When developing a hotel package strategy, it is important to remember that building these offerings will not sell out a hotel. They may not even get bookings if not properly marketed.
In a nutshell, hotel packages should showcase your proximity to demand generators, any unique partnerships in the local community and further highlight your value proposition. Leverage your packages for marketing purposes and it should gain additional exposure to audiences that may have not otherwise put your hotel in their consideration set.
WHY: Why should I build a hotel package?
- Highlight your location and proximity to popular demand generators or promote a local experience
- Give them a reason to check rates and put your hotel on the “short list”
- Cross advertise to gain exposure to specific audiences, especially over need times
- Create halo effect – They may not book the package, but rather another rate on your website like BAR or advance purchase
WHO: Who am I developing packages for?
- Develop for your target market, or a market that you want
- Showcase a local partnership in your community
- Align with people who may be coming to your area anyway
WHEN: When should I have packages?
- All year! Set a goal to have at least 1 strong, location-specific package all year
- Target traditionally slow days of the week and times of the year
- Rotate based on seasonality, market changes and changes in hotel amenities
WHERE: Where can I leverage packages for more exposure?
- Your own website!
Tip: If you are an independent hotel, be sure you are passing over the correct rate codes to the booking engine. If you are a Hilton or Marriott hotel, be sure you take the extra steps to have the package loaded on your Deals/Offers page.
- Chamber of Commerce
- Convention Visitors Bureau
- Local email marketing newsletters
- State websites (like virginia.org and visitmaryland.org)
- Social media
Tip: Social media, especially Facebook, is a great cost-effective way to promote your package to specific audiences. See more about how to run a Facebook ad.
- Hotel’s own newsletter and/or eblast
- If the package contains a local demand generator or community partner, the package should be on their site! This will help Search Engine Optimization too!
Tip: When putting packages on other sites, consider adding your value add amenities that every guest receives, whether that be free WiFi, breakfast or parking, as they may not be familiar with your brand or hotel.
HOW: How do I create a profitable package?
- Does not have to be a discount! If anything it should raise your ADR.
- BAR plus value add; value adds do not have to cost hotel money
- Float at % above BAR to allow for proper positioning and rate integrity, not a static rate
- Put together different options that the guest either don’t know you have or cannot combine on their own
- Part II of this blog, Cogwheel Marketing partners with a team of revenue managers for specifics on how to build packages. Coming soon!
WHAT: What are some hotel package ideas?
Here are some hotel package ideas::
- First, partner with your local demand generators…
- Romance Package – Sell those upgraded hot tub rooms instead of using them for upgrades
- Gas Card Package – For summer, this is great to target the leisure drive market
- Museum Package – Check local museums for discount tickets that you pass savings on to the guest
- Pet Package – You maybe pet-friendly, but consider combining the pet fee with treats and water bowls.
Tip: There is generally decent search volume for people looking for pet-friendly hotels.
- Restaurant Package – If you don’t have a restaurant on-site, but have restaurants in walking distance and want to let guests keep more expense money in their pocket
- Valet Package – Downtown valet prices can be a sticker shock to some guests. Bundle it so it is more palatable (and another way to showcase this amenity)
- Metro Package – Bundle with day passes for all day sightseeing
- Cruise Package – Complimentary breakfast on the day of the cruise plus transportation to the cruise plus a place to leave your car
- Park, Stay and Fly – Include extended parking for a defined number of days.
Tip: Don’t call it “Park and Fly” due to trademarking.
- Movie Night package – Enjoy a free in-room movie with popcorn & soda
- Shopping package – Work with nearby outlets and give them a coupon booklet, especially in November and December
- Uber/Lyft Package – If you are not walking distance to the demand generators you promote, combine with a voucher to Uber or Lyft.
Tip: If you have a hotel with a shuttle, keep a handful of these rideshare cards to use for service recovery.
Hotel Package Strategy Recap
If you are just having your revenue manager build packages, where they are 10th in your sell strategy behind Points and Advance Purchase offers, no one is ever going to see them much less book them.
Leverage your partnerships and relationships to get the packages in front of new and targeted audiences to try to steal market share from the competition.
And if none of the above ideas fit your hotel, contact Cogwheel Marketing and we can give you some creative hotel package ideas that are market specific. Part II on Packages, a collaboration with Cardinal Point Revenue, my go-to revenue management team, coming soon!