By James Kennedy, Assurance & Marketing Program Director
Now, more than ever, it takes a creative approach when trying to gain more business. So, here’s some proven sales suggestions that could surely boost your hotel’s occupancy:
- Chamber of Commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB)– Connect with both of these city entities for networking opportunities to promote your hotel. Stop by and visit your local Chamber to see how they promote travel and tourism. The CVB can be a valuable resource to provide hotel information for their lead distribution or RFP process. When Convention Bureaus start booking city-wide events again, you could be on their list for overflow hotel rooms.
- City Economic Development Alliance – Reach out to network with their staff to see which companies they target to attract new employers for business growth within the community.
- Medical Personnel/Traveling Nurses – With the current pandemic, medical staff are in high demand, so it makes sense to tap into this area. Proactive ways are to drop off your hotel rack cards or flyers to area hospitals and medical buildings. Offer a “medical staff or first responders” special rate with a welcome amenity (bottled water, snack bars, fruit) upon check-in. You could also partner with a local restaurant and coffee shops to see if they offer discounts for medical personnel.
- Travel Nurse Housing – Check on this housing portal to see if you can list your hotel for short- to long-term nurse assignments.
We always suggest you try to tap into any direct business through workforce companies. Here’s a few suggestions that have proven effective for our brands in the economy hotel sector:
- Trucker Path – An app that identifies lodging locations for truckers. Ad banner campaigns are offered to help increase your exposure and promote your hotel (ample truck parking, close to restaurants, easy access off highways). It’s a great opportunity for truckers to book your hotel directly with a higher margin (no third-party commissions).
- CLC Lodging Hotel Partners (Corporate Lodging) – It’s a network of workforce travelers. There is an RFP process that requires a discount off your rack or best available rates, but the room night production through CLC can be significant throughout the year to achieve targeted occupancy levels. After you’ve been with CLC, you can access their portal and run a sleep detail to identify companies that book your hotel and are probably booking your competitive set as well.
- CLC ELA Program – Register for the Corporate Lodging Emergency Lodging Assistance Program, which is funded by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). This program provides prompt lodging payments for short-term stays. This program is administered by CLC Lodging, a federal government contractor and the largest outsourced lodging services provider in North America.
- BidClerk – Public and private permits for construction sites that contractors bid on. Out-of-town construction workers will be looking for hotel accommodations and usually book direct (call or walk-in), which can boost your weekly occupancy since their projects are usually at least three weeks or longer.
- Hotel Competitor Parking Lots – This might sound silly, but it makes sense to “count cars” at your competitors in the evening. Identify any construction trucks and follow up with your hotel information, such as rack cards and competitive rates.