Regular occupancy is crucial to the success of a hotel, which is why inconsistency can prove stressful for hoteliers. For most hotels, weekends are reliably busy, but midweek occupancy is typically much less steady. All those unused rooms represent a lot of lost revenue, but booking rooms on a Tuesday or a Wednesday can be difficult. So, how do you increase bookings on slow nights? Here are some strategies you should consider if you want to see a boost in midweek occupancy.
Dive Into Your Guest Profiles
The regular guests you already know are the easiest ones to reach. If you have in-depth profiles of past guests, identify the ones most likely to book a midweek stay—retirees, professionals, regional residents and frequent travellers. Reach out to these guests with personalized offers and messaging. They are the most likely to commit to a stay, and the outreach effort helps to cultivate long-term relationships with loyal guests.
Team Up With Local Businesses
There are lots of local businesses that would potentially want to partner with a hotel, including restaurants, realtors, wedding planners and tour operators. Also, don’t forget about all those business travellers who need a place to stay. Why not reach out to local businesses who need accomodation for out-of-town clients and employees on a regular basis? Conferences and other company events in particular offer opportunities for large midweek bookings.
Every hotel is trying to boost midweek bookings, meaning competition for guests on a Wednesday night is high. A comprehensive management system makes it easy to analyze data and see where revenue opportunities exist. Perhaps a particularly quiet period can benefit from lower rates or special deals. Alternatively, you could look at offering more value. A free meal or small gift can often provide an astonishing ROI. Whatever you do, don’t lower room rates to such an extent that you jeopardize your bottom line. Your end goal is to increase revenue, after all.
Hold a Contest
Holding a contest over social media to win a midweek stay is a way to get new and returning guests excited about visiting your property. Sure, you’re giving away a free room, but you’re generating buzz around your hotel and using a period of low occupancy as an opportunity for low-cost marketing. Plus, even if the room is free, guests are likely going to order room service, book a massage and take advantage of other services the hotel offers.
Extend Existing Stays
Instead of trying to compel people to travel midweek, encourage them to extend their weekend stays. Discounted room rates make the extension exciting while also making the hotel seem generous and guest-oriented.
Leverage Local Events
There are lots of events that happen in the middle of the week, from business conferences to music concerts. Since a number of attendees are likely to be travelling, they will appreciate a hotel that reaches out to them directly and offers a special deal. If there is no event to piggyback on, consider holding one at the hotel—perhaps an art show, yoga retreat or speaking event.
Use These Times for PR and Marketing
Low-occupancy periods are a great time to focus on PR and marketing. Why not offer a free stay to a lifestyle journalist or blogger if you’ve got empty rooms anyway? The cost of this sort of exercise is minimal, yet it can provide some great exposure. A great article or online review can drive significant business.
Occupancy midweek may never be as high as it is on a Saturday night, but with an active effort, it’s possible to boost guest numbers significantly. You’re probably not going to fill your hotel every Tuesday and Wednesday, but that’s okay. Think of low occupancy as an opportunity to do some creative marketing and reach out to regular guests. When things are slow, you’ve got the time and resources needed to offer a particularly memorable guest experience.
RoomKeyPMS empowers hoteliers to manage occupancy effectively and control bookings with confidence. Enjoy a bustling and vibrant property every night by contacting our team today.
Photo Credits: Shutterstock / Jacob Lund