Blog Series – Part 1 of 4
Seasonality changes can be tough to manage if you do not have a well thought out action plan. What we often see during the low season is hotels aggressively decreasing their rates, creating a price war. There is no doubt that price is the main factor in the customer decision during low season solely due to the fact that there is often so much available to choose from with decent prices.
However, Hotel Revenue Managers can put some actions in place. This will ensure that your hotel revenue does not suffer in low season, rather thrive in increased revenue!
In this blog series, we will guide you through a number of strategies that can help you push your hotel bookings ahead of the market during seasonal fluctuations.
In part 1 of the blog series, we will discuss Distribution by Season.
Does your hotel go with the same distribution plan throughout the year or do you diversify your strategy to fit the seasonality of the market?
Here are a few tips on how you can make the most of your seasonal distribution plans.
- Review your Channels – Review in detail the performance of each of your online channels. Dive into this data by having a close look at monthly performance details both for stays and for reservations. Do all of your channels perform the same each month or do you notice an increase or decrease in any channels. This is not only beneficial for the low season, but for all seasons. Talk to your market managers to see what you can do about optimizing your seasonal performance. Hotels are often uninformed about the possibilities out there.
- Analyze your Source Markets – Dive deep into your feeder markets to see where the guests are coming from for each season. Do you see a trend here? If so, do targeted offers to those particular markets or find local distributors specialising in those markets.
Take for example the winter months of December, January & February that tend to be low season for most European Hotels. Well, this happens to be summer in South America, therefore see what you can do about driving customers from these destinations to your hotel. Remember your plan must be well thought and executed in advance in order to be successful.
- Keep a tab on your Booking Window – Have a look at the booking window per each season and take that a step further by looking into the booking window by channel and by feeder market. Have a look at what channels are performing best in terms of ADR and LOS and push to get more reservations from these channels. You might find some interesting data here in order to create a well thought out strategy.
- Focus on high LOS guests – Consider doing LOS related offers. Leisure travellers tend to stay longer than the typical business traveller, therefore, entice travellers to stay at your property by offering discounts for longer stays or value adds such as breakfast for stays of 3+ nights. This can be particularly helpful during weekends and holiday periods where you do not have demand from business related customers.
- Team up with Flash Sale Partners – To drive business for your distressed inventory teaming up with flash sales partners is a good strategy to take. Flash sales partners can drive incremental business for your hotel. Of course, this is going to be discounted business, but it´s also a terrific way to build a solid business base. Consider offers during weekends and holiday/summer periods and ensure that you launch well in advance to target your desired stay dates.
- Lastly, know your competitor’s distribution strategy – Find out if your competition is working with any distribution partners that you are not and understand what kinds of offers they are pushing out in the market. Having a reliable price intelligence tool is essential to ensure you understand your positioning in the market 365 days/year.
Once you consider the above points, you are on your way to creating your seasonal distribution strategy. Remember, plan well in advance and consistently review it on a monthly basis to ensure that you are reaching your desired objectives. If executed properly and in a timely fashion, the end result will leave you in a comfortable situation to ensure you stay ahead of the game during seasonal changes. Hotels are increasingly adopting Comprehensive Revenue Management Solutions for managing all their Hotel Revenue Management Challenges
Keep a tab on this space for the second part of this series, in which we will be discussing – How you can maximize your room type sales for each season.