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How to drive hotel demand ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend

Queen Elizabeth II is the first British Monarch to celebrate 70 years of service, an unprecedented anniversary that will culminate in a UK bank holiday weekend from 2 – 5 June. It will no doubt be an event to remember, as thousands of events are planned across the country during this time, providing a welcome draw for hotels still recovering from the impact of the pandemic.

What influence will the Platinum Jubilee have on UK tourism and how can hoteliers drive revellers to their properties? Read on for Amadeus’ forward-looking business intelligence insight and actionable tips for driving demand.

Hotel occupancy is nearing pre-pandemic levels

According to Amadeus’ Demand360® data, hotel occupancy is at 48% across the UK for the week of the Platinum Jubilee, and 50% in London. But with current booking lead times of less than 7 days persisting, there is a strong possibility that hotel performance could rival 2019.

To capture the attention of (and additional revenue from) these last-minute travellers, hoteliers will want to consider a variety of marketing initiatives backed by comprehensive forward-looking data.

This allows you to:

• Understand how travellers are booking – What channels are they using? What price range are they looking in? How far in advance are they booking?
• Learn how the competitive set is attracting guests – What are they saying or offering that you’re not?
• Discover feeder markets – What countries are people travelling from?
• Identify what rooms or amenities to promote to get the highest RevPAR possible – What do travellers prefer and expect out of their room and property?

As the Platinum Jubilee and busy summer travel season approaches, who are the people travelling to the UK and how are they booking?

Let’s take a look at the top 10 source countries for flights coming to the UK from 22nd May – 15th July. 31% of flights are from within the UK, meaning domestic demand is still high. The majority of additional air travel is coming from within Europe, with Spain the highest at 21%. The US and Turkey account for 5% each during this time period.

In terms of hotel booking channels, online travel agencies (OTAs) have grown in popularity, while Brand.com and Direct have maintained large shares of bookings. It’s critical to have a diverse channel mix to maximise property visibility – and in turn – increase overall bookings on the sites where travellers are searching most.

For strategies and tactics on how to improve website and booking engine conversions, download the Personalisation and Direct Bookings Playbook.

Launch targeted, personal marketing campaigns to capture demand

Let data guide your decision-making process. Once you’ve analysed the information available to you to understand hotel performance along with who’s travelling and when, it’s time to plan a successful marketing campaign.

Keep key dates, such as the Platinum Jubilee in mind when developing messaging and promotions to stand out from your competitive set. Can you offer a discounted afternoon tea for those staying the week of the Jubilee? Perhaps you can partner with a local bar for exclusive table bookings to watch the Jubilee on TV or have a Royal-themed giveaway for anyone staying around that time.

Whether it’s a rate discount, package promotion, or digital advertisement, think outside the box to offer personalised experiences at every stage of the guest journey to deliver more value. Here are some examples:

• Shopping – Attract new guests by merchandising targeted offers and enhancements across distribution channels.
Examples: 10% off your first stay. Free parking for the Jubilee weekend.
• Booking – Recognise returning guests and deliver targeted services, enhancements, and upsells on your website and in the booking flow, based on centralised guest data.
Examples: 50% off Sunday roasts for the Jubilee weekend. Free Heathrow airport transfer with a 3-night minimum stay.
• Pre-Stay – Engage booked guests with additional personalisation and enhancement opportunities in pre-stay communications.
Examples: Platinum Jubilee package – celebrate like royalty from just £79. 20% off Jubilee themed menu for the whole weekend.
• On-Property – Make the on-property experience shine with proactive service delivery, surprise and delight tactics, and more.
Examples: Small Jubilee gifts in rooms. Free upgrade for returning guests. Complimentary dessert.
• Post-Stay – Keep guests engaged with your brand, position other properties in your portfolio, recognise and reward guests, and establish lasting relationships.
Examples: Happy Birthday, enjoy 20% off your next stay. An anniversary package just for you.

Once a guest has stayed with you, that person has the potential to become a lifelong customer. Hoteliers should put in every effort after a guest leaves the property to encourage them to want to return. Be sure to send a post-stay survey, invite them to join a loyalty program with members-only benefits, or use an online portal to collect their preferences to offer a more tailored stay in the future.

A Guest Management Solution (GMS) can help maximise the value of guest data to continuously drive revenue and engagement. Competition for guests is more intense than ever as the industry recovers.

Technology is key in a post-pandemic world

As restrictions loosen and more travellers take to the road and skies, hoteliers should be laser focused on delivering the types of memorable stays that have been sorely missed. The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is one reason to celebrate, now give guests a reason to happily return. Amadeus provides hoteliers with the tools needed to do so, from driving demand to providing a positive on-property experience.

Amadeus Demand Generation is the only technology suite of its kind serving the hospitality industry. Comprised of five solutions, Business Intelligence, Media, iHotelier Booking Engine, Web and GMS, it has everything hoteliers need to inspire, convert, and retain the most profitable audiences on the highest-margin channels. Contact us to learn more.

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