Assuming you’re going to have a great festive period simply because that’s usually the time of the year when occupancy rises is a dangerous game to play. With so much competition for bedroom bookings and customers increasingly looking towards industry disruptors like Airbnb for alternative accommodation, you still need to work hard to achieve bumper Christmas occupancy. Now is the time of the year you need to start planning for the festive period, so with that in mind, here’s a few super-simple ways you can ensure a busy December for your hotel. Preparing for the Christmas rush in advance can ensure it’s truly a wonderful holiday season for your business. Of course, having the right hospitality property management software will help you plan for something like Christmas well in advance. Now let’s get into how you can maximise your property’s revenue over the holidays.
Think beyond December
Yep, we’ll start this list with a contradiction!
Christmas isn’t just about December – particularly when you’re working in the hospitality business. Think back to last time; how many post-Christmas parties did you cater for in January?
In fact, this could offer a brilliant marketing opportunity to grab the attention of families and companies who are late to the party – literally. So, why not plan a ‘January Christmas Party’ email marketing campaign and have some fun with it?
Get friendly with venue and party agencies
There’s a big market these days for agencies that help businesses and other organisations find venues for their Christmas parties. It’s a smart idea to sniff these guys out in your area and strike up some partnership deals.
Most will make their money from commission, therefore if you offer a little extra recompense for their hard work, that might put you ahead of the pack. Just make sure you spend time with the agency to highlight what makes your hotel such a great option for a Christmas party.
Start targeting businesses earlier
As we write this blog, it’s July, and while that might seem a bit premature for approaching corporates to discuss their Christmas party plans, it really does pay to get in there as early as possible.
The same goes for leisure business; families will probably begin making their plans for Christmas around this time if they’ve got a special celebration in mind that requires a hotel stay.
It’s a bit of a cliche, but Christmas does appear to start earlier each year, therefore there’s absolutely nothing wrong with putting your festive thinking cap on now – before the competition gets there first.
Start some Google and social ad campaigns
One of the best ways to get into the minds of your potential festive customers is to invest some time and money into pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
You can use both Google Ads and the likes of Facebook and Instagram for this, but if you start planning those Christmas package offers and their corresponding adverts now, you’ll stand more chance of grabbing some early bookings.
Just make sure you enlist the services of a PPC expert before going at this alone. Unless you have experience in this field, it’s scarily easy to throw money down the drain. However, get it right, and you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck.
And finally: start planning the staff roster – now
Again, this might seem a little too early to be thinking about the festive staff roster, but the earlier you do this, the less chance you have of encountering issues when December finally arrives.
This won’t directly impact occupancy levels for that time of the year, but it will ensure you can cope with the increased business you’re likely to get if you follow our tips above.
So, gather your staff and start talking about the festive period – today. Provide options for overtime and start whipping up some excitement about what will hopefully be a bumper time of year for your hotel!
CMS Hospitality holds over 30 years of experience in delivering hospitality software solutions. GuestCentrix offers the most complete solution in hotel property management software, whether you’re running a hotel, a resort or a hostel. Our highly experienced support and installations team holds a unique understanding of the hospitality industry and will aim to provide software that suits your property’s needs.
Call us today at (+61) 2 9440 9711, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to guide you to the GuestCentrix solution that’s right for you.