In the years since the hospitality industry was shuttered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector has made a significant comeback. By the end of 2022, the global tourism industry has rebounded back, and some destinations are experiencing a double digit increase in visitors.
Hotels can make the most of this strong economy by implementing the following strategies to maintain and expand their revenue.
Upgrade Booking Systems
Traditionally, hotels managed all of their reservations and guest requests through manual systems. Today, hospitality businesses of all sizes incorporate some type of digital hotel reservation system that can manage direct reservations from the company’s website and third-party booking platforms.
However, integrating all of these systems have proved problematic for the industry. Outdated systems were prone to glitches. Miscommunications led to overbooking or incomplete reservations. Older systems were also susceptible to security breaches.
Hotels can avoid this experience by constantly upgrading their booking systems and ensuring that they only work with third-party platforms with robust technology and security features.
Advanced booking systems can also integrate with revenue reporting software, and track essential indicators, such as occupancy rates and average length of stay.
Implement Smart Customer Service
Hotels should also consider infusing their customer service processes with technology. Portable smart devices have made it possible for hotels to integrate personalized WiFi services in common areas as well as guest rooms.
For example, visitors can download an app on their own device that connects to the hotel’s guest services. From their device, they can manage their booking, make room service requests, and even pay for a late check out.
Adding devices in each room also ensures that all guests can access these features. Digitizing customer service has several benefits. Firstly, hotel staff can devote more time to providing guests with a personalized experience rather than focusing on routine tasks.
A digitalized customer service system also enables hoteliers to streamline operations and automate procedures using the system’s wide range of features and tools. For example, these systems can collect guest feedback right after check-in and enable hotel workers to rectify concerns immediately.
Train the Sales Team
While third-party platforms can attract new visitors, hotels are still highly reliant on word of mouth. For this reason, a skilled sales team is important to a hotel’s continued success.
A strong sales team helps hotels increase their direct reservations and increase return visitors. Additionally, it can significantly lower the commission fees paid to third-party platforms.
Hospitality companies should invest in staff training. For example, agents should learn techniques for closing sales and have a thorough understanding of the hotel’s unique selling points.
Empowering a sales team to negotiate with prospective guests can also increase revenue. This enables sales team members to offer specialized packages that can help land deals. Team members should also be knowledgeable of the hotel’s target market and apply sales techniques accordingly.
Attract Younger Guests
Millennials and Gen Z are quickly becoming the largest cohort of business travelers. These younger customers require an environment that is favorable to remote work as well as a location where they can unwind and rejuvenate.
Successful hotels must be responsive to the wants and demands of these consumers. For example, younger travelers expect seamless and flexible experiences via digital tools. What was once considered an exceptional experience is now becoming an industry norm.
Responding to the needs of this demographic is beneficial to the hospitality sector. The industry is experiencing severe staffing shortfalls. Technology gives hotels the ability to meet the higher standards of their guests with fewer resources.
Adopt Sustainable Practices
Hotels must also adjust to the requirements and expectations of their customers as they shift toward an eco-friendly lifestyle. Hospitality businesses have several opportunities to reduce consumption and promote sustainable practices.
For example, many hotels invest in renewable energy sources, such as solar panels. Others reduce waste by offering only paperless services, or asking guests to conserve water.
Hotels should also advertise their sustainability commitments and share their progress with their guests. For example, selecting sustainable products for guest amenity kits or eco-friendly produce for the hotel restaurant.
Making the adjustments to become an eco-friendly hotel could initially be expensive, but most solutions will provide a return through increased bookings and higher rates of customer satisfaction.
Diversify Marketing Strategies
The overwhelming level of competition in the hotel marketing sector is a difficulty. It’s getting harder to stand out from the competition in order to get more bookings, especially with the rise in popularity of websites like Airbnb and HomeAway.
Hotel marketers are all too acquainted with these difficulties, but they still have to meet (and ideally surpass) their targets, which are frequently based on reservations.
Hotels must stay ahead of the curve by investing in digital marketing. This includes social media campaigns on platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
Hotels can also leverage remarketing strategies to reach out to past guests or customers with incomplete orders. Email and text messaging campaigns are effective ways to reach out to marketing lists.
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