5 Helpful Tips for Increased Hotel Occupancy

The best period for your hotel is, undoubtedly, during peak seasons, when people naturally travel more. Your hotel lobby is filled with chatty guests, your staff is busy and cheerful, and your rooms are fully occupied.

But what about when this season is nearing its end? Wouldn't it be great to sustain this atmosphere and have booked rooms throughout the entire year?

The good news is, this is possible and manageable. And we're here to show you how.

In this article, we'll explore five helpful tips for increasing hotel occupancy at all times. So, keep reading to learn more.

Make It Easy to Book a Room

The tip we are starting with couldn't be more straightforward—offer your guests an easy and convenient booking process if you want to increase hotel occupancy.

When prospective guests decide to book a room with you but cannot do it easily, they will give up.

That is, they will give up booking a room at your hotel and find another nearby that allows seamless booking.

Simply, you need to enable your guests to book a room directly on your website.

If they can't find the “Book Now” button on your website, if they are redirected to third-party sites, or if you are not even taking online reservations, you will lose a lot of bookings.

Consider the example of The Brunswick on Old Orchard Beach, which missed out on a genuinely eager guest precisely for that reason.

In this TripAdvisor review, the person explained his challenges in attempting to book a room at this hotel.

Source: TripAdvisor

Not only he couldn't do it because there was no booking widget, but there were also no photos of rooms, the availability calendar, or anything that would allow him to make a booking.

Source: TripAdvisor

He was so eager to stay at this hotel that he even visited the hotel in person—twice. And yet, all his attempts were in vain.

We can only assume how many other potential guests Brunswick lost because of the same reason.

However, let this review be a stark reminder of how crucial it is to give your guests an easy and convenient way to book a room.

Since the industry statistics show that two-thirds of online travel booking sales are made directly through the hotel's website—we can safely say that the easiest and most convenient way for guests to book rooms is through your website!

Source: Stratos Jets

So, provide your guests with what they desire and give them an easy and secure booking on your website.

To achieve this, ensure you have a functional website with all the information guests need before booking.

This includes:

  • your contact information,
  • your location,
  • list of amenities,
  • prices,
  • rooms photo gallery

Moreover, it's crucial to guarantee that guests can quickly check room availability for their selected dates. So, the availability calendar should be readily accessible on your website, too.

To achieve all this, consider integrating a user-friendly booking engine directly on your website.

At WebBookingPro, we specialize in making the booking process effortless for your guests.

Our booking engine seamlessly integrates into your hotel's website and adapts to your brand colors, so guests remain on a familiar website throughout their entire booking process.

Source: Palace Suites Heritage Hotel

Furthermore, guests can see room availability and book their preferred rooms directly on your website.

Source: Palace Suites Heritage Hotel

When it comes to payments, the process is equally smooth.

By entering details into the payment form directly on your website, they will pay safely and conveniently on the spot.

Source: Palace Suites Heritage Hotel

Convenience, sense of safety, and trustworthiness—there are many benefits of direct bookings for the guests.

But you benefit from direct bookings, too, as you won’t have to pay any commission fees like you would if you managed booking through online travel agencies and other channels.

As you can see, the key to increasing your hotel's occupancy is ensuring guests can effortlessly book rooms.

Therefore, prioritize a fast, simple, and safe booking process through your website.

Adjust Your Marketing Strategy

Travelers’ needs change during the year, so using the same marketing plan all the time won't bring you the best results. That's why it's important to adjust your strategy.

To figure out how to tweak your marketing, start by identifying when your occupancy is lower than usual.

Then, put your focus on promoting special deals, highlighting your amenities that are most attractive for the season, and showcasing interesting activities in the area that guests could enjoy during those slower times.

For instance, if your place is a ski resort, you know you'll get more guests in the winter. But that doesn't mean you can't attract people during the summer.

Offer enticing deals, talk about amenities perfect for warmer weather, and let people know about exciting summer activities nearby.

Take Telluride Ski Resort in Colorado as an example.

In the summer, they bring in guests with features like ziplines, areal bridges, and a bike park and activities such as trekking, climbing, fishing, jeep tours, paddleboarding, and more.

Source: Telluride

They even organize summer camps for kids with fishing and archery activities, promoting it all on their website and social media. So, it doesn’t surprise that this resort is thriving all year long!

Now, let's look at Hartwell House in Buckinghamshire. They boast beautiful English gardens that are most attractive in bloom during spring and summer. But that doesn't stop them from attracting guests in other seasons as well.

Source: Hartwell House

During colder months, they host various events, workshops, and history tours, and have a special deal from October to March.

This deal includes a dinner allowance and a discount on spa treatments, all neatly laid out in their newsletter, "What's On at Hartwell House."

Source: Hartwell House

By offering various activities all year long adapted to the demands of different seasons and promoting them through their newsletter, website, and social media, they make sure Hartwell’s rooms are occupied at all times.

But beyond just seasonal changes, it's also useful to check for more specific downtimes. If you analyze your historical booking data, you may notice particular days when your hotel is less busy.

For example, suppose you notice that you don't have many guests on Mondays, Thursdays, and Wednesdays.

In that case, you can follow Hartwell’s solution to bring in more guests on weekdays by offering deals like a four-night stay for the price of three.

Source: Hartwell House

The key is to recognize when your hotel isn't as occupied as you want it to be. Then, create special offers, promote amenities, and highlight enjoyable activities nearby that will attract guests during times of low occupancy.

In other words, adjust your marketing strategies according to seasonal demands and witness increased hotel occupancy all year!

Manage Your Online Presence

Being online is a must today if you want to attract guests and have your rooms fully booked.

When your hotel is easily discoverable online, and potential guests can contact you with any questions, you appear much more trustworthy. And we know that people do business with brands they trust.

On top of that, if your website and social media profiles are full of inviting photos and videos of your hotel, people will be more inclined to book rooms with you.

Online presence can also help you build a good reputation, especially when you are present on platforms such as TripAdvisor and other review sites.

All these factors combined contribute to attracting more guests and increasing your hotel occupancy.

On the other hand, if you are not present online, you can miss out on prospective guests because it is highly likely that your competitors are.

So, if you don't seize the attention of potential guests online, some other hotel definitely will!

To attract guests and increase occupancy, hotels should, therefore, be present on social media, have a well-designed website, and be listed on review sites.

But the key is being active and engaging with your audience.

For instance, you can regularly share attractive photos of rooms and amenities on social media, showcase positive reviews, and interact with potential guests in the comments section.

As the general manager of Hilton Orlando, Chris Mueller, states, this can help you connect with both current and potential guests.

Illustration: WebBookingPro / Quote from Lodging Magazine

What’s more, a robust online presence can attract the attention of your target demographic, leading to increased bookings made by your ideal guests.

If you just take a quick look at Hilton Orlando’s website and Instagram account, you will see that they are doing a great job attracting their target guests.

Situated near the Universal Orlando Resort theme park, the hotel strategically targets a demographic comprising younger individuals, families seeking adventure, and enthusiasts of various themes presented at the park.

One noteworthy post on their Instagram account extends an invitation to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, located in Universal Orlando.

Source: Hilton Orlando on Instagram

The hotel goes the extra mile by offering a complimentary shuttle service to the theme park daily, capitalizing on the fact that as much as 97% of Americans are Harry Potter fans. 

This smart marketing campaign effectively invites these enthusiasts to stay at the Hilton Orlando, providing them with convenient transportation to the theme park and some extra perks there.

In addition to social media presence (and active engagement!), hotels must establish a presence on review channels and consistently respond to reviews—both positive and negative.

Expressing gratitude for positive feedback and inviting satisfied guests to return is an excellent practice for every hotel.

Equally important is addressing negative reviews. Often, negative feedback serves as a form of constructive criticism.

When you respond to such reviews politely, you acknowledge the potential for improvement and present your hotel in a positive light to other prospective guests who read these interactions.

And this can bring you more guests!

However, it's about more than just responding. Taking action based on the feedback is equally vital, and that’s our next tip on the list!

Act on Guest Reviews

Acting on guest reviews demonstrates a commitment to caring about their opinions and a genuine desire to improve your service based on the feedback received.

This approach goes a long way in the hospitality industry!

When potential guests observe a hotel's responsiveness to feedback, they become more forgiving of any shortcomings they may have experienced.

Moreover, they are more likely to consider booking again and recommending the hotel to others.

A real-world example of this impact comes from the Occidental Tamarindo Hotel in Costa Rica.

Second-time guests noticed a decline in dining service compared to their previous stay and promptly communicated their concerns to the management.

The hotel immediately took action, meeting with the guests and implementing changes by the next meal.

The positive outcome was reflected in a glowing TripAdvisor review from the satisfied and grateful guests, who even extended their stay and thus contributed to the hotel's longer occupancy.

Source: TripAdvisor

While the Occidental Tamarindo Hotel had the opportunity to enhance service while guests were still present, it's equally crucial to address reviews left on platforms like Google or TripAdvisor even after guests depart.

Regularly reading and responding to reviews is important, but the real impact comes from taking actionable steps to address criticism.

For instance, if a review points out there are not enough breakfast options for people with dietary restrictions, adjusting the menu should be your next step.

Then, after you have taken action, you can inform the reviewer of the change, update this information on the hotel's website, and share the newest improvements with the audience through social media and newsletters.

In conclusion, responding to reviews and, particularly, embracing constructive feedback from guests can significantly contribute to increased hotel occupancy and foster a sense of being heard and appreciated by your guests.

Market Your Hotel for Events

Marketing your hotel as an event space is another efficient way to boost occupancy rates.

Events often attract attendees who, in turn, book multiple rooms and use the hotel's amenities during their stay, so it's an excellent opportunity to maximize room occupancy.

To successfully market your hotel as an event venue, it's essential to identify the types of events suitable for your size and location.

For instance, if your hotel is close to a church, you can promote it as an ideal location for weddings.

Once you've determined the types of events your hotel can accommodate, create a dedicated events page on your website, like Marriott hotels did:

Source: Marriott

This page should feature compelling visuals, including photos or even virtual tours of the event space, along with comprehensive information on how individuals or organizations can book the space for an event.

Then, promote this new service through email and various social media platforms to reach a broader audience.

You can also consider partnering with event planners to enhance visibility and streamline the booking process.

For example, Hartwell House, which we mentioned previously, effectively collaborates with event organizers and wedding planners to attract more guests this way.

Source: Hartwell House

Additionally, should you opt for more corporate events, you can explore corporate partnerships and offer exclusive deals for booking events, such as business conferences, at your hotel.

This way, you can attract more corporate clients and contribute to sustained occupancy levels.

In summary, marketing your hotel as an event space is a compelling method to increase occupancy and leverage the potential of hosting various events at your establishment.

Conclusion

And there you have it—five proven tips to enhance your hotel's occupancy.

By incorporating these tried and true tips, you can bid farewell to concerns about empty rooms.

From streamlining the booking process and having a booking engine on your website to actively promoting your hotel as an event venue, each step contributes to attracting more guests all year long and increasing occupancy.

So, follow these tips diligently and revel in the vibrant atmosphere of a fully booked hotel!

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