The festive season is the busiest time of the year for most of the hoteliers around the world. Firstly, countless hotel marketing campaigns get launched every year, making the competition high. Secondly, the guests are the most prone to splurging on a premium stay experience, making it the perfect opportunity for the businesses to cash in on their spending frenzy. These factors make the holiday season hotel marketing one of the most challenging and the most crucial campaigns.
So, how do you make sure that your campaign stands out from the competition this holiday season? You, as a hotelier, need to understand the shifting guest behaviors, their travel patterns, and preferences, while being smart enough to reach them in a timely and meaningful fashion.
In this article, we give insights on past customer travel behavior, followed by some stellar marketing tips for the holiday season.
This is what travelers are looking for
To market your property effectively, you first need to understand your guests’ expectations. Here are trivago Insights* that will show you what users are looking for at this hotel metasearch site.
During the past festive season, a few user-behavior trends stood out.
Let’s begin with the arrival/check-in dates. This trend will help you predict the busiest days during the festive season. Most of the travelers chose the 29th of December and the 31st of December on trivago* among all the dates in the double room type, with the 28th and the 30th following closely. The 29th of December was the most preferred date in the whole of December across all room types, viz. single room, double room, and family room.
Talking of room types, 68% of total travelers on who searched for accommodation on trivago* for the festive season in 2018 picked a double room, while 23% and 9% picked a family room and a single room respectively.
Travelers’ preferences also shed some light on the most favorite accommodation type. 71% of travelers chose hotels on trivago* among all types of accommodations during the holiday season in 2018. The rest, 29% of travelers, chose alternative accommodations – indicating an upward trend of 4% as compared to 2017. Among alternative accommodation types, apartments and houses were chosen by 13% of travelers, making them the second most attractive accommodation type. Resorts were the third, making up 6% of total preferred accommodation types. So, even though people like staying at a hotel during the festive season, the trend of staying at alternative accommodations is slowly but surely picking.
It’d be also interesting to know the top cities around the world that people like to visit during the festive season. Here’s a list of cities that travelers preferred the most on trivago* during the holiday season in 2018:
|Europe||North America||Latin America||Oceania||Asia||Africa|
|London||New York||Rio de Janeiro||Sydney||Tokyo||Durban|
|Paris||Las Vegas||Sao Paulo||Melbourne||Dubai||Cape Town|
|Istanbul||Honolulu||Buenos Aires||Surfers Paradise||Singapore||Sharm el-Sheikh|
This is how you can attract guests during the holiday season
Now that you know what your guests want during the holiday season, we share sure-fire tactics on how to reach them and attract them to your property:
Market at the right time
The success of any marketing campaign lies in the timing. The right time for your marketing campaign is when your customer is in the right frame of mind to consider and buy that hotel room.
To understand when’s the right time to market your property to travelers, you need to know how far in advance they make their hotel bookings. Top 10 countries that were picked the most on trivago* during the holiday season in 2018 are the following: Brazil, the USA, Japan, Germany, the UK, India, Spain, Italy, Mexico, and France. Now, let’s see what the booking window for these top countries with the maximum click-outs is. This will give us an insight into the booking behavior of travelers. The average booking window for Brazil, Japan, Germany, the UK, Spain, and Italy on trivago* is between 49 to 58 days each. The USA and Mexico have the highest average booking window of 70 days each, whereas the average booking window for India is 28 days.
Another thing you need to consider is the traveler’s path to purchase. According to travelmarketreport, travelers spend close to 45 days on average to look for information and compare prices before the actual booking date. Add this period of the ‘path to purchase’ to the ‘booking window’ to get a fairly good idea of when (and for how long) to reach the customers and how to adjust the marketing strategy to each stage in the purchase funnel.
Promote special prices and enticing offers
In addition to the right time, the right message is very important to make any marketing campaign a success. If there’s a time you should focus on coupons, promotions, giveaways, or offers, then this is it. Guests are the most prone to spending during the holiday season but they also like the stay package offered as a special festive deal.
For this, you can offer goodies or add-on services, for example, a welcome gift when arriving on a specific date, a free spa on Christmas Day, complimentary hot chocolate or Christmas cookies, or a special holiday dinner on shoulder days. Sometimes, you don’t even need to create any deal from scratch. You can repurpose your regular buffet spread into a festive one by simply adding a twist. For example, peppermint hot white chocolate or gingerbread hot cocoa with the served breakfast under a new, festive package will work wonders in attracting guests.
Another smart idea to attract guests to your property this festive season is to hold special-themed parties and events, like Christmas plays, Christmas cookie baking session, and New Year’s Eve party.
You can also post special offers on your website or metasearch sites, like trivago, if you want to reach millions of travelers looking for their next ideal hotel room.
Post enticing offers to encourage potential guests to book with you.Learn more
Showcase your festive spirit
Your efforts shouldn’t end with guests checking-in your rooms. Once they are in the hotel premises, it’s your chance to wow them with your exceptional customer service. This way, you can make sure that you win their loyalty and positive online guest reviews.
So, deck your hall and common areas to give a hearty welcome to your guests. Welcome them with a drink and a festive nibble. You can even have a special outfit for your staff to lift their festive spirits as well and make them fit in your theme. In-room extras, like special decorations and thoughtful gifts, can also help in delighting your guests. You don’t need to do anything huge – a personalized, handwritten card on their pillow or a wrapped souvenir on their day of check-out, if the budget allows, will make our guest’s stay memorable.
Also, don’t forget that your guests might be interested in culturally immersive, local experiences. Your staff should be well-informed about the current events and the hottest deals happening in and around your region. Visiting Christmas and craftsmanship markets, winter shows, ice exhibitions, and ice-skating rinks are one of the favorite leisure activities for travelers during the holiday season. Make sure your reception has a display stand with all relevant pamphlets featuring events like these. This is another way you can engage with your guests and ensure repeat business.
Are you prepped for the upcoming holiday season? If not, it isn’t too late! Make use of the above insights and ideas to attract guests to your hotel and wow them with your festive spirit.
*trivago Insights: Data is based on traveler hotel search behavior on trivago between 01.01.2018 and 30.11.2018 for the stay period between 01.12.2018 and 01.01.2019. Please note that the percentages have been rounded off.
Featured image: Engin_Akyurt on Pixabay[/signinlocker]