How Hotels can beat the Off Season Blues
Traffic to leisure destination vary from month to month and is traditionally classified into Season – Festive Peak Season & Off Season. Seasons are determined by the number of travellers visiting a destination during a specific period. During off-season the number of travellers comes down so there is a case of more supply and less demand. A typical strategy is to lower the prices but this may not always work as the competitive hotels may follow the same. So what next?
Here are some Top 10 hacks a Hotelier can work to Beat the Off-Season Blues.
- A big mistake Hotelier do is making off-season strategies in off-season. Prepare for Off-season during peak season by building reward programmes for your existing customers and inviting them to spend a second stay at a much lower price offered exclusively to loyal customers.
- Hotel website is your live brochure and so you should keep updating your website with new Amenities, Off-season specific In-house Activities, Offers, Promo Codes and Packages.
- Be proactive to queries and leads from agents or direct customers. The front office staff should react promptly to enquiries over emails and calls. Respond to all leads in a professional way and improve your chances of conversion.
- During off-season even Online & Offline travel distributors are relatively free so build rapport with them. Ensure content on all OTAs are updated with off-season rates and offers. Work closely with OTAs and offer secret deals, buy 2 room nights and gets one room night free, margin of extra 5% on last minute bookings and more. Make sure weekly OTA audit is done.
- For weekend destination, segregate weekends – if your traditional weekend is Fri-Sat, you may note that during low season – you can boost up revenue by offering week day deals on Friday specifically.
- Create a flexible cancellation policy during the off-season. The more flexibility you offer to the guests, the more likely your Hotel will be picked by potential customers who are planning to visit your place.
- One should identify the competitors and do a Daily Comp-Set analysis and fluctuate the prices offering best value for money in your destination.
- Work on your Content and be more active on social media to communicate why off-season is still a good time to come to your destination or your hotel considering value for money. Create effective communication strategy and use social media as well eMailers to reach far and wide.
- Fewer guests & more staff means more personalised service so work on getting more and more positive reviews. This not only helps in off season but you will be ready to take up the competition for the upcoming season. Make guest your brand ambassadors. Nothing can be better than your guest marketing your off season for you.
- Get a good CRM in place and record important dates- anniversary- birthdays etc and engage with your guests. Your Hotel should be on the top of the mind of your existing customer.
As said you should prepare for off-season during the season time similarly off-season is good time to prepare so that a Hotelier can have bumper Season in coming months – renovate your Hotel, check all amenities and identify scope for improvements, read negative reviews received at your Hotel during the season, invest in team building, work on building a positive online reputation and meet travel partners.