Your hotel’s occupancy rate directly corresponds to your revenue stream, but that’s not all. If you consistently have high occupancy rates, you’ll not only be bringing in consistent revenue – you’ll also build your hotel’s reputation as a sought-after place to stay in your area.
So, do you know your hotel occupancy rate? This metric can be calculated by finding percentage of rooms in your hotel that are occupied at a given time. If your hotel has 250 rooms, and 170 of them are occupied right now, your current hotel occupancy is 68%. Understanding your average hotel occupancy at different times can help you in developing a winning sales and marketing strategy for your hotel. For example, let’s say that your hotel typically has an occupancy rate of 72% on weekends in June. This year, however, you noticed that the second weekend in June, you were at 78%. Was it just a fluke? Perhaps, but it’s more likely that there was an event or some other circumstance driving increased bookings. With a little research, you may find that your increased occupancy was due to people traveling for a new event – one that will be repeated annually. Armed with this information, you can market to these travelers next year to take advantage of this opportunity.
It’s also a best practice to have a solid understanding of local, national, and international occupancy rates to get a clear picture of where you stand in your market – and to gauge performance across the hospitality industry as well. For example, while high occupancy rates are ideal, we must keep recent circumstances in mind. According to a report from Amadeus, global occupancy rates in 2021 were around 46%, up from their lowest recent rate of 13% in April 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, hotel occupancy rates in the U.S. are expected to reach 63.4% this year. You can gain some insight into your hotel’s performance when you compare your occupancy rates against industry rates.
Of course, simply understanding your hotel occupancy rate is not enough. Let’s discuss a few of the most effective ways to increase occupancy and bring in more revenue throughout the year:
- Target corporate clients and local partners
- Cater to conferences, conventions, and local events
- Customize your guest experience
- Offer strategic incentives for off-season stays
Target corporate clients and local partners
While weekends tend to be busy, mid-week occupancy rates can often be less impressive. You can make headway in this area by targeting corporate travel guests. Market your hotel’s convenience and amenities to corporations headquartered nearby. Whether they regularly entertain clients in the area or they have remote employees coming in for work, these businesses can be a critical source to increase your weekday occupancy rates.
Cater to conferences, conventions, and local events
Along the same lines, do some research on local events, conferences, and conventions. Marketing your hotel as a conference center and/or partnering to event organizers can be a great way to increase occupancy. If your hotel has one or more ballrooms or large conference rooms, you have the capacity to host events, which will help you increase bookings and bring in more income. Even if you don’t have the space or facilities to host a conference, you can still position your hotel as a solid choice to accommodate overflow attendees.
Customize your guest experience
How do you stand out from competing hotels in your area? Offering a more streamlined, tailored guest experience will encourage guests to choose your hotel over the competition. A few high-ROI ways to do this include:
- Offering mobile check-in and Digital Keys so guests can skip the line at the front desk.
- Leveraging your CRM to provide a more personalized experience for repeat guests.
- Providing personalized in-room amenities, such as smart TVs with their favorite streaming services, smart thermostats set to their preferred settings, etc.
Fine-tuning your guest experience to best serve your core guest demographics will leave a lasting impression. Repeat travelers will remember that you supplied the amenities and convenience they craved, and they’ll be more likely to book with you on future trips.
Offer strategic incentives for off-season stays
During the off-season or on days in the week when your occupancy dips, you may be tempted to deeply discount your room rates. We caution against this, as it can hurt your margins if you cut room prices too low. You want to ensure that you’re still charging enough for each room to cover costs and increase revenue. However, you can include incentives that increase value for your guests without undercutting your ROI. As an example, you might offer complimentary spa services, a free meal at your hotel’s restaurant, or free early check-in.
You can also leverage partnerships with local service providers. They’re looking for ways to increase off-season business as well, so why not work together? You might put together a package that includes discounts or specials to local restaurants, venues, and events. These likely won’t cost you anything beyond the cost of marketing to your guests and prospects, and they can go a long way to increasing your off-season occupancy.
In Conclusion: Use occupancy rates to improve hotel revenue
Hotel occupancy is one of the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your hotel during any given season, month, or even for a particular day of the week. With these strategies, you can improve occupancy and increase repeat visits to increase revenue. As you consider your options for partnering with local organizations, renting your space for events and conventions, and targeting corporate clients, remember that a world-class guest experience will always improve your bottom line.
Attracting new and repeat guests will ensure that you keep a higher hotel occupancy rate throughout the year. Ensuring that your guests have a next-level customer experience, with the latest Digital Key and mobile check-in services, will help you achieve this goal.
Want more info on how Digital Keys help hotels around the world increase occupancy rates and improve guest experiences? Schedule a demo today.