The nearing eclipse may darken the U.S. skies, but it doesn’t have to darken your hotel’s profit potential
- Once-in-a-lifetime special events provide hotels with unique profit opportunities
- Technology can help hotels set ideal overbooking and marketing strategies
- Well-executed revenue strategies only work optimally with well-informed marketing plans
The eclipse is coming, guys.
On Monday, August 21st, 2017, a total solar eclipse will darken the skies – the first total eclipse to hit the United States in 38 years. From beginning to end, the moon is expected to block out the sun for up to three hours as it makes its way through the path of totality.
While North America (as well as parts of South America, Africa and Europe) will all catch at least a partial eclipse, there are a handful of U.S. states directly in the path of totality that give locals and travelers an opportunity to experience the full Monty.
An enthusiast of all things hotels and hospitality, I’ve been thinking a lot about the hotels in that path of totality. How can they capitalize on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, or, really, any upcoming special event for that matter?
Here are four quick tips to execute your most profitable revenue strategy over a special event time period, such as the impending eclipse:
- After identifying the days of an upcoming special event, it’s important to understand just how special these days are. Monitor your pace and pick-up for these days, as well as the same days of week for the surrounding weeks. This will give you a better understanding of your more ordinary weeks so you can see the additional demand your special event is driving.
- If you have access to technology with forward-looking market inteligence, such as nSight for IDeaS, your hotel has a very big advantage over the competition. You can see how much guests are searching among your competition, and where those guests are originating from. Using this insight to offer a unique “Eclipse Promo” rate with complimentary glasses and recommended scenic outlooks, for example, gives guests a more personalized and experiential hotel stay. (Offering a special promo rate may also allow you to adjust your cancellation policy, helping to discourage last-minute cancellations with stricter promotion policies.)
- An extraordinary amount of demand may also cause an influx in cancellations as the date nears, so have an overbooking strategy that allows you to achieve a sellout. If you are analytically overbooking by room type, oversell into high-demand rooms with a strategic upgrade path to your other room types. (This also gives your front desk the opportunity to have a little competitive fun and see who can sell the most upgrades for the day.)
- Lastly, no matter how much the planets align, a well-executed revenue strategy only works optimally with a well-informed marketing plan. Put your personalized promotions for your eclipse enthusiast guests front and center to capture as much of that demand as direct business as possible.
James Echert has spent over a decade in the hospitality industry working with hotels in Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America. Prior to joining IDeaS, he worked in channel strategy, distribution and product management with Choice Hotels International.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Pacific University, and a Master of Science in Marketing from University of Colorado-Denver.
James is a fan of the three B's: beer, BBQ & being the best at parallel parking. (A close second: bears, beets & Battlestar Galactica.)