20 Hotel Sales Strategies to Effectively Increase Revenue

Bryan Michalis
Bryan Michalis
April 24, 2024
March 14, 2024
20 Hotel Sales Strategies to Effectively Increase Revenue

Are you ready for an influx of guests itching to travel? A recent survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association reveals that 72% of Americans are gearing up to maintain or even increase their hotel stays this year compared to 2023.

Great news, right?

Yet, amid this promising surge, the headwinds of inflation pose challenges for hoteliers. To seize your full revenue potential, you’ll need to deploy effective hotel sales strategies to truly thrive in this dynamic hospitality landscape.

Revenue-Generating Strategies: Then and Now

In the early days, hotels drove sales via word-of-mouth recommendations from happy customers and personal relationships between hoteliers, travel agents, tour operators and corporate travel managers.

Competition among hotels intensified with the rise of Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) in the 1960s, which allowed hotels to distribute their rooms to travel agents and websites in real time. Competition increased even more with the birth of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and the boom of the internet in the 1990s.

Fast forward to today, and technology is the critical driver shaping hotel sales strategies. While maintaining strong relationships is just as important today as it once was, the sales process has changed. And we must change with it if we have any hopes of capturing the hearts of today’s travelers. The hotels that embrace cutting-edge solutions and innovative strategies win.

20 Essential Hotel Sales Strategies

What follows is a comprehensive guide on hotel sales strategies. Here are 20 actionable tactics that you can implement to help boost revenue, drive growth and elevate your hotel sales game.

Infographic: 20 Essential Hotel Sales Strategies

1. Upsells & Cross-sells

Research shows that over one-third of guests are willing to pay more to do things like choose their room, use fitness services and opt for early check-in/late checkout. With the right solution, you can digitally deliver room upgrade offers and other add-ons such as spa packages, parking passes, dining reservations and more at any point in the guest journey. You can even deliver offers at the precise moment a guest is most likely to buy.

An easy way to do this is by utilizing an upselling platform. Automated upselling tools can help hotels streamline and boost revenue by curating offers that are more likely to make guests’ stays more memorable. Even better, you can capture this ancillary revenue without putting any added pressure on your staff.

“We’ve seen a 200% increase in the number of [upsell] packages we’ve sold since implementing Canary at Staypineapple properties.” Learn how Staypineapple Hotels boosted revenue and increased staff efficiency by 20% with Canary.
Read the Case Study »

2. Direct Booking Incentives

Offer exclusive perks such as complimentary meals, a free drink in the bar, or loyalty points to guests who book directly through your hotel website or app. By utilizing transparent pricing and special promotions, you encourage guests to bypass third-party booking platforms and the commissions that come with them, increasing direct bookings and profitability.

3. OTA Optimization

Lucrative direct bookings are great, but the fact is OTAs continue to play a key role in putting heads in beds. By optimizing your presence on OTA platforms you can reduce inventories of un-booked rooms and boost revenue, particularly during off-peak periods. OTAs also help you reinforce brand awareness and increase your marketing power by attracting new guests and expanding your reach into previously untapped markets.

4. Social Media Engagement

In 2023, an estimated 4.9 billion people used social media worldwide, and that number is expected to hit 5.85 billion by 2027. Harnessing social media engagement can significantly impact your hotel revenue.

Engage guests and potential guests through visually compelling content, sharing user-generated posts, and capitalizing on real-time interactions on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.

You can run contests, respond to inquiries, share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your operations — all successful social strategies that for building a sense of community and encouraging direct bookings.

5. Influencer Partnerships

Influencer partnerships are a dynamic avenue to amplify hotel revenue. According to a report by kolsquare, travel influencers are transforming how guests search and plan for trips. Tap into their network, and your hotel could see a huge spike in traffic to your channels.

Collaborate with influencers whose audience aligns with your target demographics. Their authentic endorsements will drive engagement, bookings and brand visibility.

6. Customer Loyalty Programs

Customer loyalty programs are a revenue magnet for hotels. According to Skift Research, loyalty program members contribute up to 60% of room revenue and tend to pay higher average daily room rates (ADR) than non-members.

Incentivize repeat visits with exclusive perks, discounts and personalized offers, and enjoy sustained revenue growth over time.

7. Referral Programs

Referral programs capitalize on the power of word-of-mouth marketing and help hotels reduce customer acquisition costs.

Encourage satisfied customers to refer friends and family by offering enticing rewards such as complimentary stays or discounts. You’ll expand your customer base, resulting in more bookings and greater brand advocacy.

8. Corporate Travel Benefits

Corporate travel demand continues to climb. Recent data from Accor shows 57% of their corporate clients expect a travel budget increase in 2024 over last year.

Hotels can tap into corporate travel trends to boost revenue by tailoring packages and amenities in ways that cater to business travelers’ needs, such as digital booking processes, flexible cancellation policies and efficient workspaces. Negotiate with local businesses to offer comprehensive meeting packages that include catering and AV equipment.

9. Group Sales

Consider tailoring packages and discounts for weddings, sports tournaments and other group events. Group bookings – just like corporate bookings – maximize occupancy and drive ancillary revenue through catering, venue rentals and additional services.

To avoid the paper trail that comes with group bookings, streamline the group sales process with a solution such as Canary Digital Contracts which allows customers to easily complete forms via mobile devices, as well as securely send and receive credit card authorization forms.

10. Mobile Booking Trends

Two-thirds of millennials now book trips using their smartphone. And in North America, t over half of web traffic comes from mobile devices, making web-based software crucial for providing the seamless mobile booking experience today’s travelers expect.

To drive revenue, hotels can offer exclusive mobile-only deals and promotions to incentivize direct bookings. You can also utilize push notifications to engage previous guests and capitalize on the convenience and accessibility of mobile technology.

11. Revenue Management Optimization

Use dynamic pricing strategies to adjust room rates based on demand, seasonality and competitor analysis. You can also implement forecasting tools to predict booking trends and optimize your inventory allocation.

Canary’s revenue management tech solutions let you track and optimize revenue streams at every touchpoint of a guest’s stay. By continuously monitoring and adjusting, you can ensure maximum revenue generation while still staying competitive in the market.

12. Personalized Promotions

Today’s travelers demand exclusivity and luxury, so it’s important to personalize their hotel stays wherever possible. By leveraging data analytics in hospitality you can use guest information to tailor offers and discounts based on preferences and past behaviors.

Send pet-friendly itinerary ideas to pet owners or a kayak-and-mountain biking package to adventure enthusiasts. This type of individualized attention drives guest loyalty along with revenue growth.

13. Cross-promotional Sales

In addition to personalized promotions, hotels can implement a cross-promotional sales strategy by capitalizing on local festivals and events.

Tailoring promotions to coincide with local events attracts guests already looking to attend those events, helping to boost occupancy rates and profits during peak periods. To capitalize on community happenings even more, craft themed packages that include exclusive perks like event tickets, festive decorations and special dining experiences that will surely attract experience-chasing travelers to your hotel.

14. Strategic Partnerships

Partnering with local businesses is a savvy strategy for growing hotel revenue. You can collaborate with nearby restaurants, tour operators and attractions to offer guests special discounts and packages. For example, partner with a local chef and sommelier to create an exclusive wine pairing menu and event on your grounds. Or, collaborate with nearby destination sites to create exclusive discounts for your hotel guests only.

This type of cross-promotion expands your hotel offerings and enhances guest experiences, ultimately growing revenue through increased bookings and guest spending.

15. Guest Feedback Aggregation

With 93% of travelers saying online reviews influence their booking decisions, it’s clear that hoteliers need to effectively handle online guest reviews in order to stay competitive.

Use technology to automatically solicit guest feedback as part of the checkout flow. Doing so allows you to quickly identify areas for improvement and promptly address guest concerns. The right hotel reputation management software can also automatically prompt guests who leave 5-star ratings to share their reviews on Tripadvisor and Google.

16. Remarketing Campaigns

Implement advertising campaigns that reengage past website visitors who have shown interest but haven’t booked. You can employ personalized messaging and special offers to entice potential customers, encouraging them to complete their booking and effectively drive revenue growth.

17. Local SEO Optimization

Optimizing your website and booking page with wording that attracts locals makes you more visible in searches for your region. Said another way, local SEO optimization brings in more organic traffic by positioning your hotel as a top choice for your local market.

Enhance your online visibility by strategically optimizing your online presence with geo-targeted keywords. This will make your hotel easier to find for travelers searching for accommodations in your area and boost revenue.

18. Wellness Programs

With the wellness tourism market projected to soar to $1.3 trillion by 2025, it’ss clear that promoting wellness packages that attract health-conscious travelers is a strategic move for hotels looking to boost revenue.

Offer yoga retreats and spa packages that include healthy dining options. By prioritizing guest wellness, hotels can increase revenue while fostering guest satisfaction and loyalty.

19. Continuous Training

Invest in training for your sales and front-line staff to enhance sales techniques, customer service and product knowledge.

Empower your team members to upsell amenities, offer personalized recommendations and prioritize resolving guest issues quickly. Well-trained staff elevate the guest experience, boosting satisfaction and helping you earn lucrative repeat business.

20. Flash Sales

During slow periods, deploy targeted email campaigns to offer last-minute deals and limited-time discounts. Promoting these types of time-sensitive offers inspires spontaneous bookings, allowing you to increase occupancy rates and generate additional revenue streams effectively.

Stay Ahead of the Curve: 3 Hotel Sales Trends To Watch Out For

In addition to implementing some or all of the above hotel sales strategies, staying ahead of emerging trends is critical for sustained success. Trends in consumer behavior and technology continuously shape how hotels attract and retain guests. By keeping abreast of evolving trends, you can adapt your sales approaches to maintain a competitive edge in today’s dynamic hospitality marketplace.

Infographic: Hotel Sales Trends

Artificial Intelligence

Following the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the AI wave will continue to swell. More and more hotels are leveraging AI as a pivotal sales strategy to enhance guest experiences and drive revenue.

Solutions such as Canary AI can play the role of a digital concierge, offering personalized recommendations, and help boost customer satisfaction by quickly handling issues that arise and catering to guest needs.

In addition, predictive analytics powered by AI help improve revenue management systems by optimizing pricing and marketing strategies.

Sustainable Tourism

Customer interest in sustainability is another key trend hoteliers should keep their eye on. Recent research shows nearly 6 out of 10 travelers are more likely to choose sustainable lodging, and more than one-third would pay $25 more per night for lodging with sustainable amenities.

Consider offering eco-friendly amenities, implementing energy-saving practices, and engaging in local conservation efforts. By appealing to environmentally conscious travelers and promoting your sustainable practices, you can attract a growing market segment and enhance your revenue streams.

Contactless Guest Experience

The pandemic may have been the catalyst, but contactless guest experiences are here to stay. A study of U.S. travelers from Kasa reveals that the overwhelming majority (90%) prefer contactless interactions with hotel staff.

Contactless touchpoints at hotels, such as self-service options and automated check-in/checkout reduce wait times and better meet the needs of today’s digitally savvy guests. In fact, such efficiency measures boost guest satisfaction scores by 20%, driving more repeat bookings and positive reviews on third-party platforms.

Revolutionize Your Revenue

By implementing these actionable tactics and staying on top of emerging trends in hotel sales strategies, you unlock a greater ability to enhance guest experiences and drive revenue growth. From revenue optimization to personalized promotions to strategic partnerships, embracing these innovative approaches will help you foster long-term success and profitability.

Interested in developing optimal hotel sales strategies for your property? Discover how Canary solutions can help you maximize revenue streams at every guest touchpoint.

Learn How Canary Can Help Your Properties Thrive

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