Traditionally for boutique hotels, weekends are reliably busy, but the in-between days can be a quiet time.
Increasing midweek occupancy is one of the most persistent challenges faced by hoteliers. To address this issue, a great starting point is trying to see your hotel through your guests' eyes.
One sure way to boost your luxury hotel occupancy is empathising with your guests' requirements.
Putting yourself in their boots will help you to devise a strategy which leads to an understanding of how they are most likely to book with you and also puts you ahead of the competition.
All unused rooms represent lost revenue. As we know, filling rooms midweek is especially difficult so we have put together a list of six effective and easy to implement tips which can help you to increase hotel room occupancy.
1. Target the right midweek audience
Marketing for midweek hotel guests is different. Ideally you should target an audience based on the geography and focus on those within a radius of 250km or 2-3 hours driving.
If you have profiles of regular guests you already know, identify the ones most likely to book a midweek stay. This could be retirees, local residents, frequent travelers and professionals. Use personalised offers and messaging for these people.
Collaborating with local tourist attractions, events and advertising to newspapers and websites where your target audience is most present will promote midweek breaks.
2. Create and promote special packages
After finding your target audience, you can start designing exclusive packages which appeal to this specific audience.
Different guests expect different experiences.
To create an unbeatable offer, base your package designs on what your research tells you about your audiences’ age, cultural background, income, and profession. Even the smallest nuance can make a difference in take up from your target group.
You can also use these packages to maintain your room rates with offers which add value to a guest’s stay at your hotel. For example, if your hotel has additional services like spa treatments, fitness classes or fine dining, devise imaginative packages to create a dreamy stay at your hotel.
3. Share a catchy hashtag or hold a contest
Social media is the perfect platform to run a competition or share a catchy hashtag. The prize would be a midweek stay and the aim is getting new and returning guests to visit your hotel.
What is the benefit of giving away a free room?
•It’s budget marketing during a period of low occupancy
•Guests are most likely going to order F&B and take advantage of other services the hotel offers
•Winners may convert to a longer stay
•New guests will be in your database for future marketing
Consider encouraging your guests to extend their weekend stay and make a special offer such as stay three more days and pay for two.
4. Take advantage of local events
Plenty of events happen during the working week - business conferences, music concerts, shopping experiences and exhibitions.
Attendees will appreciate it if you reach out to them directly and offer a special offer. You could also hold an event at your hotel like an art show, yoga retreat, poetry reading or wedding event.
5. Work with influencers
The perfect time to focus on PR and marketing is midweek and low-occupancy periods.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to offer a free stay to a lifestyle journalist or travel blogger.
Not only it will provide great brand exposure, but a positive article or online review can also bring significant long-term value to your hotel.
6. Provide Rooms for a Local Company
If you have a company nearby which is expanding or building new premises, they will often have contractors who go home for the weekend.
Pitch your hotel as their home from home for Monday-Thursday and tie-up a deal to provide midweek rooms at a mutually beneficial rate.
Consider low-occupancy periods as an opportunity to do creative hotel marketing and to interact with regular guests.
You have the time and resources to offer a particularly memorable guest experience.
These six ways to increase hotel room occupancy are as effective as they are practical.