9 Proven Ways to Increase Occupancy in Hotels
By Steve Green
Thursday, 21st December 2023

In today’s dynamic world, where guests are spoiled for choice and hotel supply is increasingly abundant, hoteliers must continually adapt and innovate to maintain and increase occupancy rates.

To navigate this, here are 9 ways to boost your occupancy.

1. Consider Your Other Channels
Don’t limit promotions to your brand website. Explore channels like the Global Distribution System (GDS), consortia, and work with corporate account’s secretaries. Leverage the ‘Billboard Effect’ and collaborate with online travel agencies (OTAs) to increase visibility and drive bookings.

Build relationships with local businesses, such as tour desks, event organizers and attractions, to create mutually beneficial partnerships.

2. Make Packages Relevant
Create tailored packages for your target audience. Consider creating themed packages based on local events or attractions, such as wine tasting or museum tours, or offering gas/petrol vouchers for weekend staycations for guests who live in neighboring districts or states. Monitor the performance of your packages and adjust them as needed to maximize their appeal.

3. Leverage Social Media to Drive FOMO (fear of missing out)
Harness the power of social media to create a sense of urgency and desire for your hotel. Share photos, stories, and promotions that highlight unique aspects of your property, local events, and guest experiences. Engage with your audience through comments, questions, and contests to build a loyal following and generate interest in your hotel.

4. Revenue Manage Instead of Yield Manage
Focus on revenue management rather than yield management, which means capitalizing on peak night demand to drive the shoulder nights. This might involve sacrificing some average daily rate (ADR) on the peak night but gaining longer stay bookings that drive occupancy and have higher revenue value.

5. Personalize Guest Experiences
Provide personalized experiences for your guests by leveraging data from previous stays, preferences, and feedback. Tailored services and amenities can make guests feel valued and more likely to return, boosting occupancy in the long run.

6. Grow Direct Bookings
Promote direct bookings through your website by offering exclusive benefits such as discounted rates, complimentary amenities, or loyalty program perks. Direct bookings help you build stronger relationships with your guests while avoiding OTA commissions.

7. Implement a Dynamic Pricing Strategy
Adopt a dynamic pricing strategy that adjusts room rates in real-time based on factors such as demand, competitor pricing, and market conditions. This approach helps maximize revenue and occupancy by ensuring that your hotel remains competitive and attractive to potential guests. Apply this to dynamic to discounting too. Discount the minimal amount necessary to capture the most bookings and avoid leaving money on the table.

8. Utilize Guest Reviews and Testimonials
Encourage guests to leave reviews on popular review platforms such as TripAdvisor and Google Reviews. Positive reviews can significantly impact potential guests’ decision-making process, leading to increased booking conversion. Address any negative feedback promptly, sincerely, and professionally, demonstrating your commitment to guest satisfaction.

9. Compete at the Room Type Level
Growing market share is not limited to competing your lead-in room type against your primary competitor’s lead-in room type. Consider leveraging your premium rooms to compete against higher-rated luxury competitor’s lead-in room types. Many guests would consider a 4-star hotel club room with club benefits that’s priced similar to a 5-star hotel’s basic room.

By implementing these strategies, hoteliers can increase occupancy rates even in the face of changing conditions. Adapting to the evolving travel landscape and the needs of your guests will help ensure your hotel’s long-term success.

For more information on how your hotel can grow occupancy, please visit: www.ideas.com

About Steve Green, Principal Solutions Engineer at IDeaS: As a Certified Revenue Management Executive (CRME), an HSMAI Minnesota chapter board member and president, and the recipient of the “Outstanding Sales Achievement” award from Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Steve frequently speaks at industry events and academic institutions. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism from the University of Wisconsin – Stout and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

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