people attending a conference reflecting desire of a hotel to increase group bookings

Group bookings for hotels can represent a goldmine, as this type of reservation maximizes profitability by drastically increasing a hotel’s occupancy rate.

NB: This is an article from Mews

Plus, the resources that are invested in acquiring a new reservation are compensated at a greater rate. Groups also often represent a good source of ancillary revenue, which we’ll discuss in detail later on. In this article, we’ll also discuss how to prepare your hotel for business groups, how this type of travel group can benefit your hotel, and the strategies you should put into action in order to attract this kind of target audience.

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How do group bookings benefit your hotel?

Group bookings are a great way of taking advantage of your marketing and distribution costs while maximizing the human resources that go into guest acquisition. Another benefit of this type of booking is the possibility to boost ancillary revenue through food and beverage, the rental of meeting and event space, and other services that they often require.

Groups – especially corporate groups – tend to book during the week when occupancy rates are lower, representing a good way to boost revenue during traditionally lower occupancy periods. In the case of families, especially intergenerational groups, the amount spent in the hotel is often greater because dining at the hotel or purchasing extra services directly from the hotel is more convenient.

How to prepare your hotel for travel or business groups

Bigger groups will require more organization and a clear description of services, which is why it’s important to prepare your hotel for this type of booking. Let’s take a look at the different steps you can take to prepare.

Choose a reservation software that can handle group bookings

For starters, make sure that you have a reservation management software that’s designed to accommodate and optimize this kind of booking. Mews’ software allows your hotel and staff to effectively manage group bookings with smart automation features like rooming lists, tentative reservations, group billing, and bulk reservation updates. Having all this information in one place is key to preparing your hotel.

Design a list of services

The key to accommodating big groups is being organized. Design a list of services that you offer, whether that be food and beverage, meeting rooms, transportation, laundry, a dedicated concierge or banqueting; all of these services will help differentiate your hotel from the competition. Having these services established allows you to upsell, boosting ancillary revenue and increasing the average spend per booking.

Make it easy

When it comes to groups, the booking process needs to be easy, both for your hotel and for those reserving. Have a simple reservation process, allowing the travel planner to book online, and then make sure your staff are prepared to offer additional support when necessary. A direct booking engine on your website is a great way to make it easy.

Get ready for feedback

Once you’ve successfully implemented a strategy and prepared your hotel to receive this kind of booking, it’s important to have the tools in place to measure the results. Invite guests to fill out satisfaction surveys, find out where you can improve, and make sure to put into practice the suggestions for improvement. Feedback will help you offer the best service possible.

Read rest of the article at Mews