By: David Knight
How to Boost Your Low Season Occupancy Rate
The low season can make or break your hotel, particularly if you’re operating on less than ideal profit margins. Combine the low season with months of the year that require significant maintenance e.g. during harsh winter months, and what you’ll get is a significant dip in revenue. In other words, it’ll be a DISASTER!
A highly experienced property manager who carefully plans ahead and applies the tips and tricks featured below will help your hotel still become profitable even during the slow season:
When’s Your Low Season?
You have to figure out which months are less busy for your hotel. Is it during winter e.g. if your hotel is located by the beach or near the beach? Is it slower when school starts e.g. if your property targets families who go on vacation? Do the off-peak months happen once a holiday or event has passed e.g. if your hotel is located in an area that gets busy during an event like Coachella? After you’ve figured out which months are low season, that’s the only time you’ll be able to start coming up with a good plan.
Know Who To Target
It’s important to know your customers. This means doing your research on the customers you get during peak season AND your customers during slow season. You have to know which customers to target even before off-peak months come, for your plan to work. You have to market your hotel to the right customers after all, so by the time those less busy months come, you’ll notice that enough rooms were booked in your hotel, because you targeted the right people!
For example, if you’re worried about the winter months, target people who love winter sports, or businessmen who still need to attend conferences even when it’s winter. How about having your hotel decorated for Christmas, complete with a big fireplace where people can keep warm during winter while sipping their hot cocoas, and hiring someone to play Santa Claus for guests with kids? There’s a lot of options when you really think about it, that could make your hotel’s off-peak season busier and more profitable.
Come Up With Promotions for the Low Season
As a hotel owner, you may not want to lower your room rates just to boost the hotel occupancy rate during off-peak months. You have to think this way though: it’s better to have most if not all of your rooms occupied, than have most rooms empty or unused. You can still earn revenue by offering discounts that meet certain conditions like:
*Discounts only applying to rooms booked for 3 consecutive days or more.
*Only rooms booked within a specific date range are eligible for the discount.
*Just 1 or two room types are eligible for the off-season promotion.
If your last low season was a disaster, don’t fret. As discussed in this article, there are several strategies that can help boost your hotel’s occupancy rate even when during off-season months. Our team at Hogan Hospitality Group can give you more advice on how to slow season work for your hotel! We also offer other services that enable hoteliers to become successful in the hospitality industry.