|How to Make All of Them Sleep With Us.|
By Roland Wildberg ~ Weekly Exclusive - Views On The Latest Trends
Saturday, 17th August 2013
The most expensive hotel room is an empty one – and thus yield management was invented.
The occupancy rate can still be the holy grail of each general manager. In our industry, rarely so much is lied about and feared than this in itself simple number, which so many business targets, career plans and investor fortunes depend on dramatically. Suitably, all over the web more ore less dubious charlatans and alchemists offer their services, providing miraculous medicine to increase the occupancy rate.
We fed the search engine only three times, and the head is buzzing from the top-secret yield-management algorithms and consulting seminars, where the last nuggets of wisdom about the sale of hotel beds will be whispered towards you. The cheapest start at 600 Dollars US. Per day. Nowadays everything has to be a science, as yield management must not be missing in the dance. But is this true?
As usual, we do not intend to lean out from our presidential suite's window too far - but we have collected a few load increase tips that we pass on without any algorithm and no seminar fees (you may donate a few bucks of course!).
As a general rule: Find the right distribution partner for online marketing – but which one is the one? Worldwide, there are more than 200 of such platforms, providing more or less service, thematic focus, emphasis on defined target markets. Between 5 and 25% increase in utilization should be possible.
But you may also effectively rule the thing yourself:
1. Clothes make the man: New furniture can increase usage by up to 9%. If the old facility was already more than ten years in use (Yes, such thing do occur!), increases by 500% have been measured (from 0 to 5 guests?). We do not conceal that this tip comes from a special supplier for hotel furniture. Anyway, the survey sounds plausible.
2. Make yourself comfortable: Spa and wellness facilities make a hotel more attractive – of course they must fit naturally to the orientation of the property. Some Austrian resort hotels did register 20% utilization-plus after they had opened a spacious Spa area. What pays in addition: Wellness can significantly extend the season of a destination.
3. Use or preferredly develop yourself a subscription card: In Switzerland recently, there are several competing card systems have copied from the "half-fare card" model of the Swiss' federal railway. Principle: Buy a card and get access to all connected Hotels on 50% discount as often as you like. The card currently costs around $100 US. The largest competitor Hotelcard.com did win at least 480 hotels in German-speaking countries as partners in the last two years. Besides, the country's federal railways and the Swiss post are subscribing corporate partners.
4. Use coupon systems: Couponing works like the card idea but is more open and thus more difficult to control. According to information of some hoteliers it is mainly efficient during the off season to fill your empty quotas. However, as a tool for addressing new customer groups, couponing seems to be less appropriate, because the percentage of bargain hunters is apparently very high. By the way, which is essential for users from both subscription card or couponing: Let it never feel these guests that they are only budget bookers, treat them as preferred as celebrities!
5. Dress yourself up: Focusing on a specific topic spontaneously sounds like a dead end, but in reality it is a liberation. Admittedly, only the success stories are reported frequently. As well as a 4-star hotel in Hamburg, which is located directly vis-a-vis from the Zoo and its set up is completely like a Safari Lodge. In the opening year of 2009, a occupancy rate by 73% was communicated. There seems to be strong demand for wildlife in city centers.
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Roland Wildberg is Travel Writer and Correspondent based in Berlin, Germany. He started as an Editor for the National daily 'Die Welt' (tourism section), later on switched to a freelanced career and nowadays mainly publishes on the Web. Observing the hospitality industry always has fascinated him as it looks like the perfect combination of sleeping and writing – work-live-balance as its best.
Roland also heads the annual 4Hoteliers ITB Berlin news micro-site journalist and video/photo teams. For more info: www.4Hoteliers.com/itb.
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