After Labor Day with signs of fall arriving, hoteliers’ concerns have shifted to one major topic: how to handle the diminishing demand for mid-week hotel stays.
NB: This is an article from Travel Media Group
A recent interview on our podcast ‘The Suite Spot’ hosted Jan Freitag, senior analyst at STR, who called this very concern “the billion-dollar question.” He cited further speculation from industry leaders that the expectation for the coming weeks is that there will be very little demand for rooms.
In this scenario, hotels typically rely on business travelers to pick up what leisure travelers are leaving behind. With business travel still at a crawl, what can hoteliers do to attract transient business travelers?
Identify the Guest Need
Your target audience might be shifting: all summer we’ve been focused on targeting leisure travelers, and now, leisure travel is dropping off. As a result, hoteliers have to shift their social media language to something else, targeting it toward brief stays. In order to capture the attention of a business transient traveler, we have to address their own individual needs as a consumer. What are some things they might be thinking about throughout the week? If they’re also a parent working from home, your potential guests may have trouble focusing around their children who are learning from home, or are too young to start school.
What are some needs the hotel might have to satisfy during the stay? High-speed wi-fi, contactless check-in and check-out, and high-quality in-room tech are just a few examples. Additionally, a robust loyalty program can attract midweek guests, as transient business travelers may frequent the same locations over the years. You can even look to current members of your loyalty program currently and reach out to them with a mass marketing email, increasing the potential for repeat visits from any recent travelers who have signed up.
Develop Content to Satisfy Guest Needs
When you establish the needs of transient business travelers in your area, the next step is to develop content that targets those needs to capture their attention. Any content made for some social platforms, such as Facebook, can be further aimed at specific age range, or toward a group that lives within your area. Since the drive-to market will be your most reliable, this should be your primary focus.
The content you develop should be informative and unique. Best practices for social media often include advice about differentiating your content to keep users engaged with what you’re posting. If you work to capture transient travelers’ needs, you can better design posts that may be the first your audience sees about your hotel.
Along the same lines of a loyalty program, developing attractive room deals or packages for your guests will help influence their decision to book with you. Hotels in Las Vegas have been advertising “work from Las Vegas” deals where room rates are reduced for mid-week visitors, with the promise of speedy Wi-Fi and comfortable beds so workers can experience the fun of being away from home with comfort to focus on what’s important during the day.
Another element you can add to a mid-week getaway would be a lunch or dinner add-on option, if you’re able to partner with restaurants in the area or if you have a restaurant on-site. Delivery has been considered a far safer option for those at home who still want to enjoy food out, as it limits contact between individuals. Offering guests the option to add lunch or dinner delivered to their room during their visit is a great way to advertise upgrades, as it helps the guest stay safe by not having to leave their room. It also gives your hotel the opportunity to partner with local restaurants to further uplift your community.
Mid-week occupancy can be a difficult market to maintain during slower months of the year, but when you pull the right strings on social media capturing guest attention becomes much simpler. However, you may not have the time to dedicate to custom, tailored posts and content – that’s where we come in. Our social media team is dedicated to helping you earn the bookings you want, no matter your audience.