increasing hotel occupancy during low season

Every hotelier loves peak season—influx of guests, high demand, and easy to achieve full hotel occupancy. The thing is, when there’s an upside, there’s also a downside. Hoteliers like you probably know that the season you all love will have to change eventually as it does every year. So come low season, you will see a low occupancy report in hotels after struggling to increase the occupancy rates. Seasonality is the difficult reality that every hotelier has to deal with yearly.

This is what we hope to change. In this article, we will help you overcome the worst of seasonality with these tried and tested strategies that will increase your hotel occupancy rates even during off-peak season.

How to Increase Hotel Occupancy in Low Season

  1. Increase repeat guests
  2. Jalankan program loyalitas hotel
  3. Organize events
  4. Offer discounts and special promotions
  5. Maximize unused spaces
  6. Use email marketing
  7. Manage your online reputation
  8. Set an off-season pricing

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Factors Affecting Hotel Occupancy Rates

Seasonality is a major factor in any business but it is the hotel industry that is usually most affected by this. There are three main season categories: peak season, midseason, and low season. Each season poses different demands and expectations due to various factors such as the weather changes, holidays, events, travel habits, and in today’s case, a pandemic. So, it is important for hoteliers to understand seasonality in order to run operations efficiently.

Beat the Low Occupancy Rate During Off-Peak Season

Here are some ways to increase hotel occupancy rates during low season:

1. Increase repeat guests

Generating sales from new customers plays a huge role in the success of your hotel but the real profit comes from keeping them. When you have repeat guests, your hotel revenues can skyrocket. In a New York Times article, Senior Vice President for Marketing at Preferred Hotel Group Casey Ueberroth said that the loyal, engaged guest is driving large amounts of revenue. He added that 10 to 15% of companies make up as much as 60% of the revenue.

Repeat guests are hotel guests that stay in the same hotel several times because they like the rooms, services, and they are loyal to it. This type of guest is one of your best marketing assets. While new customers are valuable, it is still important to note that your repeat hotel guests are the ones who will speak your name to all their friends, family, and colleagues, that in the long run, will give the biggest impact on your hotel’s growth.

If you want to ace this part, the best time to win repeat guests is during the peak season because you get the maximum number of guests, giving you an opportunity to attract these people to stay at your hotel for their next trip. 

2. Run hotel loyalty programs

Having loyalty programs is among the best approaches to increase repeat guests at your hotel. People like to receive free stuff and want to get things that are important to them. You can give them a loyalty card that they can use for their repeat visits. Through the loyalty programs, your repeat guests can get exclusive discounts, privileges, upgrades and more, when they book your hotel repeatedly. With a hotel loyalty program, there is a high possibility that you will entice guests to book their next stay at your hotel because you are showing that you value their trust and are more than willing to make the guest experience worthwhile. And such loyalty programs can increase your hotel occupancy even during an off-peak season. 

Harus baca: 7 Cara Strategis Meningkatkan Loyalitas Tamu Hotel Yang Akan Membantu Memaksimalkan Pendapatan

3. Organize events

If there’s one definite thing that has always been a good driver of revenue for hotels during the low season, it’s events. By organizing events like festivals, concerts, holiday parties, marathons, seminars, or entertainment, you will attract customers. Events give you a chance to upsell extra services of your hotel such as rooms, spa and massages, restaurant services, and more.

You can also tie up with local government agencies or businesses that are organizing business seminars or workshops. Business events are conducted with many guests and consequently, they are very profitable as they would book multiple rooms at a time. 

4. Offer discounts and special promotions

If you love discounts, then your guests probably love that, too ‘cause who doesn’t really? The idea of discounts and good deals will definitely entice people to book your hotel, especially last-minute travelers looking for amazing deals online. Your special promotions can be like:

  • Long stays for lower rates
  • Book 2 nights and get 1 night free
  • 10% discount for those who share your promotional campaign on social media

There are lots of ways to craft special promotions that will increase your bookings in the low season. 

5. Maximize unused spaces

One of the best ways to earn during off-peak season is to utilize the unused spaces in your hotel. This doesn’t necessarily mean the setup is permanent, but make the most of your unused spaces to earn a side income while your occupancy rates are low. 

If you have a garden, offer it as a venue for weddings, parties, or yoga sessions. Your restaurant area can serve as a venue for special occasions, make use of it. If you have a hall, offer it for those organizing dance classes or workshops. Or, use your reception area or a hotel room as a co-working space for those who are looking to work in a nice place with a stable internet connection. 

Utilizing such spaces at your hotel will add a lot of value to your property, and of course, a side income that you will earn. 

6. Use email marketing

Email marketing is the strategy used to promote your products and services through email and it’s a good strategy to attract guests during low season. According to Statista, the number of global e-mail users amounted to four billion in 2020 and is set to grow to 4.6 billion users in 2025. Therefore, email marketing is one of the most powerful hotel digital marketing strategies as it does not only boost customer retention but also helps you to acquire new customers and increase their spending, resulting in generating more revenue.

When you write your newsletters, make sure to highlight the facilities of your hotel that you think will make them book fast. Plus, promote your special discounts and packages to entice them even more.

7. Manage your online reputation

Hotel online reviews play a very important role in driving occupancy as guests usually choose a hotel based on reviews. For you to be the chosen one, make sure that your online reputation is good. And if ever there are negative reviews about your hotel, respond to it ASAP and in a polite way (We’ve created a guide on how you should respond to negative hotel reviews online here: Got Bad Hotel Reviews You Feel You Didn’t Deserve? Here’s What to Do About it)

8. Set an off-season pricing

The biggest struggle of hoteliers during low season is filling the rooms due to the low occupancy rates. Most often than not, hoteliers tend to offer low rates (sometimes the lowest ever) to attract travelers to the point that your revenue is like a grain of rice hardly noticeable. Do this right by using a reliable Revenue Management Solution (RMS) like ZEN eManager Express that features a dynamic pricing strategy to help hoteliers like you set the best rates at the right time for the right season and for the right guest.

Artikel yang disarankan: Dynamic Pricing for Hotels: The Fastest & Smartest Way To Increase Revenue

In the hotel industry, dynamic pricing is a revenue management technique of tweaking room prices dynamically based on consumer demands, competitor pricing, seasonality, current occupancy rate, and other external factors. Currently, most of the dynamic pricing is done automatically using a smart pricing engine, instead of human intervention, as dynamic pricing requires extensive analysis of an immense amount of data points within a very short period of time. 

With so many dynamic pricing systems available for hotels, finding the right one that offers everything you could ask for can be a struggle. With ZEN eManager Express, consider your job done as we help you to increase revenue with the best price in the market.

ZEN eManager Express features AI-backed intelligent pricing, real-time automated updates, and in-depth analytics for performance review. Save time and stop losing money. Leave the most crucial aspect of your hotel to be handled by experts in the industry. Let ZEN help you bounce back and increase your revenue. Book your free appointment now at https://www.zen-hs.com/book-a-meeting/.

Pertanyaan yang Sering Diajukan Tentang Hotel Occupancy Rates During Low Season in Hotel Industry

Q: What are the factors affecting hotel occupancy rates?
A: Seasonality is a major factor in any business but it is the hotel industry that is usually most affected by this. There are three main season categories: peak season, midseason, and low season. Each season poses different demands and expectations due to various factors such as the weather changes, holidays, events, travel habits, and in today’s case, a pandemic. So, it is important for hoteliers to understand seasonality in order to run operations efficiently.

Q: How to increase hotel occupancy in low season?
A: Here are some ways to increase hotel occupancy rates during low season:

  • Increase repeat guests
  • Jalankan program loyalitas hotel
  • Organize events
  • Offer discounts and special promotions
  • Maximize unused spaces
  • Use email marketing
  • Manage your online reputation
  • Set an off-season pricing

Q: When is the hotel low season?
A: The hotel low season depends on your location. In the Philippines, the peak season is from November to May while the low season is from June to August.

Article by Cielo Fernando

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