As the pandemic rolls on, many hotels have had to adapt to a changing business mix.
NB: This is an article from WebRezPro
Corporate hotels shifted their focus to leisure travelers, while resorts that catered largely to international guests were suddenly dependent on domestic travelers. For properties that have been able to pivot, the ability to diversify their offerings to meet their evolving market has strengthened their position going forward.
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As travel regains momentum, another trend we’re seeing is increased demand for extended-stay accommodation.
The rise in extended stays (bookings from a couple of weeks to a few months in length) is in part due to an increase in remote working, which has brought about a new era of digital nomads combining work and life and travel. Relocating students and workers also drive the extended-stay segment as travelers seek a temporary home-away-from-home without being tied to a long-term lease, while they look for permanent housing. Extended-stay hotels are also becoming a popular choice among vacationing families looking for homier, more affordable accommodation that allows them to stay in their own bubble.
Extended stays are a golden opportunity for hotels. Keep reading to find out why and how to welcome extended-stay guests to your property.
The extended-stay advantage
Extended-stay bookings are an efficient and lucrative source of revenue. While ADR (Average Daily Rate) for extended stays is lower than short-term stays, the value of longer stays is greater because of higher revenue per booking (including ancillary revenue) and lower operational costs due to reduced front-desk and housekeeping requirements. Longer stays are more efficient because they maximize room occupancy while reducing operational pressure and costly gaps between bookings. And, due to their reasons for traveling, extended-stay guests are less likely to cancel too.
If you can, incorporating the extended-stay segment into your business can help stabilize revenue during these still uncertain times and in the future.
Catering to extended-stay guests
Certain amenities and conveniences are more important to extended-stay travelers than transient guests. Make sure your property is equipped to offer extended-stay guests what they need when considering expanding your business mix to include extended-stay bookings.
Property features and amenities
Guests staying for a longer period of time seek accommodation that provides the comforts of home. In addition to standard hotel amenities, certain in-room features are particularly important to extended-stay guests, including kitchen facilities, separate sleeping and living areas, and a comfortable work space.
These days, all guests (whether staying long-term or short-term, for business or leisure) expect excellent Wi-Fi, but consider taking that a step further for extended-stay guests by offering in-room casting that allows guests to stream their own content on the guestroom TV for a real at-home comfort experience.
Beyond the guest room, laundry facilities or services are essential for extended-stay guests, and those traveling for work (or working while traveling) may require meeting rooms. Long-term guests will want to keep up with their fitness routines too. If your property doesn’t have a fitness center, there are other ways to help your guests stay fit such as partnering with a nearby gym to offer guests discounted gym access, or providing in-room fitness equipment (think yoga mats, hand weights, resistance bands or even an exercise bike!).
Extended-stay guests tend to appreciate social spaces that nurture a sense of community with other guests and locals. If your property has the space to provide communal areas for work and/or study or just for relaxing and mingling, think about how those spaces (both indoor and outdoor) can be made comfortable and inviting. Air flow, furniture placement, plants, refreshments and background music are all important elements of a welcoming communal space.
In addition to home comforts and conveniences, extended-stay hotels offer travelers more affordable accommodation with discounted pricing based on the length of stay. Hotels can do this because lower guest turnover means guaranteed occupancy and lower operational costs as housekeeping frequency is reduced and fewer staff are required. The reduced operational costs of a longer stay can therefore be passed on to the guest without eating into hotel profits for a win-win situation.
To manage extended-stay reservations effectively, you’ll need a flexible property management system (PMS) that accommodates extended-stay rates and billing, and includes helpful features such as a monthly calendar view, LOS reporting and custom booking policies that make managing extended stays easy.