“How can I maximise occupancy rates coming into low season?”. That’s the eternal question for any property owner who wants to maintain steady business during off-peak periods. In this blog post, we suggest ways you can plan for low season in order to boost occupancy and increase revenue.
Check last year’s data and set business benchmarks
When it comes to filling your rooms in low season, it’s important to analyse your property’s historical occupancy, revenue flow and year-to-date (YTD) growth to determine which days or weeks you’re likely to experience low occupancy.
That way, you can plan your pricing strategy more effectively and allocate the marketing budget needed to boost your occupancy.
Increase your marketing efforts to increase bookings
Heading into low season is the ideal time to step up hotel marketing initiatives. Once you establish the days or weeks you’re expecting low occupancy, you’ll know exactly when you need to increase your visibility in order to bring in more bookings.
You can attract more guests in a variety of ways, such as:
- Inspiring travellers on social media
- Boosting your website traffic through SEO or SEM
- Engaging potential guests with a blog
Just remember to customise your content and messaging for low season. For example, if your property is in a skiing destination that doesn’t have snow in low season, develop your hotel website content to promote hiking or local cuisine instead.
Add special rates, deals or packages to spark interest
People travelling to seasonal destinations during low season often do so because they want to get more value for money (on flights, for example). You can appeal to these potential guests by creating and promoting special rates, such as a ‘3 nights for the price of 2’ deal.
You could also use email marketing to increase guest loyalty and encourage repeat bookings. How about offering a low-season discount or ‘quiet-time’ package to past guests who stayed during peak season? This could entice them to come back and experience your property (and destination) in a different light.
Think local to boost domestic bookings
While you naturally want to bring in bookings from all corners of the globe, don’t forget that ‘staycations’ have been one of 2018’s top travel trends – a third of all travellers were planning on taking a holiday closer to home this year.
This means you need to think local and appeal to guests from your own country, who may be looking to book a quick weekend getaway or simply want to discover the wonderful destinations on their doorstep.
You could explore the possibility of linking up with tourism boards, businesses and event organisers in your local area. By partnering up and cross-promoting each other’s respective services, everyone stands to increase their revenue.
As you can see, low season doesn’t have to mean a lull in your business. There are plenty of ways you can boost occupancy rates, increase bookings, maximise revenue – and keep the highs of peak season going even longer.