No matter how good their marketing strategy is, every hotel has to go through a low season at least once a year. The problem is that the hotel management still needs to pay the bills, not to mention the monthly payroll.
Low season is a common challenge for most businesses in the hotel and hospitality industry in general. The revenue loss could hit hard and force hoteliers to let some people go or even close the doors until the following season. That’s why it’s essential to look for proven ways to increase hotel revenues in low seasons.
Thanks to a modern approach and cutting-edge technologies, hotels can generate new revenue streams even when the hotel occupancy rate is below average. But before we give you the actionable tips, let’s see how to determine when the low season starts.
How to identify low season periods
While there is no doubt that seasonality affects hotels, there is still no particular theory on measuring tourism seasonality. However, the main seasonality factors include:
- The climate (some places are not attractive in the offseason)
- Institutional patterns (calendar, industrial, and school holidays)
- Special events and attractive packages
You can’t measure tourism seasonality in general, but you can do it for your hotel. You should regularly generate reports in your Hotel Management Software and look at hotel occupancy rates as it will help you quickly identify patterns in room demand. When you are going down the occupancy rate curve, the chances are that you are entering a low period of the season.
Advanced Hotel Management Software can also help you forecast your off-peak months. It can be essential for your preparation phase. You will be able to do proper revenue management, decide which strategies you’ll choose when the low season hits, and have a budget ready to finance the plan for the low season.
Five proven ways to increase hotel revenues in a low season
During the low season, you cannot generate sales, your occupancy rates plummet, and your hotel marketing strategy generates no new leads. How do you survive these periods? How do you boost hotel revenue during a low season?
To help you out, we’ve put together a list of 5 proven ways to increase hotel revenues in the low season.
Generate additional revenue streams.
Sometimes it is best to focus on converting your existing guests into buying more from what your hotel has to offer. With state-of-the-art tools such as UpStay, you will be able to automate this process and convert up to 20% of your guests to spend more money on additional ancillaries and room upgrades.
UpStay is one of those tools that offer a lot to the hotel industry regarding incremental revenue. It can increase the value of each one of your guests and help you navigate easily during the low season.
Improve hotel marketing.
The offseason demands a different approach to hotel marketing. You need to change your strategy and extend its scope. If you are less experienced, you can outsource it to companies like Bezla, specializing in hotel digital marketing.
The offseason hotel marketing strategy should focus on reaching more people to potentially increase the revenue. In addition, you can use paid ads on search engines and social media platforms.
Diversify your offer.
When it comes to examples of strategies to increase hotel revenue in the low season, offering diversification is something you should consider. Furthermore, you can make your hotel more attractive if you custom-tailor your offer for specific guest profiles.
Your strategy will depend on your target customers. There are plenty of local businesses you can reach out to and ask them for discounts and special packages you can offer to your guests. The low season also affects them, and you will have more chances to form meaningful and long-lasting partnerships during this time.
Consider targeting wider demographics.
Every hotel has its ideal target guests. You probably know it yourself only by looking at the guest demographics during the peak season. However, during the low season, you should adopt a different mindset. Your hotel can be a place people from all segments of demographics can find useful.
To target broader demographics, you will need to offer more amenities and services. You have plenty of options ranging from hosting corporate events to turning your hotel pet-friendly. You simply can’t be too selective, but you have to be smart when adding services and amenities. You have to take customer trends, needs, and behavior into consideration when doing so.
Keep front desk, restaurant, and bar staff in the loop.
Don’t forget that your front desk, restaurant, and bar staff also carry out part of your revenue-generating strategies. They shouldn’t only be informed about your plans but truly kept in the loop. What does it mean?
You should invest in staff training to get them ready for the low season. Their skill to successfully upsell premium products, upgrades, and packages is of vital importance.
Consider using stay restrictions.
According to HospitalityNet, finding a balance in the “length of stay management” can help you improve occupancy rates even during the low season. “Length of stay management” encompasses critical decisions:
- Closed to arrival dates
- Closed to departure dates
- The maximum length of stay
- The minimum length of stay
To choose the best strategy for your hotel during the low season, you should consider your target guest expectations and avoid restrictions that can potentially frustrate them.
Things to avoid: seasonal pricing or not
When it comes to things to avoid, there is only one thing that you should consider. The BCG report reveals that seasonal and progressive pricing is definitely a trend in the hotel industry. Therefore, you should follow the trend and implement a seasonal pricing strategy.
However, you should never cut your prices too low just to stay competitive. It will poorly reflect on your reputation, and the revenue you’ll generate will be far from enough to keep you in the game.
The proven ways to increase hotel revenues in the low season we’ve shared with you will help you customize your strategy and thwart revenue loss. The hotel industry and customer trends are pretty dynamic. Diversifying your approach and using the latest technologies will help you forecast low seasons and make the most out of resources.
Graduated from Standford University, Arielle has over 5 years of experience in the Hospitality industry. She holds an MBA in business administration from the IDC Herzliya, Israel. She currently works as Account Manager at UpStay, building and maintaining strong, long-lasting customer relationships. She is deeply passionate about helping hoteliers unlock significant new revenue streams from unsold premium inventory.