How can hoteliers fill rooms without giving away too much in commissions? Read on...
- Multiply your Media
Competing with OTAs’ big names and huge marketing budgets can make it difficult to get to the top of search engine rankings, but there are other ways to generate traffic. Effective use of social media can dramatically improve occupancy rates, especially with the growing importance of millennials to the global travel market. You could also consider making an appealing and inventive YouTube video showcasing the rooms, amenities and location of your hotel, giving prospective guests a taste of the experience you offer.
- Love your location
Filling rooms can be particularly difficult outside peak seasons, but can be made easier by making the most of what your area has to offer. Local events, fairs or festivals are the perfect opportunity for related special offers and targeted advertising to entice visitors who are thinking of coming to the area. Equally, by teaming up with local businesses or restaurants to provide special offers and services you will not only get your name out to more people, but also give them an extra incentive to stay with you.
- Get to know your guests
If you know who your typical clientele are, you have a great chance of selling them your services: in particular, hosting events aimed at your target audience could allow you to sell blocks of rooms at a time. Once your guests have stayed with you once, you can look to tempt them back or get personal recommendations by using a newsletter, loyalty programme or customer referral scheme. Package deals, last-minute specials, and discounts for extended stays can all help fill rooms and keep your guests happy at the same time; even if you provide a significant discount, this could still cost you less than OTA commissions.
- Freshen up your website
Above all, the aim is to encourage guests to buy directly from you. If your website is mobile-friendly, well laid-out and easy to use, customers will be more inclined to stick with you throughout the booking process. Make sure you have calls to action and links to booking pages at every stage. Another good idea is to use a blog to freshen up your content for SEO and to draw guests in by advertising local attractions.
In particular, it’s important to build your customers’ trust and incentivise them to book through you. Transparency and ease of use are vital. One option here is Triptease's Price Check widget, which can improve direct bookings by an average of 35% by persuading your customers that they won’t find a better deal elsewhere.
Have you discovered an effective strategy to help boost occupancy? Share it by leaving a comment below!