How to get more bookings in low season

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61 comments

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    Yes I agree lowering prices for low season. It works!!!!

  • Avatar
    Akwador

    We too are running close on 100% during high season - this bell curve of income is what keeps you going in the 'off' season. As a ski resort you have a problem in that there is no reason for being there except to use you as a holiday with no ski ing intended - we have people coming to us off season because they don't like the heat of our peak season and now have regular returning guests.

    You will need to appeal to a totally different customer in off season - these will be people looking at having a break at a discount - however your discount should not be so great that you are offering accommodation, utilities, cleaning costs and wear an tear of linen and decors for what amounts to the water from a boiled egg.

    Factor in costs, add a modest extra and see what happens - if you cannot fill your rooms then take quality time off or use the time to decorate for the peak season when you are full. You may wish to adjust your peak rate to earn yourself a little extra to soften the blow for being empty off season.

  • Avatar
    Akwador

    Neil,

    Something else you might want to consider is targeting business users where the off season weather is not an issue. An example is conferences (ideal if you have a dining hall that will convert into a conference hall). Other ideas are interest groups, we have had language courses, seminars of budding authors, and hypnotherapy courses, amateur painters etc. 

    I imagine the sky is the limit. Find these groups and offer discounts on group bookings. You then get to be full out of season - groups tend to all go out together so cleaning the rooms is easier as you don't have the 'don't disturb' brigade holding up room cleaning until they wake up.

  • Avatar
    Villa Junona Croatia

    During all "low seasons" there are weekends. And there are people who want to spend them somewhere, not staying at home. So, having a hotel staying straight at the beachfront we see that when the high season ended people start coming without booking a room in advance. they either use "last minute deal" or just come "from the street".

    That´s why we decided to use Facebook and Instagram advertising- We start it Wednesday evening and keep running till Saturday morning. We target it to our neighbor countries, to people who can reach us within 5-4 hours by car - not too far to go for a sea weekend.

    Actually. last week spending only 2 euro for advertising we got 6 rooms (30% of our capacity) occupied from Friday till Monday,

    We repeated tis action this week and will see what happens.

  • Avatar
    ahoteiby

    I am learning from you and enjoying my self with these stories till I find clients to com to my place. My property is in new Cairo, Egypt and in the heart of a well off area and near to all historic areas in Cairo and Giza such as the pyramids, the sphinx and the Egyptian musuem. Do you have customers.

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    Villa Junona Croatia your suggestions are very helpful. Facebook and Instagram really work I also had some guests coming to me.

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    ahoteiby You asked how long it took to get the first client. If I am not mistaken it was one week or so after signing up with booking.com and I kept getting clients but now looking at some of the prices I charged (even though it was February) I think I was charging too little but I soon upped the prices to more realistic levels. 

    Now I have one month with no bookings at all - December - maybe it is still too early - but what do other hosts experience in December in countries where December is wet and cold?

  • Avatar
    k2u

    Hello Neil

    Drop your pricing, do some promotions, you can do your own promotions through BDC or do the ones they have offered. Check out the competitions rates. Go on the rate intelligence BDC offers, this helps with your pricing correctly. 

    Location means everything. Luckily here, (in NY state, US) We are about a mile from a very popular Ski area/Outdoor Adventure Park.. which this winter season there, everything will be brand new. They have renovated almost everything. So we will attract the skiers (depending on the snow and temps). Actually getting our first snowfall tonight. I say Ski Area because its not a resort, so no lodging there. From our Motel at night, you can see the lights of the ski/snowboard trails. There is a beautiful restaurant at the Mountain (not affiliated with the Ski Area) that the views are amazing. We also have a very popular hiking trails within 4 miles from us. 

    We have on and off season rates. As well as Holiday rates. 

    Good luck to you !! Everyone here has great advise. 

  • Avatar
    Lodumo Guesthouse

    Hie Neil
    It's good that your are fully booked from April to October.
    Your low period could be the best time then to prepare for your busy period through small renovations.If in any case you don't need this,I agree with Eugenia on dropping your price to attract Traveller's who are on lean budget.

  • Avatar
    Jonathan

    Hello from Australia. We have had a BIG increase in bookings as soon as we allowed pets. We allow small indoor pets- sure the clean is a bit more involved, but the financial reward is worth the effort. It gets us through the quiet period. Hope this little tip helps, good luck with your business. Regards, Jonathan.

  • Avatar
    Angela

    @Jonathan - I am also in Australia (Victoria).  How did you go with your Prescribed Accommodation health permit when you changed to allow pets?  We are a registered food premise (so we can provide tea, coffee, milk etc to guests), under this permit we have the same rules as restaurants re animals in our rooms - none can come inside, except guide dogs.  If we decide to allow pets, we can no longer provide guests with anything they can eat - including tea/coffee/milk - how do you manage it? 

  • Avatar
    Auther1988

    create more promotion
    and deal with genius partner program
    also u can give higher committion to booking.com for helping u do avertise

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    I have joined the PPP program, the Genius program and have using booster visibility with 20% commission.

    I have made season deals with 25% off the basic prices. Have post my review award 2018 to facebook and instagram so people know that my property has been awarded.

    Hopefully things will start moving....

  • Avatar
    Aaltje B.

    If I could, Katerinka12...   Off season you can offer people different things. Invest in certain books with a special theme that reflects your area. 

    Connect with people or groups where the tourists do go in winter and make your unit a starter or finishing unit before they return home.

    We invested in double glazing, insulation and warm bedding, stacks of firewood, a high-quality fireplace and the best chimney for safe warming.

    Chlorine-free showers in an area where it is definitely not common practice to have clean water

    Communication; make sure anyone will be comfortable to ask any question. 

    Late arrival, lost the way, keep fine-tuning the how to get there route. Especially for people who don't speak your language. 

     

    I know, our prices are too cheap! 

  • Avatar
    xavier

    Greeting's Mr.neil.,

    i am from south india we have the same day's here too but below mentioned point's make us move a great one which i suggest for you too.

     Increase to be 50% Discount on  week days?)
    - provide (Free breakfast and car parking)
    - do not say the guest about the  minimum length of stay.

    -give the guest free cancellation policy in that dry day's, if you can.

    -give more compliment's for children and aged people

    put a meeting with the hotel group's near you and make a deal with them to offer more room with good percentage to them will give more booking's

    thanks&regard's

    Xavier

    Marketing Manager

    for Hotel nalan

    south india

  • Avatar
    Alice

    Hi Neil,

    Greetings from Sunny Cyprus!

    We meet the same issues during the winter season.  Summer is, of course, our high season. 

    This year was our first winter as we have just opened our business last summer 2018. 

    Although we have calculated our income as a yearly income and the summer suppose to cover for the dry season (lots of rain but dry from guests..ha..ha..). 

    I will take all the bits of advice from the above conversation and hopefully, next winter will be better. 

    Good luck to everyone !!

    Alice

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    Hello! Alice here the same thing. Lots of rain but very dry of guests. My first guest is coming in the beginning of May.
    Wish you all the best.

  • Sure is a quiet season.  I even offered 40% discount but where are the guests?

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    We just have to wait a little more I guess... Maybe Spring will bring us some beautiful birds...

    Take care...

  • Avatar
    Katerinka12

    Hi Eugenia,

    Welcome back to the forum! I have been asking where are you and Junona Croatia... Hope everything is going well with you. How are you?

    Do you have Airbnb? As I could remember 40% discount worked well for Zsolt. I am not, however, sure how does it work for different people as some people like big discounts and some people don't (Joey).

    I would like to know what is the difference between Low price vs. High price with 40% discount. What is the performance in real life and in terms of Booking search?

    Partners, please share your experience.

  • Avatar
    Katerinka12

    Another question:

    "No fees, ever." Did anyone try Agoda Homes???

  • Avatar
    Mashi Niwarthana

    Lowering price and giving promotions are the best things to get more bookings in low season.. :-) 

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    Lowering prices and giving promotions will probably bring guests but what kind of guests I wonder???

  • Avatar
    John

    Hi..Good morning...somebody could help? Mostly from january to april is a low season in my area...we have no reservation at all, my question is how to handle this season? 

  • Avatar
    John

    Thank you for your advise,...well..most my guest are the europien who would like to feel something as feeled by the local community,

  • Avatar
    Katerinka12

    I will join Mashi and Maria..
    Lowering prices and promotions would help. Would you mind to give us an idea on what kind of place you have? Location? Why low season?

  • Avatar
    Mashi Niwarthana

    We have low season in February, March, July, August, September, October.
    So we give discounts, offering promotions.
    So some students, some couples come to our place. When i ask from them the reason for flying to srilanka in the low season, they just said that they don't like to visit in the busy period and they have wanted to stay calm and relaxing.
    So those kinds of people come li the low season.

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Heya,

    I also suggest offering Add-ons for cheaper than usual (if that is viable). Breakfast/dinner etc.

    Last min specials work best, as your property then has to opportunity for bookings made at higher rates until nr 99. 

    Hope you get the answers you are hoping for. 

    Mashi, I would love to fly to Srilanka like right now. But that's because it's peak season and I have barely 2 rooms booked via Booking.com throughout 4 properties listed... dunno what the hell happened this year as my last year March holiday was much better.

    *le sigh* Happy Friday all. 

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    Adds-on is a very smart idea Leandri.
    Wish your bookings start coming...
    Have a nice day...

  • Avatar
    Mashi Niwarthana

    Ms. Leandri,
    Fly to SriLanka. And when you come to Yala area, make sure to inform me.. 😉😊

    Greetings from SriLanka

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