Hotels Can Afford to Be Greedy As 2021 Enters the Final Quarter
We are constantly told, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. This wise saying has been used for ages now to caution the greedy to value what they already have instead of chasing something that potentially may have a higher value, but involves more risk. And as we have seen throughout 2019 and 2020, hotel marketers have heeded this statement.
Things have clearly changed a lot within the last two years. Right now, we can no longer say we have predictable travel behaviors. For that reason, hotel marketers are forming a new habit of attracting bookings in the short term just in case things take a different turn in the future.
As a result, we can’t rely on the traditional revenue management strategies right now as things have fallen on the wayside. So, what are the new patterns that have emerged and what can hoteliers do to maintain their revenue?
The New Trends in Last-Minute Hotel Booking
Older patterns of travel planning are gone, and they are paving the way for the emergence of new ones. One of the new patterns that has been constant throughout the pandemic is last-minute booking. I’m not psychic, but from the look of things might have many last-minute bookers during the coming holiday season. Some of the reasons why that’s likely to happen include;
- People are having a hard time deciding what they would like to do for the holiday season. Also, as we can see, the older folks might want to be more cautious and avoid interacting with younger unvaccinated folks.
- What’s more, it has been rumored that by December, children may be vaccinated as well. If children as young as five years old are vaccinated by November, we will witness a surge in family-oriented bookings.
- People are also getting more open to the idea of last-minute bookings. Gone are the days when people had solid revenue management practices. Therefore, people can still find good hotel deals weeks or days before planning for their trip.
At this point, many factors are just above the marketer’s control. We are in that ‘wait and see’ kind of game right now. But at the same time, the one thing we can pick from all this is that the hotel marketers need to keep their heads in the game and make great pricing bets during the holiday season. Failure to do so will only train the travelers to book later, which will disrupt the old booking patterns that seemed to work quite well during the healthy travel periods.
It’s Time for the Hotels to be a Little Greedy
Hotel bookings have been on the rise among leisure travelers in the Thailand market, even in areas that had been hit hard by the pandemic. While this is good news for the hotel business, it’s crucial that we don’t focus too much on short-term opportunities.
That means, if hotels focus so much on keeping the prices low, there is a risk of filing up their rooms with low-value bookers before that last-minute surge kicks in. The best thing right now is for the hotel marketers to be a little greedy and take their prices a notch higher once the bookings start increasing. That way, hoteliers will make a fortune as the last-minute wave takes hold in November and December.
This is a Not-So-Risky Bet!
Hoteliers can comfortably roll the dice this holiday season. Most people have money to play with right now, which means they are willing to spend it on higher-priced hotels. The fact that we have been waiting for bookings to go back up, it can feel a bit foolish to implement this kind of revenue management strategy that comes with higher prices which will potentially turn the early planners away.
However, with everything that has been happening in 2021 regarding the patterns that have emerged and the fundamental spending habits travelers have adopted, the smart bet here is just waiting and raising the prices. If people get used to the low prices, that will eventually disrupt the entire market. This holiday could finally be the bridge to reinstating the regular travel marketing strategies in 2022