Some hotels try hard to be unique so that guests are more likely to come knocking, but the biggest influence on booking numbers will often be location, location, location. Hence, destination promotion is crucial in having guests flock to your hotel.
The UK hospitality industry is currently in a period where reaching out to domestic travellers will be key to maintaining occupancy. A recent survey by The Cumberland revealed that 83% of UK holidaymakers are eyeing holidays within the UK this year. Furthermore, 71% plan to also stay within the UK in 2021, so boosting marketing efforts towards staycationers will be crucial to hotels navigating the storm.
While hotels in the country may not be hosting many guests from abroad for the foreseeable future, it doesn’t mean that all other marketing efforts are in vain; it just makes it important to emphasise that your hotel is the gateway to an amazing destination. Implementing some effort into destination promotion can help your hotel in a big way, as guests will be more inclined to flock to your hotel if you’ve made the effort into helping guests fill out their trip. Not only that, but if guests enjoy your suggestions, they’ll be more likely to become return guests. Incorporating this into a simple booking engine for your hotel also helps matters. By going the extra mile in helping guests learn more about your hotel’s area, they’ll feel more comfortable in staying at your hotel. So be sure to tout your hotel’s location!
Here are some ideas to help you promote your independent hotel based on the incredible attractions in the surrounding area.
Surf the social media wave!
While it might not be practical to hire a hotshot influencer to promote your hotel via social media, you can still get your guests involved to enhance your traction online.
One idea is to encourage customers to share snaps and videos captured during their stay using a unique hashtag to make them searchable and trend-worthy.
You could also incentivise mentions of your hotel’s social media accounts by offering discounts for guests who use Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to post pictures of local landmarks in which you’re tagged.
Secure local partnerships
Cross-promotional deals with other businesses in the area will always be mutually beneficial, so approach potential partners and suggest joining forces, (providing they’re not potential rivals, of course!).
For example, you could provide discounted access to nearby tourist hot spots to people who book a room at your hotel, which will increase occupancy rates and also send more visitors the way of the attraction itself.
Invest in unique content
Many independent hotels have already taken the step of amplifying their online marketing and increasing their influence by producing bespoke content.
This can be in the form of blogs, podcasts or videos, and tuned to highlight on-site facilities, while also drawing attention to the wonders of the region in which your hotel sits.
If your hotel is in a rural area, why not commission a video with drone footage of the countryside trails and gorgeous views that customers can experience?
Located within an urban sprawl? Be sure to pick up on the entertainment, leisure and dining options available nearby and write regular blogs that highlight the wonderful experiences they offer! Just make sure you always link it back to why visitors should use your hotel as a base for the night.
Promote events and activities
Even small-scale events taking place near your hotel or hosting your own virtual events will have some form of online buzz which you can latch onto in order to generate more traffic for your website.
You could simply get in touch with organisers and ask them for a press release to publish on your hotel’s website or go one step further and write a uniquely worded summary so that you can latch onto some of the search traffic for the event.
Promoting your hotel as a gateway to an amazing destination is an incredibly effective tactic, but one which many independents overlook.
In an age of OTAs and web bookings, it’s easy for guests to compare every hotel in a specific area based on location and room price, while ignoring the countless steps you’ve taken to grab their attention via other means.
Proper management of destination promotion is one way to pique their interest and demonstrate that there’s far more to a stay at your hotel than the property itself.
InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMS, Cloud PMS, Channel Manager, Hotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.
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