Utilizing packages to attract every type of traveler
 
Utilizing packages to attract every type of traveler
25 SEPTEMBER 2019 11:43 AM

Hoteliers are offering unique experiences, including packages and bundles that customize amenities for every type of traveler.

Once upon a time, travelers only sought out hotels that were convenient and affordable. It is now becoming more common for travelers—especially those traveling for leisure—to book hotels that offer more than just convenient overnight accommodations. Hotels have become an integral part of the traveler’s experience in their respective locale.

According to Deloitte, 2019 marks a decade since the U.S. travel industry emerged from the depths of economic recession, resulting in an increase in travel demand.

To offer a competitive edge in the growing industry, hoteliers are offering unique experiences, including packages and bundles that customize amenities for every type of traveler. Whether a hotel is hoping to increase midweek bookings, recruit travelers during the off-season or improve overall foot traffic, packages can differentiate a hotel from its competition and increase revenue. Should a hotel already have a package or bundle deal, it’s wise to revamp it often to keep it fresh.

Creating exclusive packages
Hoteliers should create a sense of value in packages and highlight features specific to their property, neighborhood or community. For example, a boutique hotel can include welcome amenities such as logoed items, dining credits or complimentary dessert from a restaurant in the property or surrounding area, a discount for first-time guests at the hotel’s spa, or offer free transportation to local events. Partnering with the hotel’s retail tenants or local businesses maximizes the opportunity to showcase a hotel as a destination.

When updating or creating new package concepts, consider the surrounding area and what makes your property unique. Identify local attractions and businesses that could appeal to residents and travelers alike. Packages should also change seasonally to reflect the weather, season and additional needs. If your area has beautiful fall foliage, consider including guided tours or bicycle rentals for guests to be able to enjoy the natural surroundings in a convenient way, a seasonal welcome beverage such as cider, potentially paired with a seasonal amenity offering from your property’s restaurant. As holidays approach, a hotel in close proximity to shopping areas may consider a package with a gift card and prearranged discounts for hotel guests, or tickets to some of the area’s best holiday events. Planning ahead for seasonal offerings is important to not miss out on the top events in the area.

Most importantly, ensure the package and bundle is aligned with its target audience’s lifestyles and interests. If business travelers are the majority of a hotel’s guests, tailor the package to what a business traveler would enjoy and take advantage of. A recent survey found that 36% of hotels worldwide still charge for Wi-Fi, which is a huge disadvantage for business travelers—complimentary, high-speed internet is a must!

Just because a hotel has a nice package doesn’t mean all of its guests will know about it. Communicating the bundle with appealing graphics is crucial for guests to put all of a hotel’s unique offerings to use. The information should be shared on the hotel’s website, on social media and with guests prior to their stay via e-newsletters and in their reservation confirmation emails.

Sometimes it’s best to keep packages simple. Offering too much in a package can lead to disorganization and confusion. Hotel staff needs to not only be aware of all active packages, but also should know how to simply explain the offer for customers to easily understand.

Key takeaways
A successful package filled with benefits will positively impact a hotel’s bottom line and keep potential guests interested in offerings as they change. The key takeaways are to always consider a hotel’s local community, the hotel’s target audience and what they are most attracted to, and effectively communicate the package.

Jonathan Webster is VP of lodging for Geronimo Hospitality Group. For more information, visit www.geronimohospitalitygroup.com.

The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hotel News Now or its parent company, STR and its affiliated companies. Bloggers published on this site are given the freedom to express views that may be controversial, but our goal is to provoke thought and constructive discussion within our reader community. Please feel free to comment or contact an editor with any questions or concerns.

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