Most accommodation businesses are seasonal and experience a “low demand” period, where business slows down and your occupancy drops. Many accommodation providers consider this a threat or daunting time, although this can be considered a threat it should also be considered an opportunity. With a little creative thinking and planning low season could be a thing of the past!
Discounts for repeat guests
All accommodation providers should be talking to their past guests, it’s very important to leverage of your database in low season. A Fantastic way to encourage past guest to stay at your property is of course with a discount. It’s advisable to contact your past guest once a month via email, this email should be catchy, informative and most importantly incentivise them to book again. Offering past guests discount in low season is a great way to fill out rooms and the great thing about it is you don’t need to discount much… 10% or 20% is more then enough to encourage guests to stay again (you pay more than that to OTS’s in commission).
Differentiate from your hotel competitors
The key to success is to make your property stand out to prospective guests, this can be done in many ways e.g. complementary late check-out, free breakfast, welcome drink on arrival, there are endless possibilities. Adjusting your price according to demand and market conditions will also be of value here, it’s important not to get into a price-war with your competition however, it is essential to stay competitive in a competitive market.
Upselling is an essential part of any business not just the accommodation industry, its important to incrementally increase the customers spend in low season, you want to be getting the most out of your customers.
Having Extras on your booking engine is a fantastic way to do this, customers don’t feel overwhelmed with choices as they have already made their room decision – it’s just a simple upgrade to what they have already purchased.
To affectively increase revenue in low season its absolutely essential to yield manage your rates according to supply and demand and time to expiry! Accommodation providers should be monitoring their rates and availability multiple times a day to affectively compete in low season and increase revenue – However, this in it’s self can be a full-time job.
Lucky, Allotz Autopilot has developed a fully automated yield management engine that adjusts rates automatically according to supply, demand and time to expiry. What this means is small to medium accommodation providers who don’t have a revenue management team at their disposal can now affectively compete in the competitive yield management market!