When peak season is just around the corner, it’s exciting – you’re looking forward to welcoming guests and having full occupancy. However, you may also be worried about managing the increased workload that awaits you.
Here’s what you can do to make sure you’re 100% prepared for peak season at your bed and breakfast.
Length of stay strategies can boost your revenue when you expect a high volume of bookings coming your way.
You apply a minimum length of stay when you anticipate a period of high demand followed by low demand. You accept longer duration stays and reject shorter duration stays for arrival. It helps you to increase occupancy during the slow period that follows (so that stays in the high demand period ‘spill over’ into the less demanding period).
You apply a maximum length of stay when you expect to be able to sell out rooms at higher rates. You don’t accept reservations at specific discounted rates for multiple night stays extending into the sold out period. Guests who want to stay beyond the maximum length of stay period can be charged rack rate for subsequent nights.
You apply closed to arrival dates when you have very high demand, so you expect to reach maximum occupancy through stayovers as opposed to new arrivals. You don’t accept reservations for arrivals on the day in question, and only allow guests staying through from previous nights.
Remember that with all of the above, you need to be careful. If there isn’t sufficient demand, or if these tactics are poorly executed, it could have a negative effect on your bottom line.
Look around at the market – are your rates competitive? Or could you be underselling your rooms? During this time you need to make sure you’ve set the correct price point to attract a sea of incoming guests.
Packages also need to be tweaked to match the upcoming season. If it’s an event of some kind, you can include tickets to the event in the room rate, as well as transport to and from the event.
Even if it’s not an event, make sure you have packages set up for guests who want celebrations, leisure travels, and more catering.
Some accommodation providers deliberately overbook their rooms to anticipate cancellations. However, overbooking means that you risk double booking, which is not worth the risk. You come off as unprofessional and have to deal with upset customers (plus you lose time trying to rectify the situation).
Instead of overbooking, look to your cancellation policies to make sure you don’t operate at a loss. A standard hotel booking system will allow you to process credit card payments securely at the time of booking. Not only do you get paid directly to your bank account at the time of booking, but having these details on hand will allow you to charge your cancellation and amendment fees if your guest changes their booking or backs out.
Managing your online bookings and increasing occupancy go hand in hand. Download our free ebook, Successful Online Reservation Management for Small Accommodation Providers, for tips on managing your online bookings to ensure you run your business efficiently and achieve your goals.
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