  4. Finally, getting travelers to spend more time at your hotel creates new chances to build more guest loyalty. The longer they stay, the more chances you have to wow them with great service. On top of that, you have more ancillary revenue opportunities since guests who stay longer tend to spend money at your property, e.g. on F&B, the spa or laundry.

Read rest of the article at Atomize