With COVID-19 still causing international and long-distance travel problems, hotels and resorts must be inventive and think locally to stay afloat. Most of us are in desperate need of a break and a change of scenery and staycations at your local hotel can be the ideal getaway.
Developing special programs aimed at locals is a terrific approach to boost additional spending while establishing your property as a true community centre. If you’re unsure where to begin, Jayme Schreiner from Cendyn has put together a list of six simple suggestions to help you turn your hotel or resort into a local haven for staycations.
1 Offer discounts for being a “Good Neighbor.”
Showing some community appreciation goes a long way towards long-term loyalty. Whether it’s a locals-only rate on overnight accommodations or a weekly happy hour with a good neighbour discount, these gestures indicate your hotel cares about and supports the community. It’s a win-win situation.
2 Make ‘daycation’ passes available.
We all need time to unwind, re-energize and clear our thoughts. More and more people need to have a mental break outside the house after two years of COVID-19 restrictions.
Hotels and resorts with amenities such as a pool, tennis courts, beach services, and a spa might entice these residents by offering a ‘daycation’ pass that grants single-day admission to portions of the property generally reserved for overnight customers.
Your day passes may include a small discount on food and beverage or a complimentary drink to sweeten the deal. As guests purchase a second drink, indulge in dessert, or splurge on services like spa treatments, these simple add-ons can easily create additional revenue from services you are already offering.
3 Organize low-key neighbourhood gatherings.
Hosting events and live performances at your property is a simple way to draw in local visitors while supporting your community.
By partnering with local merchants, you’ll have a ready-made audience of locals who will gladly travel a short distance to your resort or hotel to support their friends and family.
The goal isn’t to cram hundreds of people into a room but to create a series of smaller experiences where locals can feel welcome, make F&B purchases, and take advantage of other hotel services/amenities while on property. Think about booking a band to play poolside on weekends, transforming your lobby into a local art gallery, hosting an open-mic night, or arranging a mixology class with your bartender.
4 Create staycation packages based on your clientele.
Even though the concept of a staycation is appealing, you may need to construct a picture for potential guests to understand the total value of a local retreat.
This is where the correct offer can save you time and effort. Work with your team to develop a variety of staycation packages aimed at different demographics – couples, families, singles, and others – relevant to your local market.
Consider ‘Date Night’ packages that include dinner and an overnight stay or a family weekend with bike rentals and a take-out picnic lunch.
You can also collaborate with other local businesses to combine an overnight stay at your hotel with tickets to a nearby attraction or activity, such as a botanic garden, museum, or comedy club.
5 Include spending on F&B in your rewards programme.
Rewarding loyalty is the most effective approach to fostering it. Many hotels and resorts reward overnight customers with loyalty points as a matter of course. Still, merely rewarding overnight stays leaves a significant amount of potential expenditure and goodwill on the table, especially for local guests.
Expanding your loyalty programme to award points for F&B purchases is the most straightforward fix (and a terrific way to encourage locals to your eating outlets).
6 Use your space efficiently
Why not attract locals who are tired of working from home by offering special weekday prices to use a guest room as an office space, complete with Wi-Fi and parking possibilities.
Consider converting rooms into work lounges by removing the beds to save money on housekeeping. You can experiment with a dedicated co-working floor to regulate capacity and foot traffic while streamlining maintaining that environment’s cleaning and operational elements.
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