The pandemic caused the hotel industry to falter when it started over a year ago. Research has shown that the industry may recover and reach its pre-pandemic levels in 2023. While the situation affected the entire industry, luxury hotels were among the hardest hit, with many of them closing their doors to tourists.
On the other hand, economy hotels have a better occupancy rate and will likely recover faster. Despite this, US hotels have a difficult task ahead and will have to work hard to increase their occupancy rates.
The current economic recovery has helped the industry perform better in recent months. While hotels located in urban centers continue to struggle, facilities situated in small towns and resorts have started to recover. Here are some ways hotels can increase their occupancy rates in the middle of the health crisis.
Focus on Local Travelers
Hotels can focus their marketing efforts on local travelers since people are starting to travel domestically. Many people want to travel but are wary about going out of the country due to the new variants of the virus. Hotels can change their marketing strategy to connect with this market to increase their occupancy rate. To capture this market, hotels should promote both their rooms and facilities to entice these travelers to stay a day or two. They can also offer other perks and benefits to these travelers.
Offer Special Gifts
The hotel can also give special gifts to guests once they check in. These gifts make it worthwhile for them to stay in the hotel. While they can make the gifts themselves, hotels can also subscribe to businesses that make special craft boxes designed for adults. These boxes contain stamp kits, embellishments, and ink spots that guests can use for a predesigned craft project. Aside from these pre-assembled gift items, the hotel can also add chocolates into the gifts for the guests to enjoy.
Aside from the gifts, the hotel can also offer special packages for its guests. These packages can include meals for guests when they check in. They can also offer other types of packages that the market will find appealing.
Increase In-Unit Amenities
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its mask guidelines to protect people from the Delta variant of the virus. With this, some travelers may opt to avoid shared spaces in the hotel, including the gym, spa, and pool. To allow these travelers to enjoy their stay, hotels can increase the in-unit amenities they offer for their guests.
For instance, they can deliver picnic baskets so guests will not have to join the breakfast crowd. They can also install fitness equipment in select rooms or provide guests access to online fitness classes. If the hotel has the finances, it can also build kitchenettes in the rooms for guests who prefer to prepare their food. This can reduce interaction with other people in the hotel.
Hotels should start thinking outside of the box so they can stand out in the market. They can also promote the hotel as a remote work location for people who want a change of environment in the work-from-home arrangements. They can also offer long-term room rentals for people who want to spend time away from their homes. Additionally, hotels can start membership programs for regular guests to entice them to stay longer in the hotel.
Give Discounts and Perks to Regular Guests
A membership program offering discounts and perks for regular guests is another way for hotels to increase their occupancy rates. Since people tend to look for discounts, a membership program is a good way for hotels to promote themselves and encourage people to stay. They may even provide a free night if the guests stay for at least five straight days. With this offer, hotels can expect more people to travel and stay a night or two.
Promote the Safety Measures in Place
Another important feature that hotels should promote is the safety measures they have in place. People are now conscious about their safety, and the surge in the number of cases has made them wary about traveling.
To allay the fears of travelers, hotels should advertise their cleaning and disinfecting protocols. They can also offer contactless transactions from the moment guests arrive until they check out. Hotels should make sure travelers can easily find this information on their website.
Hotels should also install hand sanitizers in the room and other areas in the facility. People will likely stay in the hotel if it offers a lower risk of getting infected by the virus.
Competition among hotels has increased after the pandemic started. So, hotels should find innovative ways to attract travelers to increase their occupancy rates during the health crisis.