This year promises some very exciting revenue opportunities for the travel industry. The U.S. market alone is forecasted to grow 5% this year, which will put the industry on track to hit a record-breaking $370 billion by the year’s end. Much of that extra revenue will hit the books when the weather is warm, kids are out of school and the travel bug is biting—that is, during the peak season. It’s the season hoteliers spend all year planning for, and it’s just around the corner.
The peak hospitality season is loaded with potential, but success is not a given. In fact, with all the accommodation options out there for travellers these days, competition has never been higher, so hotels need to make an extra effort to ensure they’re turning travellers into guests. This all starts with marketing, and the sooner you get started implementing strategic campaigns, the better.
Sell the Destination
In most cases, travellers want to stay in your hotel in order to enjoy everything around it. In order to draw in first-time guests, highlight events and attractions that are close by in addition to the property itself. For instance, if there’s a great summer festival taking place in the area or a popular amusement park nearby, tie these into your campaign. Leveraging the local allure is an easy way for hotels to enhance their own appeal.
Mine Guest Data
Some travellers choose to return to the same destinations over and over, which means past guests may be likely to return this peak season. Dive into your guest data to identify target travellers, then send them marketing offers based on their known needs and wants. This is also a great opportunity to introduce upsell offers, because travellers who have visited you before may be motivated to try a different or more enhanced experience than they had the time before. Using a PMS that collects guest data across properties is a great way to ensure you’re tailoring the experience to each and every guest.
Make an Attention-Grabbing Pitch
Since this is the peak season for most hotels, competition is fierce between properties. In order to stand out in crowded tourist markets, hotels must offer travellers true value. This means competitive room rates, an appealing loyalty program, added amenities and services or enticing group packages. Making this value the focus of your marketing helps draw in travellers considering many hotels at once.
Highlight Health and Wellness
The hospitality industry is evolving away from a focus on indulgence and towards a focus on health and wellness. Peak season travellers want to relax and unwind, but they don’t necessarily want to stop their diet or fitness routine. Use marketing materials to emphasize the healthy options and amenities available to guests, such as the fitness centre and in-house yoga classes, as well as the healthy food options offered in your restaurants.
Focus on Families
Summer is the most logical time to travel with kids, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy on parents. Hotels that offer activities and entertainment for kids and ample ways to make life easier for mom and dad are more likely to attract families. Highlight these options in your marketing, and consider expanding how you appeal to the young and old alike during the peak season.
Put a Spotlight on Service
Summer travel is exciting, but making reservations, navigating check-ins, finding transportation and meals, and other factors all create stress for travellers. Peak season marketing should be enticing, but it should be helpful as well. Ultimately, your goal is to help facilitate a seamless vacation from beginning to end—so let potential guests know that your team is ready and waiting to assist with restaurant recommendations and bookings, public transportation information and anything else they may need. By positioning yourself as the local experts, you make yourself invaluable to guests.
Peak hospitality season has plenty of short-term revenue potential, but there are long-term opportunities as well. Start with an irresistible marketing campaign, but once you get guests through the door, you still need to wow them if you’re going to retain their business and have them recommend you to friends. In this way, consider your marketing as setting the stage—but the main attraction will be offering your guests an incredible experience, each and every time.
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