The holiday season is underway, but the travel industry’s busiest season has slowed down due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, some customers are planning small, safe getaways for the remainder of the year and into 2021, and hoteliers have been targeting them with creative enhancements and promotions to drive more sales for the end of 2020.
Here are five offers we’ve seen that can help drive bookings for your hotel:
With people locked up in their homes since March, both adults and kids are very much itching to get out of their homes. With the holidays approaching and families having to make the difficult decision to celebrate virtually, hotels are taking this as an opportunity to make their holiday as special as it can be. With staycations up four times in September 2020 from September 2019, hotels are expecting those numbers to rise as COVID continues and travel is restricted.
Some clever offers that some hotels are offering include partnerships with local car rental companies. As consumers plan to make the drive to local destinations like ski resorts or hotels near lakes or beaches, they’ve opted for car rentals instead of putting the miles on their own vehicles. Hotels have also been partnering with car rentals for special vacation promotions, as well as with local ski resorts or COVID-safe attractions to offer bundled deals.
2. Quiet destinations and escapes
Looking a bit deeper into staycations, a recent study found that the younger generation is looking for more of an experience rather than just a rest from work. These young men and women are looking for hotels near them that offer these ski and stay packages, ocean or lakefront extended stay deals, and places that are getting them outside and active. These travelers are looking for quieter, more bucket list-worthy destinations. 43% of travelers have winter trips planned — with nearly half (44%) traveling to beach destinations and 24% to more remote ski spots.
With that being said, hotels should be looking at restructuring their advertising to this demographic. Make your specials and offers very clear on your website and use social media to your advantage to advertise to these destination seekers. Showcase the perks that your hotel offers or the destinations that are nearby that you’ve created partnerships for. In addition, offer them an incentive to book with your hotel.
3. Work from home holidays
In addition to the staycations and the quiet bucket list destinations for when you’re off for the holidays, we can’t forget about those who want to enjoy the holidays while still tuning into work, or even beyond the holidays into early 2021. Many hotels are getting creative with their work from deals, offering complimentary high-speed wifi that even extends to the hotel so you can work while you play. Some hotels are even partnering with fitness companies like Peloton, providing customers a personal bike in their room to use in-between meetings!
The River Terrace Inn in Napa, Calif., offers professionals the best work-cation. Their WFH packages include an indoor or outdoor remote office setup with complimentary high-speed wifi; all-day coffee, tea, and green juice for energy; and a pair of cocktails and appetizers at the on-site eatery, ALBA, which has an outdoor terrace with and fire pits. You’ll also receive two $25 gift cards to explore wine country: one for the venerable Gott’s Roadside so that you can escape the “office” for lunch, and one for Model Bakery for a midday snack. The best part? For a small additional fee, you can bring your dog along for the trip!
4. Child care and remote learning assistance
Are you a parent trying to juggle your job and your kids’ remote learning? Some hotels have been offering extended stay packages that include all the necessary things for your remote job, but go a step further to help with your kids’ online class time. Some hotels offer tutors, while others offer entire packages that will take your kids on a field trip (safely) for the day.
For example, The Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island in Florida has partnered with the Reef Institute to offer a five day, four-night Barrier Island Ecology Field Trip Package. In addition, to continue to help families with school-aged children, they also offer study rooms for kids to learn without distractions and remain connected to virtual learning resources with high-speed wireless internet. This is a nice change of pace and scenery for families who have been both working and learning from home since March, giving everyone a chance to escape while still staying on pace with your new daily schedule.
5. Group sales business can still happen safely
While all hotels have quickly switched gears to advertise to the staycation, remote learning, remote workers, and road trip groups, there are some offers out there that are still advertising to the small group corporate groups. Some companies are still interested in planning to have smaller in-person meetings.
The W Fort Lauderdale Buy Four, Get the Floor promotion allows guests (up to six per suite) to book four of the hotel’s beautiful two-bedroom residential suites. At that point, the hotel will block off the rest of the floor, which cuts down on a tremendous amount of interactions with other guests. This encourages a safer environment for smaller groups to get together in person. Hotels could promote this same offer to families that are trying to get together for the holidays while staying safe.
More resources for hotels
We want to help hospitality businesses have a successful reopening so we’ve taken the lessons we’ve learned from customers and the industry, and created a new Events Industry Handbook. This handbook, The Guide to Reopening Your Hotel, includes hotel-focused tips and sections on safety, technology, contracts, social and corporate events and trends, group sale packages, catering, offers, marketing, and more.
We hope this advice allows your restaurant or venue to put everything you need in place for reopening, adapt to our new normal, and continue to grow your revenue during this unprecedented time. Download the guide below.