Capitalizing on Your High Season and Preparing for Your Low Season

Most hotels experience a high and low season, regardless of location and service level. By implementing some simple marketing strategies, it is possible to increase year-round occupancy and maintain steady ADRs. Use this article to effectively tailor your marketing strategies to capitalize on your high season, while preparing for your slower season.

Navigating Your Low Season

There are several ways that you can stay busy during your low season as you begin implementing strategies to ensure your hotel’s success in the higher occupancy season. Travel shoppers will often plan and book their yearly travel during the “slow” season, despite not actually visiting the hotel immediately. Despite your low occupancy, your slow season is the most important time to attract new business – online optimization is a great way to do this. From building on your customer database and guest review profile to maintaining a targeted ADR, your low season should be optimized to help your property thrive all year round.

  • Guest Reviews
    • Research shows that the number one mistake hotel’s make in their slower season is a decrease in service standards. As a result of lower occupancy and lower demand, standards can be overlooked.
      While it makes sense to reduce staffing for the sake of cost, ensure that your hospitality and performance levels don’t decrease with it. Use the lower occupancy levels to go above and beyond. This will lend to positive guest reviews, which will be an asset to you all year round.

    • Maintaining excellent hospitality standards and amplifying personal touches means higher guest satisfaction and with that, more positive reviews. Slower months give you an opportunity to offer guests a more tailored and personal experience. When they are ready to leave, be sure to ask them to leave a review.
      One great feature of your Vizlly website is that you can direct them to your vanity website’s review page rather than a third party’s website to leave their feedback.

    • As you accumulate more reviews, it is beneficial to assign someone to reply and interact with reviewers– particularly while your staff has the time in your slower season. Regardless of the review being positive or negative, this type of care and responsiveness personalizes your property, assists in your website’s success, and nurtures guest relationships. As an added bonus, this helps to cement return business. Learn more about defining your property’s review strategy and create your own!

  • Customer Database
    • Use your slow season to build on your customer database. Encourage customers to leave their emails and opt in for regular communication. Send them your hotel newsletter if you have one. If not, you might consider emailing them about your latest promotions or exciting local events, or using this additional time tocreate a robust newsletter you can use throughout the year.

  • Return Business & Customer Loyalty
    • Use what you have learned about reviews, responsiveness, and maintaining service standards to drum up repeat business while encouraging customer loyalty. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can leverage ongoing communication in your slow season to accomplish these goals:
      • Send a regular newsletter
        As mentioned above, a newsletter will remind previous customers of the benefits of staying with you, keeping your property at the front of their mind when they are ready to visit the area again. These types of personal outreaches are always beneficial, regardless of the season.
        *Be sure to avoid spamming with overly-frequent communication. Ensure that you keep to an established timeline (monthly is recommended) and only provide useful, enticing, and concise content.

      • Implement a rewards program
        The best way to ensure customer loyalty is to provide incentives! Use a rewards program to provide guests with a tangible and valued reason to stay with you again. There is a lot of flexibility in creating a program that works for your property. Rewards can be anything from free stays to small gifts or local attraction passes, leverage whatever is feasible and realistic for you.

  • Special Offers
    • Monitor your competitor’s rates and adjust yours accordingly but avoid getting into the habit of continuously lowering prices. Justify your prices and distinguish yourself from the competition with attractive package deals. If formed carefully, you can do so without dramatically increasing your incurred costs or lowering your ADR.

    • Create special offers that will allow you to fill niche markets, provide perceived increase in value, capitalize on local events, or fulfill demand bright spots to increase conversion rates and tap into new markets.
  • Social Media

    • Use this extra time to be more active on your social media channels. Not only will this lend to your SEO success, it will allow new travel shoppers to interact with your property on a more personal basis, while boosting customer loyalty. Plus, social media engagement is a great way to gain some traction and advertise any new features or deals you’re offering!

    • Highlight local pulls like events, festivals, and conferences to remind them that your area can be fun all year round.



  • Meeting & Event Space
    • If your hotel boasts meeting or event space, use this time to optimize it and appeal to new corporate markets.

    • Build relationships and forge new bonds with corporate clients who might like to hold events or conferences at your hotel. Forming a partnership or offering a special deal for your space in the off-season months can help to boost occupancy and revenue.

Preparing for Your High Season

Think of any property updates or enhancements that you have been meaning to do and implement them while occupancy is low. Not only does this ensure minimal disruption for guests, it also means that you will have new features to attract guests come high season. Make note of your busiest days and whether or not you were staffed appropriately to anticipate your needs in your upcoming peak season.

In addition to on-site preparations, consider local opportunities to forge new partnerships and foster existing relationships with local vendors or attractions. From special offers to backlinks, partnerships are highly valuable for your website traffic and conversion rates. Put plans in place to effectively leverage these partnerships in order to differentiate yourself from the competition come high season.

Finally, if there are any hospitality seminars or conferences available to you, take some time to attend, particularly in the slow season when time is more flexible. Ensuring that your hotel remains innovative and current in terms of industry trends is crucial. Meet hospitality demands at the forefront and stay ahead of your competitors!

Capitalizing on Your High Season

Make the most of your peak season by following our helpful tips to ensure that things run smoothly and guests continue to choose your hotel when visiting the area.

  • Bookings
    • Don’t overbook. Hotels often make the mistake of overbooking rooms during peak season in anticipation of cancellations. Avoid the unprofessionalism associated with double bookings and instead, consider implementing a minimum night’s stay or review your cancellation policy. This also gives you the freedom to open the room for last minute stays or walk-ins to circumvent the loss of revenue.

    • You may not have the time to give each and every guest the personal touch that’s offered in the slower times. Instead, consider accumulating guests’ emails with some sort of promotion. This doesn’t have to be costly or elaborate, the goal is simply to provide some degree of incentive for guests to take the initiative and join on their own, allowing you to take some of the pressure off of yourself and your team.

    • For example:
      • Join our mailing list and receive a happy hour special at our bar
      • Join our mailing list and enjoy 10% off of breakfast
      • Sign up for our newsletter and save 10% on your next stay

Start preparing for your seasonality today and implement our best practices at your property to ensure success and growth all year round.

KalaCox_Circle.pngWritten by Kala Cox, Content Specialist 

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