If your hotel is located in a beach town, then you most likely cater to tourists You understand the direct correlation of your business success with the health of tourism in your area. If tourism is down, your numbers will be down.
However, if tourism is down in your area, it doesn’t have to be down for your business. If you are proactive with your marketing approach, you can attract guests to your hotel.
The mistake many tourism-dependent hotels make is they depend on the local tourism authority to bring tourists to the local area. You must act as your own advocate and not rely on the efforts of others whom you have no control over their actions.
For beach town hotels, Spring Break is the first influx for the tourist season. The Spring Break season is typically considered to be the entire month of March. This time period is critical for your first quarter earnings.
Here’s a great resource showing the current spring break dates for many schools around the country: Spring Break School Dates.
Being proactive means you should actually budget for campaigns to attract Spring Breakers to your hotel. You campaigns will be vastly different depending on whether you want to attract party animal spring breakers (college students) or families.
Below are several ideas to attract visitors to your hotel for Spring Break.
Promotional Beach Balls
Mail out beach balls to past spring break guests. On the promotional beach balls, include a phrase that says their room at the beach is ready during Spring Break.
Include special offers to entice them to book. A free breakfast or lunch at your restaurant, a free rental coupon for beach chairs and an umbrella, or a free drink from the bar are simple and low cost ways to promote more bookings. Other ideas include discounted room rates or one free night when you book 5 or more nights.
Offer a free beach towel with their booking of 6 nights of more. Make sure it’s a good quality towel and brand it not only with your hotel logo, but also with local attractions your guests would be interested in visiting.
This is a great opportunity to partner with other local businesses to help subsidize the cost of the towels. Partner with local restaurants, amusement parks, museums, and other nearby tourist attractions to create a towel that will be memorable to the guests who visit the local attractions that are included on the beach towels. Beach towels come in many different sizes, thicknesses, and decoration methods, so be sure to check out the Beach Towel Buying Guide before buying.
Because magnets are low cost promotional items and easy to mail in a standard envelope, they are perfect to send to prospective guests. Put together a comprehensive schedule of Spring Break events to list on the schedule magnet.
Be sure your schedule of events will make them want to book their Spring Break getaway right away. Activities may include beach volleyball tournaments, pool luaus, free BBQ nights, bikini contests around the pool, bonfire parties, fireworks displays, snorkeling lessons, fishing trips, water inflatables (trampoline, rock wall, slides, etc.) or live entertainment you bring to your hotel.
Once you have 1 week planned, you simply replicate the schedule for each week of the Spring Break season. Mail these out to past visitors during Spring Break or to targeted prospects who may be likely to book a stay at your hotel.
Spring Break is all about the beach and flip flops epitomize beach attire. As the weather warms up near the end of winter and the beginning of Spring, people dream of the beach. Sometimes they need a nudge to get there or in this case, a kick.
This crazy idea is to send prospects 1 flip flop and let them know they will receive the flip flop for the other foot upon check-in. The idea is to peak their interest just enough to go online and look up your hotel and destination. From there, your website or reservations department can close the deal!
When promoting to those of legal drinking age, you can promote a cooler that is filled with a 6-pack of beer as a FREE gift when they arrive. After a long drive or flight to your beach destination, popping a cold one is a great way to wind down and begin enjoying the vacation. Alternatively, you can offer a bottle of wine in a wine sleeve.
Your overall goal is to kickoff their unplanned vacation in their mind. By offering small teases from your area, this powerful emotion can take over to help push them to book their stay at your hotel. Get creative. Be bold. But above all, be proactive and don’t rely on your local tourism committee tourists to your hotel.
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