Johan Forsberg, Revenue Director, Gothia Towers

Seven revenue management tactics to get your hotel through the crisis

Alexandra Fjällman

As you probably experienced firsthand, the pandemic had a powerful impact on the hospitality industry, especially on revenue managers. Of course, the show must go on even while revenue management’s role in the hotel is changing. It’s a challenge to know which revenue management tactics to focus on, which will give you the best return on investment.

The points below should give you ideas for how to bring sales, marketing and revenue teams closer together. As a result, you can increase your hotel’s exposure, capture rate and profitability. 

 

Optimize your OTA presence 

– an important revenue management tactic to increase your reach

Especially now, OTAs are a powerful tool to broaden your exposure and get in front of your target audience. 

Always keep your profile and images updated to include the latest changes. Add your venues’ new opening times, your updated hygiene procedures or highlight renovations you did during the lockdown. 

Consider joining OTA promotions or offering flash sales all while keeping yielding opportunities in mind. Carefully monitor your performance and close out room types as needed to yield on other channels. 

Reach targeted markets by listing your hotel on niche OTAs that match your offering (e.g. boutique, adults-only, family-friendly, eco-hotel, etc.) and OTAs that are popular in neighboring countries. 

 

Reach new audiences

– by leveraging your digital presence

Optimize your hotel website to rank well for searches from neighboring countries and queries specific to your unique selling point or niche. You can use a VPN to see your ranking abroad and browse incognito to see how you rank. 

Leverage deal distribution platforms to get featured in magazines, newspapers and on travel platforms. This will boost both your online and offline visibility. Contrary to what some marketers may have you believe; offline marketing is not dead!

Finally, try new metasearch options and see if that brings your more traffic and direct bookings. 

 

Niche down

– adjust your market positioning

What sets your hotel apart from the competition? What do your guests appreciate most about your property? Now is the time to leverage your unique selling points (USP) to better attract niche markets. A revenue management tactic that helps you to adjust and find a more suitable positioning in the market for your property.

Here’s an example: Families enjoy spending holidays with their children at your property. 

Attract even more couples with children by offering unique family packages and experiences. Think fun in-room camping adventures, movie night (complete with a wall projector and popcorn) or outdoor activities like a bonfire with s’mores. 

The better you can serve specific niches, the more you’ll stand out to them and gain their business. 

 

Value and flexibility

-instead of dropping rates

A revenue management tactic that will increase the perceived value by throwing in cool extras. This could include early/late check-in/-out, dinner, and wine, champagne in the room, or anything else your guests would appreciate. 

Get people to stay longer with ‘pay three, stay four nights’ offers, and encourage in-house spend with upselling and cross-selling. This will protect your ADR and the ancillary spend will offset the “free” night in your promotion. 

When upselling and even while marketing your hotel, highlight offerings that people value more these days. That includes healthy dining options, wellness facilities or your property’s secluded location. 

Lastly, offer more flexible booking policies and encourage guests to postpone trips rather than cancel if their plans change. This can give you a leg up with potential guests and on OTAs platforms like Google Hotels Ads and Google Travel. The latter recently added a ‘free cancellation only’ filter, so searchers can find flexible booking options more easily. 

 

Push for more direct bookings

Getting direct bookings is always important because they increase your bottom line. Especially now that every penny counts, direct bookings should be high on your list. 

Encourage guests to book directly by offering incentives on your website. What type of perk works best depends on your target market. Families will enjoy F&B vouchers while business travelers may be more interested in flexible check-in and check-out options. Perhaps you can even make entire packages and promotions available uniquely on your site to increase conversion rates. 

Keeping your rates in parity is another important step to getting more direct business. Ensure you don’t offer cheaper public rates on OTAs, so you don’t lose bookings to these channels. Use a business intelligence tool to monitor your OTA rates, since it can be difficult to keep an eye on them all yourself. 

 

Leverage data and revenue insights for all decisions

Live market data from your revenue management tools are more valuable than ever. 

Get the most current market changes and update rates immediately to ensure the best results. Use an automated RMS to help you make the most of even the smallest market developments. 

By letting a powerful tool like Atomize handle your day-to-day pricing, you can take advantage of every revenue-generating opportunity as it pops up. The system tests different price points, evaluates future arrival dates, price sensitivity, comp set information, and several other factors to respond to demand changes in real time. 

Whenever you can, leverage tools to save time on collecting and collating data. That way you can focus on interpreting the information and making well thought out decisions. 

 

Plan your rates for the year ahead

You may be busy putting out fires around you now but keep the future in mind as well. Set and upload your rates for 2021 as early as possible. 

Even if nothing is 100% certain (especially in terms of fairs), make your hotel available for individual and group travelers. This will help you start filling your rooms and give you something to work with for next year. 

When setting rates, keep in mind that demand may be lower than in previous years, especially for business hotels. Depending on your situation, start with lower rates. Then use your RMS to yield closer to the arrival date. 

Implementing the action points above at your hotel will help you guide your property through this crisis and get it ready for an ever more competitive and dynamic future. 

Get in touch with us now to see how Atomize can help you face these challenges head-on.

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