6 Secrets to manage hotel occupancy during slow periods
Every hotel, regardless of the size or type, experiences days, weeks or months of slow periods. Every hotel has an off season when vacancies outnumber occupancies. During these low peak periods, hotel managers lower hotel rates in order to increase the hotel occupancy, however this strategy doesn’t increase the room revenue. By lowering the room rate, it is very difficult to sell enough rooms to recover the cost. Hence, instead of reducing hotel rates during the slow periods, it is a better business strategy to offer more value to the guests by keeping the rates competitive.
Determine low occupancy periods
A ski resort would be more popular when it snows, similarly a beach destination would witness a low season during the monsoon. Hence, it’s important to keep note of which weekends, weeks and months your hotel sees a low occupancy. Study your hotel’s previous occupancy pattern to identify the times when the occupancy has been consistently low. This will help you in brainstorming with your team and planning in advance effective strategies to take care of your lean room bookings.
Piggyback on popular events
Not the entire low season needs to be low occupancy for your hotel. There is something called the ‘shoulder season’, a travel season which inspite of falling in the low occupancy period sees some travelling and occupancy. It may be due to an event like a triathlon, carnival, festival or a parade. Get in touch with the local authority or the event organizers to become the official sponsor or host hotel for the event. You might have to spend for such a collaboration, but the kind of exposure your hotel will get on their website and other marketing mediums will be worth the investment. You can also choose to offer your guests discounted tickets, a discount when they show you their ticket stub or complimentary transportation to/from the event. If you have marketing budget constraints, then explore cross-promotion opportunities. For instance, you could promote the said event on your social media or put the event banner in your reception area for free in lieu of promoting your hotel on organizer’s marketing campaigns.