6 Strategies for Increasing Your Hotel Occupancy

Increasing hotel occupancy is a critical concern for every hotel owner or manager, irrespective of the hotel's size.

After all, the number of occupied hotel rooms during all seasons shows how successfully your hotel operates. And when occupancy increases, revenue increases, too!

So, if you need help filling your hotel rooms, we're here to introduce six effective strategies to do so.

Keep reading to learn more.

Special Packages

Creating packages tailored for specific target audiences is a strategic approach for hotels aiming to boost their occupancy.

Bringing more services together and offering them as a package helps your hotel stand out in a competitive market.

What's more, packages attract more guests looking for added value—all without you having to resort to potentially profit-diminishing discounts.

And travelers love it!

According to Expedia research, guests are inclined to book packages one month in advance and are 2.6 times less likely to cancel compared to customers who book a room only.

Moreover, average daily rates (ADRs) for package stays are, on average, 30% higher than for standalone stays.

Source: WebBookingPro / Data: Hotel Online

So, you're not only ensuring that rooms are occupied but also boosting your revenue!

Now, let's explore how to create these inviting packages for your hotel.

First and foremost, consider the amenities your hotel already has.

If you have a spa on-site, why not offer a package that includes a complimentary two-hour spa session for weekly stays? This not only adds value for guests but also helps to spur demand during periods when your occupancy is less than ideal.

Additionally, it would be wise to cater to diverse guest preferences. So, think about offering packages tailored to various demographics, such as families, business travelers, or couples.

For inspiration, let's explore a few examples.

Hotel Norge by Scandic in Bergen, for instance, offers "The Famcation" deal, providing families with extra room for children at a reduced rate.

Source: Scandic Hotels

Such offers aren’t just a win for families—they’re a win for the hotel, too. The perception of being family-friendly, coupled with a great deal, increases demand and ensures more rooms are occupied.

Scandic also has a spa area, so they offer wellness packages, like complimentary 2-hour access to Strandpark Wellness when booking a room for two.

Source: Scandic Hotels

Meanwhile, Falkensteiner Hotels skillfully capitalize on their golf course amenities by promoting packages with free green passes for daily golf.

It’s an irresistible offer for golf enthusiasts, leaving no doubt that this is the hotel they want to book.

Source: Falkensteiner

The key to boosting occupancy is understanding your target guests. Once you've identified them and their needs and desires, you can leverage your unique services and amenities to craft packages that speak directly to them.

As you start promoting these packages, you'll position your hotel as the top choice and ensure guests feel they are getting the most out of their stay.

Before you know it, your hotel rooms will be booked at all times.

Promoting Your Amenities

In today's travel landscape, amenities are crucial in attracting guests.

Whether it's Wi-Fi access, complimentary toiletries, flexible check-in, parking, or more specific offerings like room service, a swimming pool, or an on-site restaurant, amenities often act as deal-breakers for guests when choosing a hotel.

Expedia Group's report underlines this trend, also revealing that approximately 70% of guests are willing to pay extra for hotels with their favorite amenities.

Illustration: WebBookingPro / Data: Expedia Group

Therefore, actively promoting your amenities is essential to attract guests and, in turn, elevate your hotel occupancy.

But to know which amenities to promote, you should first do some research.

Start by observing which amenities are popular and when they are frequently used.

For instance, if your on-site pool sees less use in the summer due to proximity to the sea, highlight it as an appealing off-season alternative and promote it with inviting photos on social media.

Moreover, check your reviews, as they can indicate which amenities your guests love the most. Then, use this to your advantage by promoting standout amenities through various channels like your website, social media, and emails.

Take Weekapaug Inn in Rhode Island, for instance, whose well-promoted Pooch Program, complemented by excellent reviews, consistently attracts guests seeking a pet-friendly stay.

They actively promote this program, which includes dog sitting, and special dog amenities.

Source: Weekapaug Inn on Instagram

When a prospective guest who has a dog notices this Inn and reads great reviews that confirm how pet-friendly they are, it is without a doubt that this is the place where they are booking a room next!

Source: TripAdvisor

Reviews also serve as valuable insights into less-popular amenities.

Once you know which amenities are not so favored by your guests, you can bundle these less-utilized offerings into special packages to enhance their appeal and potentially transform them into favored choices.

One more thing. Think about the sustainability aspect of your amenities, and whether you can emphasize it. Sustainability is gaining significance as travelers are growing more environmentally conscious.

Booking.com's latest sustainable travel report indicates that 65% of travelers feel better about staying in an accommodation with a sustainable certification or label.

So, promoting your eco-friendly amenities is a great way to capture the attention of such travelers.

Even if you didn’t focus on that aspect before, there are many simple things you can do.

For example, you can start by replacing small plastic shampoo and soap single-use bottles with full-sized ones as InterContinental Kuala Lumpur Hotel did—and show it on social media.

Source: InterContinental Kuala Lumpur on Instagram

Promoting such eco-friendly initiatives can set your hotel apart and resonate with conscious travelers.

All in all, when you have some great hotel amenities, not promoting them actively would be a missed opportunity to increase your hotel occupancy!

Dynamic Pricing

Demand for hotels changes continuously, influenced by seasonality, holidays, special events, and economic factors.

That's why implementing a dynamic pricing strategy and adjusting rates according to demand is crucial for every hotel that wants to increase its occupancy.

Guests naturally expect lower prices when planning vacations in the low season. And for you, offering discounted rates is still preferable to having empty rooms but still having to pay bills.

On the other hand, during high seasons, when demand is high, increasing prices makes perfect sense. Customers are well aware that prices tend to spike around holidays, yet the demand persists.

Just take a look at this year's Deloitte holiday survey. It shows that almost half of Americans plan to travel between Thanksgiving and mid-January, with 56% opting for hotel stays despite higher prices.

Illustration: WebBookingPro / Data: Deloitte

However, manually managing all these constant price changes is impractical and resource-intensive.

Moreover, manual processes are inherently more prone to human errors.

Consider a scenario where you mistakenly publish too low rates because you forgot to add the last digit. If prospective guests notice such rates before you fix them, they will most likely book those rooms.

That means you will have to put more effort into attempting to resolve the mistake, and guests will definitely not be happy when you tell them what happened.

Luckily, software solutions exist to automate this task, allowing hoteliers to focus on other crucial aspects of their business and preventing such mistakes.

This is precisely why, at WebBookingPro, we developed the Revenue Manager feature.

Our Revenue Manager monitors demand and automatically adjusts room prices to optimize occupancy.

This smart dynamic pricing strategy enables hotels to command higher prices during periods of high demand while offering savvy deals during low occupancy times.

Source: WebBookingPro

Wondering how this is possible?

The real-time technology measures vital parameters of demand and occupancy to calculate optimal prices.

All you need to do is set up if-then triggers, such as ultra-last-minute pricing or price adjustments after cancellations or reservations, and our tool does the rest.

Since it integrates with Booking Engine, Google, and Channel Manager, the updated price is visible across all channels without you manually changing it.

In essence, if you aim to boost hotel occupancy, dynamic pricing, powered by technology, is the savvy way forward.

Reaching Out to Repeat Guests

Concentrating efforts on guests who have previously chosen your hotel is another valuable strategy for increasing occupancy rates.

When guests return repeatedly, it signifies excellence in aspects like location, amenities, and service—or all of it combined.

Such guests are easier to market to, so they are also likely to extend their stays beyond initial plans, come back more often, or even upgrade and pay more for your services.

Turning your guests into loyal customers is advantageous for one more reason—they are more prone to give word-of-mouth recommendations to friends and family.

Did you know that 92% of global consumers take recommendations from friends and family more seriously than all other forms of advertising?

Illustration: WebBookingPro / Data: Nielsen

Therefore, when loyal guests recommend your hotel, you have the potential to attract more visitors and fill even more rooms.

So, what actions can you take to turn this into your hotel's reality?

You should reach out to repeat guests through personalized emails and offer loyalty packages, especially during low occupancy seasons.

Or consider the example of Karisma Hotels & Resorts, who go a step further by designing a comprehensive program for returning guests.

They provide returning guests with enticing perks like early check-in, late check-out, aromatherapy kits, personalized welcome amenities, and more.

Source: Karisma Hotels

They invite repeat guests to fill out a form on their website, allowing them to choose their preferred room type and add specific comments. This approach creates a highly personalized experience for guests.

With this program, the hotel demonstrates a genuine appreciation for loyal guests and a commitment to going the extra mile for their satisfaction.

In turn, such efforts can significantly increase room occupancy, creating a positive cycle of satisfied repeat guests and always occupied rooms.

Staff Training

Having friendly and competent hotel staff is essential for creating a positive guest experience and increasing the occupancy rate.

From housekeeping staff, who make sure beds are perfectly tucked in when guests arrive, and helpful receptionists who can answer any questions guests may have, to friendly servers in your hotel's restaurant—all these individuals contribute to making your guests feel welcomed and well taken care of.

When guests feel this way, they are more likely to return. But they are also more likely to write positive reviews that will encourage others to book a room.

Below is one example of such a review that Hotel Palazzo from Poreč, Croatia received.

Source: TripAdvisor

This extremely satisfied guest was, more than anything else, happy with this hotel's staff.

From the restaurant's chef and receptionist to the room staff, everyone did an excellent job making them satisfied and eager to return.

Isn't this every hotel's wish (and goal), after all?

So, how can you ensure that your staff also gets such positive feedback?

The key is to train your staff and educate them on how to communicate with different types of guests and solve problems effectively.

What's more, they should be well-versed in the hotel's facilities, services, and local attractions so they can be as helpful as possible to guests. You can achieve this by having regular workshops.

Such staff will be able to provide better customer service and efficiently upsell additional services or room upgrades, which positively impacts the hotel's occupancy rate.

And the last thing you shouldn't forget—give your staff a bit of praise when you receive positive feedback. It will go a long way in making them feel appreciated, and they will perform their jobs better.

Your guests will notice it, too!

Partnering Up with Local Businesses

Creating strong relationships with local businesses is a great way to cross-promote services and increase hotel occupancy.

When you partner with local businesses, you gain two advantages: you tap into their customer base, and you offer your guests something unique and local.

This aligns with travelers' preferences as 75% of them seek authentic experiences representative of the local culture.

Illustration: WebBookingPro / Data: Booking.com

Meeting this demand has never been easier, given the numerous possibilities in what the industry terms partnership marketing.

For instance, collaborating with local event organizers allows you to promote local events to hotel guests. In turn, organizers can encourage attendees to book rooms at your hotel.

This relationship benefits both sides by tapping into each other's customer base.

Moreover, if you collaborate with a local museum or gallery, you can create packages with discounted or free tickets for guests who book rooms for multiple nights.

Hotel Fanat in Split does something similar by partnering with Krka National Park. Guests who stay five or more nights receive a free ticket during the preseason and postseason.

Source: Hotel Fanat

This enticing deal leverages the popularity of Krka National Park, which is conveniently located near Split.

Another effective strategy is partnering with local restaurants, especially if your hotel lacks an on-site restaurant.

And if the partnered restaurant offers local and traditional cuisine, it caters to the majority of travelers seeking authentic experiences through food.

This is particularly relevant given Hilton's 2024 trends report, indicating that 86% of travelers are interested in consuming local and regional cuisine.

So, teaming up with local restaurants to create special offers and packages with dinner discounts could be the ideal approach to attract more guests to book a room in your hotel!

Conclusion

Boosting hotel occupancy is a primary concern for every hotel, especially given the competitive nature of the hospitality industry.

However, enticing guests with special offers and packages, promoting your amenities, tweaking your pricing according to seasons, and reaching out to repeat guests can make increasing hotel occupancy a piece of cake—especially in the low season.

And when you add partnering with local businesses and staff training to the picture, guests will keep coming, and your hotel rooms will constantly be occupied!

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