If you want to ensure that you have a thriving hotel, then it’s clear that you need to respond to the current economic climate. Businesses and families are under financial pressure, which means that there tends to be a stronger focus on whether individual spending decisions offer real value for money. This is certainly true within the hotels sector and a failure to embrace change can, as a result, lead to a loss of bookings and income. It’s likely that your guests will expect more for their money and you also need to be aware of the fact that they are likely to shop around for deals, prior to making a booking. Despite this landscape, there’s clearly still room for you to sell stays at your hotel on the basis of the quality experience that you offer. You need to be sure, however, that you aren’t being seen as offering expensive stays, with little to differentiate your hotel from cheaper alternatives.
With this in mind, you may want to think about your existing pricing strategy. If you are currently achieving high occupancy rates throughout the year, then you are in a particularly fortunate position and it’s clear that you already have a sound strategy in place. Many hoteliers, however, aren’t finding things quite so easy. It’s far more typical to see hotels with plenty of empty rooms during specific periods of the year, or even at particular times of the week. If this is familiar to your own situation, then it may make sense to offer a more flexible pricing policy. Could it be feasible, for instance, to offer discounted rates at certain times, in order to increase the number of bookings that you are receiving during periods that are currently rather quiet? Don’t forget that there may be opportunities to offer special packages and to actually add to levels of income, via your restaurant, bar and other facilities. As a result, discounting of this nature can often make sound financial sense. You may also wish to think carefully about what you offer. If you currently attract a large proportion of business travellers, but see bookings fall at weekends, then could you look to do more to attract couples, families and others travelling for leisure purposes? Although it’s important that you don’t lose the key elements that appeal to your current core market of guests, there could be scope to do more, in order to broaden the appeal of the hotel.
The rise of technology is also causing some dilemmas for many hoteliers. Should you, for instance, consider offering free Wifi to hotel guests? This is an interesting area, with some hotel owners still opting to charge for such a service. There could be a feeling that installing and maintaining Wifi is expensive and that you should look to recoup the costs. Despite the logic behind this position, you do need to consider the approach that is being taken by competitors. If free Wifi is being offered elsewhere, then you may be losing customers as a result. By the same token, you may be able to gain a real competitive advantage by being the first hotel in the area to offer free Wifi to all guests. As with all decisions that you make, it’s critical to remember that there will be other implications. By offering free Wifi, for instance, you may be able to encourage some guests to stay within the confines of the hotel, where they could be tempted to spend money within the bar, restaurant or lounge. Read more
Published in: http://ehotelier.com