We’re all asking ourselves, “what happened to 2020?!” As the hospitality industry settles into fall and starts to gear up for the holiday season, hotels and resorts are continuing to find creative ways to drive business and provide a great experience for their customers. Most hotels and resorts have included their sanitation guidelines and COVID-19 procedures prominently on their website and used this unfamiliar time to really tune into their online and social presence to stay connected with their customers and spread brand awareness.
Now that we’re moving into the change of seasons, hoteliers are continuing to look for creative ways to encourage customers to join them, enhance stays, and provide an overall exceptional experience.
We’ve searched around and found the top five unique ways hotels are driving business this fall and winter:
1. Extend your stay and save deals
Hotels sometimes offer stay longer and save deals as options when guests book rooms. These deals give travelers a percentage off their stay if they book more than three or so nights, or even a free night if they stay for a certain amount of time. During the pandemic with occupancy rates at an all-time low, more hotels are showcasing this deal under their specials/deals section of their website, hoping to encourage customers to stay a little longer with them.
One of the more unique deals we’ve come across is with our friends at Arrive Hotels. They have five locations across the United States and have found a clever way to jump on the cross-country travel that a lot of people have opted for when taking vacations this year. They’re calling this deal the Road to Arrive, offering up to 75 percent off a stay once customers visit four of their locations. If they complete it before 2021, they get a free night stay at their new location opening in Phoenix this month.
2. Utilize your space to create a seasonal destination
With the colder months approaching quickly, hotels are looking for unique ways to continue to host groups outdoors. Our favorite creative way that will not only drive business but also create a boost on social media that will have everyone talking about you are the igloos. These plastic domes are a huge money-maker for hotels with an outdoor area that is typically closed in the winter. The Envoy Hotel in Boston turns its rooftop terrace into igloo season, offering space for small groups to gather outdoors this winter, overlooking the city while staying warm.
Got a little more space? The McKittrick Hotel in New York City created a rooftop venue for winter events. The Lodge at Gallow Green is decked out as a cozy ski lodge inside, has an outdoor seating area with a fire pit, and has a special cocktail menu of winter-themed drinks.
3. Create themed offers and packages for groups
With most of the world being on lockdown and practicing social distancing measures, groups missed out on their summer 2020 travel plans. As the world begins to re-open into the new normal, continuing to practice social distancing and safe traveling, hoteliers are looking for ways to recreate the summer peak months to give their customers the experience they may have missed with some fun, themed packages. One clever offer is the full moon discounts our friends at Costanoa in Pescadero, Calif., are offering during 2020. When there’s a full moon, guests receive 50 percent off their room rate. This is a great way of offering a deal once every few months to customers to encourage them to visit and stay.
In addition to unique offers like Costanoa’s, many hoteliers are offering package deals to encourage small groups to join them with enhanced offerings. Examples of these options include spa packages and girls getaway packages complete with wine, cheese platters, room upgrades, and spa credits. Some locations are family packages that offer room upgrades and outdoor activities to keep the entire family happy and healthy.
4. Partner with your neighbors to offer deals to the locals
While you’re working to create special offers for group packages, think of ways you can help to advertise and promote your neighborhood. If there’s one thing this pandemic has taught us, it’s that we’re all in this together. Reach out to neighboring businesses and create package deals you can put together to help with cross-promotion. Partner with a local artist and create a fun-filled fall event for families, painting pumpkins or creating pieces of art outside. Offer your guests a brew package with beers from a local brewery.
In addition, many people have been stuck in their homes and are looking to get away but don’t want to go far. Staycation packages for couples and families have become a popular offer, and hotels are offering these packages at an affordable rate for local residents. An example of an amazing staycation deal is Viana Hotel & Spa in Westbury, N.Y., which includes a one night stay, a massage, a bottle of wine, a five-course dinner, and a morning breakfast buffet.
Don’t forget about your neighbors who have been working from home since March. They may need a change of scenery while the office is still closed. Hotel rooms and conference rooms booked as day offices at local hotels are becoming more popular, especially as some companies are looking for larger space to host in-person, socially distanced meetings.
5. Reward your loyal customers
This is when having an integrated CRM (customer relationship management system) will help you tremendously. We’ve seen that a lot of hoteliers have taken this slower time as an opportunity to upgrade their operating systems to create a more seamless experience for customers and their employees. When you have an integrated CRM, you can identify who your loyal customers are and where they’re coming from with just a few clicks. In addition, you’ll be able to create incredible offers to send to your loyal customers to encourage them to visit you during your off-peak months. And it can all be automated.
Understanding who your customers are and creating a loyalty program is an easy way to drive repeat business and generate new leads. Having the ability to automate your loyalty program, offering free rooms, buy-one-get-one rooms, or room upgrades/enhancements are all easy ways to secure business during your off-peak months.
It’s time to move forward and prepare for the future
I think we can all agree that we’re looking forward to ringing in the New Year and putting 2020 behind us. In the meantime, the hospitality industry will continue to think of creative ways to drive business while keeping customers and employees safe and happy. These top five ways to generate revenue have been proven by a lot of our hotel leaders and are continuing to expand daily. If you want to stay up-to-date with hospitality marketing trends, be sure to follow Tripleseat’s podcast, Two Chicks, Three Seats, or join our bi-weekly Social Hour where we discuss navigating the new normal and creative ways to drive business and stay safe!
No matter which of these tips you use, you need tools like Tripleseat to help you increase and manage the group sales that are essential for filling hotel guest rooms, booking event function spaces, growing banquet revenues, and increasing your overall revenue. Schedule a demo to learn more about Tripleseat.