What does low season mean for your hotel?

Has the low season made its appearance felt already in your hotel business?

Most hotels need to deal with seasonality. Nevertheless, low and high seasons are much more than two different periods pinned on the calendar, predicting either an abundance of guests and high rates or a struggling period with low occupancy despite significant discounts.

What determines how your hotel experiences seasonality?

Seasonality manifests differently, depending on a number of factors. The most important ones include location, type of business and targeted segments. Here are some examples of how these three intertwine and how they dictate seasonality.

If your hotel falls into the category of resorts, especially seaside hotels, the occupancy rate fluctuates visibly. This is the leisure segment looking for good weather and relaxation. This makes summer an ideal time for vacation. For the rest of the year, these hotels need an accurate marketing strategy in order to keep bookings coming.

Urban hotels, however, are more dependent on a weekly seasonality: business segment travelers have short stays during the week, while leisure travelers fluctuate significantly in weekends booking. Generally, urban hotels register a more constant guest occupancy due their location – visiting and events opportunities.

What does low season mean for your hotel?

With low season, there are certain symptoms affecting your hotel. The most common ones include:

Low occupancy rate
If your business is a resort type, that doesn’t mean that the leisure segment becomes obsolete. However, you do require significant marketing efforts and a new approach on advertising. For example, some hotels shift attention to the business segment by promoting the hotel’s meeting spaces for events or team buildings. Specific targets also become valuable, like honeymooners and seniors. Nevertheless, in order to keep the leisure travelers coming, compromises are always part of the deal.

Drastic price reductions
One such compromise is lowering prices – the most common response to low season, whether weekly or monthly. Another practice is offering all-inclusive or special packages (rooms, restaurant, amenities) along with the booking. The danger with lower prices is going too far and render you hotel’s deal as unprofitable.

Fierce competition
When demand falls short but the competitor market stays the same, you need to stand out in order to direct travelers to your hotel. This means more budget to distributors and promotion.

Does your offline marketing strategy help you carry through low season with satisfying results? How are you using online marketing tools to leverage the cost and benefits?

Using online marketing tactics to empower offline efforts

An accurate analysis of the online presence and trends in low seasons works as input for your offline marketing strategies. For example, did you know that low season travelers look for different keywords when researching hotels online? These can give you insights in what offers are catchy to make.

The impact of your offline marketing can be much amplified by using online tactics. Whether you wish to promote business events or niche packages, addressing general distributors is not the most efficient way: the most suitable channels are the online ones.

The challenge here is to find an online marketing strategy that is dedicated to solving the difficulties brought by low season. At the same time, you need to correlate the offline marketing strategy with the online one.