Obtaining high hotel occupancy rates throughout the year is the first and last dream for a hotelier. Undoubtedly, you are here because you also want the same for your hotel business. But what is the right way to approach this initiative? Can you completely rely on just marketing to achieve it?
Marketing boosts your brand value and promotes direct and indirect bookings for your hotel business. But, depending solely on it might not help you increase the occupancy rate. You must implement some crucial strategies to achieve high occupancy rates for your hotel business.
This article is a collective hub of all the impactful strategies or ways to increase hotel occupancy rates. Implement them and you will have a good revenue cycle throughout the year.
Determine Your Current Occupancy Rate
Before diving into the strategies to improve your hotel occupancy rates, you must track your current occupancy status.
If you already have the required data, you can skip this section and explore the strategies. But, if you are new to the hotel business and are unaware of calculating this metric, then follow the formula:
(No. of occupied rooms / Total number of available rooms) * 100 = Occupancy percentage
It depends on you to calculate the occupancy rate based on days, weeks, months, or years.
The next step before approaching any strategy is to compare your occupancy rate with that of your competitors in the same area. Assess how much you lack behind or are ahead of your competitors in terms of occupancy rate.
Strategies to Help Achieve High Hotel Occupancy Rates
If you are not happy with your hotel’s occupancy rates, then here are some strategies for you to improve them to generate higher revenue throughout the year:
1. Amend the Marketing Efforts
When you have an extremely low demand rate, you must change the marketing approach and target different segments of customers in this period.
Suppose your mid-week demands fall, then direct your attention towards targeting weekday travelers such as business travelers, trade show attendees, conference attendees, real estate viewers, and others.
Add up room plans, offers, and discounts for each segment of customers you are targeting during a low-demand cycle. To extend the occupancy of booked guests for a few more days, you can upsell some undeniable complimentary or paid services.
2. Integrate with Distribution Channels
As a hotel business, you must partner with distribution channels to reach out to potential guests and get more bookings. It is an important initiative as being available on different platforms will help you increase the occupancy rate throughout the on- and off-demand seasons.
But to achieve success with distribution channels for higher occupancy, you must have a forecast on demand. Use revenue management tactics to assess the demand rate at the moment.
Based on that, you need to be quick on updating the price and room availability on all of the distribution channels.
It is a complex job as you have to log in to individual channel accounts and change the pricing manually. When you finish it, your competitors will probably take over your bookings. So, to speed up this process of updating prices and room availability across all channels, you must integrate a channel manager into your property management system (PMS).
Channel manager is a hotel management software that allows you to link all the distribution channels under one roof.
The benefit of integrating it is that you have to update the price for different rooms only once in the central dashboard of your channel manager. And it will automatically get updated across all the channels.
Hence, it will save you time, and your potential guests will have access to your demand-specific prices instantly. Thus, higher will be the chances for increased occupancy rate.
The best thing is that a channel manager will also update the inventory across all channels automatically and in real-time. Hence, there is no chance of overbooking your rooms and services on any date.
3. Improve Online Presence through Direct Bookings
Promoting direct bookings builds your online presence across websites, social media channels, and mobile applications.
As a result, more potential guests will prefer to check out your website than others if you can catch their attention with your upselling techniques, promotional discounts, and service incentives.
You must prepare your direct booking channels and call-to-actions with respective URLs to redirect customers directly to your website. Integrate a booking engine with your PMS, and your website will be all set to accept direct bookings from potential guests who land on it.
Spread a word on social media about any flash sale offer for customers who book rooms directly from a website or mobile application.
Add a direct booking button to the social media page to let your audience reach out to you to relate to the offer post that you just published. Use search engine optimization (SEO) to rank your website at the top of the results page whenever someone searches for hotels in your area.
The higher the rate of direct bookings, the better will be your online presence. Thus, the occupancy rate will improve within a considerable period.
Accepting bookings from your website or direct channels will help you increase the occupancy rate but will also help you earn well as you don’t have to cut down the commissions that you have to pay to the OTAs for helping you with the bookings.
4. Emphasize Repeat Guests
Guests who have chosen your hotel in the past will most likely return to you for their next stay only if they had a good stay experience. If you present your hotel services at their best at all times throughout the year, then there is no question of a negative experience for a large number of guests staying with you.
It is easier to market your business and services to the guests who have already stayed with you than those potential guests who have never heard of you. Build email lists and target each audience segment with different promotions to get their attention. You are already aware of the preferences, so you can personalize a service bundle for them.
There is a higher chance that the occupancy rate will increase with mostly your repeat guests at specific months in a year. It can be one strong practice to help you assist in increasing the occupancy rate.
AxisRooms Can Be Your Assisting Partner in Boosting High Hotel Occupancy Rates
AxisRooms offers you a combination deal on a booking engine and channel manager to help your hotel grow with proper management efforts and a high occupancy rate. Our channel manager can help you manage the availability and pricing across different OTAs or distribution channels.
Our booking engine, on the other hand, has the feasibility to help you sell rooms directly from your website and cut through the commissions of OTAs.
Our booking engine offers you an easy tax setup for invoicing purposes. In addition, we also offer the feature of creating in-depth reports on the rate of bookings and the earnings collected from your direct and indirect channels.
Based on these reports, you can assess if you have a growth in your occupancy rates through your direct and third-party channels.
Leverage the maximum potential of these software solutions along with other marketing strategies to help you with full occupancy on most days in a week or months in a year.
Your hotel’s success depends on how you market your rooms and services to lure potential guests into booking with you instead of your competitors. Work on boosting high hotel occupancy rates by adapting the strategies above.
Check out AxisRooms to get a deeper insight into what we offer for your business growth.