Who could have predicted the type of recovery the hospitality and tourism industries have been making?
Things are not perfect by any means - slowed GDP growth, rising interest rates, and inflation are expected to impact hotel demand in Europe from late Q4 2022 and some experts think business travel is coming back relatively slowly.
However, let's not forget that leisure travel has continually driven demand particularly over Q2-Q3, and is expected to do so over the coming months.
While the pace of things is predicted to slow slightly over Q4 and in to Q1 2023, that's even more of a reason to be adequately prepared for the winter season ahead. As always, you want to attract as many direct bookers as possible by communicating your offers clearly and to the right people. Read on for more on how to prepare your hotel for winter bookings this year.
Launch your dedicated winter campaign
Whoever it is you're targeting, now is the time to launch your winter campaign or campaigns. Remember not to isolate remote workers and remember people who can work from anywhere are more willing to add on an extra day onto the end of their vacation with you. Make it easy for them by offering an attractive deal.
Launch your Christmas residential campaign
If you’re going to be open for Christmas, now’s the time to get your Christmas residential content and offers in order. Make sure all the information your guests need is easily found on a dedicated landing page on your website.
People have already begun searching and planning their Christmas residential trips so don’t waste time on this one – get your campaign live ASAP. If you’re worried your Christmas residential packages won’t have the same pick up as in previous years, a paid search campaign can be really effective.
Other winter campaign ideas include:
- Christmas vouchers
- Black Friday/Cyber Monday
- Winter/January sale
If you're interested in selling vouchers for your hotel, we recommend launching a soft promotion from the beginning of November and increasing your spend from the middle of that month. Based on our analysis of previous campaigns, we recommend you run your campaign all the way up to Christmas morning (previous years of voucher sales performance stats have demonstrated that Christmas Eve is when almost 10% of voucher sales happen).
Black Friday & Cyber Monday
Black Friday falls on November 25th this year.
Usually, we see the best results from hotels who run simple offers at a large discount and with very few restrictions. Historically, costs for ads increase 2 – 3x over this particular weekend, and guests expect an impressive deal. If you think you won’t be in a position to offer a discount of 25% or more, we recommend not bothering to spending on a campaign.
If you are planning on running a decent offer, it is a great time and opportunity to increase your email marketing database and reward the loyalty of existing subscribers. Send your database a pre-live email and give them exclusive access to your offer a day before releasing it publicly...making sure they know it is exclusive!
Make sure you have a dedicated landing page and an action bar designed for this campaign – it will help to attract more bookers on your site.
Winter / January sales
January is traditionally one of the strongest booking months of the year so start planning now. We recommend you start your campaign right after Christmas, and to limit the duration of your campaign to 2 – 3 weeks.
Give your website that Christmassy touch
- Consider ‘Christmassing’ up your website by enabling Christmas themes/features/animations. Think about all of your visuals too and make sure your visuals match the theme, copy and spirit of your rateplans
- Create landing pages specifically for your Christmas offers
- Always make sure you review your website on mobile whenever you make changes, eg – new campaigns, new visuals, new rateplans etc