The hotel industry is largely impacted by seasonality: the peak season witnesses high demand and a massive influx of guests. It is easy to achieve higher or full occupancy during these times. However, we all know that seasons change, and the peak season eventually gives way to the mid-season, followed by the low season. It is a struggle to attract guests during such off-seasons. Still, suppose you understand seasonality and know how to increase hotel revenue in the low season. In that case, you can reach maximum hotel occupancy even at this time of the year. If you know the right off-peak hotel revenue tactics, you can enjoy regular cash flow, optimum utilization of staff and facilities, and high ROI.
Understanding Low Season Dynamics
As a hotelier, it is imperative to figure out the low or off-season in your locality, especially for your hotel. Find out whether it is linked to weather, events, holidays, or a slowdown in your region’s social calendar. Sketch out your low season's start and end timings, understand its reasons, and devise the best strategy to combat it.
Seasonality is the primary deciding factor of low seasons of hotels. It mainly depends on natural reasons such as climate and temperature and institutional causes like events, holidays, travel preferences, and socioeconomic status. Here are some examples:
- If you are a ski resort owner, you will experience a downfall in the number of guests during the summer months when the snow melts away. But yes, you still attract guests who want to escape the scorching heat in other areas and enjoy the relatively cold in your locality.
- If your hotel attracts families, it will likely experience peak time during the school holidays, and the school periods in between will be the low season.
- If your hotel is located in an area that has a popular local event, then the time of the event will fetch you full occupancy, while the other months will be dull in comparison.
- Economic factors such as high unemployment and inflation can reduce travel demand and lead to low occupancy.
- Travel restrictions that we have seen during COVID-19 are major low-season contributors.
How To Increase Hotel Revenue In Low Season?
Here are a few ways to attract more guests, sell more rooms, boost occupancy, and increase hotel revenue in the low season.
Let’s take a look at each of them -
Special promotions and packages
Beat your competition in the low season by offering something new and different. In low occupancy seasons, it is not wise to stick with the usual; you need to be creative and offer the unusual. If you want to increase hotel revenue in the low season, host events and offer special promotions and packages to customers. When the holiday season is over, and you are experiencing a low influx of guests, optimize the available space by putting it out for special events, weddings, and parties. Here are some examples:
- Business/trade conferences/events
- Team-building retreats
- Spa packages
- Dining packages
- Stay packages
- Weddings and private events
Target niche markets
Begin with data mining and identify customer behavior and preferences. Communicate with your diverse customer range via emails, messages, or social media and let them know why they should opt for a stay at your property during this season. Here are the most preferred guest personas you should target!
- Millennials and GenZ - Target millennials and GenZ as they comprise more than half of the traveling population. Offer attractive discounts and packages to attract more crowds.
- Wellness travelers - Focus on customers who want to travel for mental wellness and spiritual growth rather than adventure and leisure.
- Bleisure travel - Bring in guests who can stay at your property for business and leisure.
- Older guests - People who are retired from work prefer traveling during off-seasons, so it is a great idea to target the elderly lot.
- Travelers with pets - Make your hotel pet-friendly so that you can lure guests who love to take their pets along with them on holidays.
- Families - Offer attractive family packages to welcome families with kids.
Low season is the time to beef up your marketing strategy and target the most comprehensive market segment to attain maximum occupancy.
Low season is the time to beef up your marketing strategy and target the widest market segment to attain maximum occupancy levels.
Local partnerships and events
Events are known to drive revenue when you cannot keep your rooms full. It also helps you upsell extra services like restaurants, meeting halls, spas, and gymnasium services. Organize events, parties, fairs, and exhibitions on your premises to generate more revenue.
Digital marketing and social media campaigns
Optimize your digital marketing campaigns during off-seasons to get maximum return on investment. Attract online traffic as much as possible by following these methods to increase hotel sales in the low season.
- Focus on achieving a higher place in Google Ads and search engine rankings
- Invest capital and resources in search engine marketing by buying keywords that are brand-neutral
- Launch targeted display promotional campaigns and maximize the reach of digital retargeting campaigns
Leveraging Technology and Data
With all the techniques and tactics we have learned to understand how to increase hotel revenue in the low season, it is still impossible to accurately predict a low demand in the hospitality sector. Therefore, we require an efficient system that can quickly react to such uncertain circumstances and adjust prices accordingly. Artificial Intelligence-powered Revenue Management Software (RMS) is a blessing in disguise when it comes to identifying dips in demand and rectifying rates for more sales, enhanced occupancy, and optimized revenue. It further minimizes revenue managers' operational burden so they can focus more on other business fundamentals.