With more people gearing up for travel plans this year, hotels should be getting ready to have an unbelievable year. If you run a hotel, inn or bed and breakfast, you know that summer is peak travel time, and you need to be prepared. This is the time to put changes into motion that will make your lodging more attractive than any other. Here are several ways your hotel can have the best summer ever.
Create a Sales Forecast
If you haven't created a sales forecast for the year, it's a must to see where you're headed for the season. Sales forecasting is a way to predict your future sales and where you are now in meeting or exceeding that target goal. Once your hotel has a forecast in place, you can adjust your marketing and inventory to meet those expectations. To put together an accurate sales forecast, you should have a reliable computer platform where owners, managers and marketers can all track the hotel's progress.
Up Your Advertising Game
When times are challenging, you need to up your advertising game. When times are good, you still need to be aggressive with advertising. Why? Because people need to be reminded that you're around and that you're around for good. If you're not advertising, you can bet your competition is. It's important to get your message out across several mediums. Try print, television, radio ads and publish on your social media accounts several times a week.
Tweak Your Online Presence
In the hotel business, it's imperative to improve your online presence. If you're still taking reservations by phone only, you must implement a way for visitors to book online no matter how big or small you are. Join major online booking services and train staff on how to use them. Know how to handle last-minute cancellations and market them to others as a same-day booking sale. These sites also allow you to receive guest feedback, so stay on top of reviews and always respond, even if you get a negative one.
Go Overboard With Pictures
When you promote your hotel on your website, social media or booking sites, use plenty of images. People never get tired of looking at all a hotel has to offer through colorful pictures, so post as many as you like. Make sure you're using high-quality photographs and not anything blurry or distorted. A picture is worth a thousand words, and it shows guests what amenities are included. Above all, make sure your photos are current! A guest that books a room based on an old picture might not leave you such a good review.
Cater to the Digital Nomad
More people are now working remotely than ever before, and that allows you to cater to the growing digital nomad population. Remote workers depend on reliable internet to earn their living. If your hotel's internet is subpar, you need to upgrade now. Another way to attract digital nomads is to offer them a common area with tables, desks, comfy chairs and coffee. You might even consider a long-term rental option exclusively for online workers. Once you have these options in place, promote them like crazy in your advertising campaigns.
Start a Rewards Program
One way to boost your hotel sales this summer is to start a rewards program. For example, offer a half-off discount once peak season ends. Or, give away a free fourth night when a guest books three. Your hotel is also in a unique position to partner with local businesses and attractions such as restaurants and theme parks. Agree to promote one another and give out coupons, discounts and menus to your guests. In exchange, they'll endorse your hotel and pass on your savings.
If you own a hotel, inn or bed and breakfast, make this summer the best one in recent memory. By formulating an effective sales forecast, expanding your advertising and using incentives, you'll have the busiest summer ever!