Daily archives "May 12, 2015"

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How to Raise Your Prices and Rates Without Losing Guests





The King of Wall Street, Warren Buffett once said, “The single most important decision in evaluating a business is pricing power. If you’ve got the power to raise prices without losing business to a competitor, you’ve got a very good business. And if you have to have a prayer session before raising the price by 10 percent, then you’ve got a terrible business.”

Increasing bedroom rates is of course one of the chief ways hotel owners and managers boost income and profit. However due to the fear of losing guests and market share many hoteliers are weary of increasing their prices. This was especially so during the Great Recession.

Many hotels got stuck in the trap of constantly dropping their prices in a bid to attract guests away from competitor hotels and protect their market share. As a result hotel bedroom rates have plummeted and hotels have found it a challenge to turn over a profit.

Thankfully as the economy has started to recover and to grow again, hotel bedroom rates have also started to creep up. No business and no industry can grow or expand if prices are continually falling or stagnating. Rising prices mean hotels can grow and expand again.

My ambition for this blog is to give you some helpful tips and practical advice on how to raise your hotel’s prices without losing guests.

Value and Pricing

The value of a product or service is the worth customers places on a product or service. The higher the value the higher the price you can charge. The vast majority of successful businesses are successful because they get the match between price and value right.

When the time comes to raise your prices you should also raise the value you offer your guests.  Remember that a higher price implies greater quality. It is critical you get the match between price and value right. Failure to get the match between price and value correct could lead to customer resistance and a decline in the number of guests visiting your hotel. Always remember that price is what your guests pay and value is what they get.

Pricing Strategy

When setting the price for a product or service there are three primary methods to choose from. The three approaches to pick from are cost-based pricing, completion-based pricing, and customer value-based pricing.

All three mechanisms have their advantages and disadvantages, but the consensus amongst business experts and those working on the frontline is that the customer value-based pricing method is the best pricing strategy over all.

Andress Hinterhuber in his article (Sited above), writes, “The increasing endorsement of the customer value-based strategies among academics and practitioners alike is based on a general recognition that the keys to sustained profitability lies in the essential features of customer value-based pricing.

These include understanding the sources of value for customers; designing products, services, and solutions that meet customers’ needs; setting prices as a function of value; and implementing consistent pricing policies.”

Choosing the Right Time

Choosing the right time to raise your prices is crucial. If you get the timing wrong your risks losing guests to your rival hotels.

It is generally accepted that the best time to raise prices and bedroom rates is just before a busy period. If you want raise your bedroom rate for the busy summer season, then start making perceptions for the price increase in early spring and then raise your prices in April just before the start of holiday season.

 The Freedium Model

Judith Aquino in his blog, recommends employing the freemium model of pricing. The freemium model works by offering a basic product or service free of charges while charging a premium rate for advanced services.

There is a growing trend in the hospitality industry of using the freemium model in relation to internet and WI-FI services. A hotel could for example give its guest’s free basic WI-FI but then charge a premium rate for an upgraded service that offers faster download speeds and better accessibility.

There is considerable scope to expand the freemium model to other aspects of your hotel business. For instance you could offer your guests a cheap bottle of wine for free with their dinner and then charge a premium rate for a higher quality bottle of wine.


This blog has been about how to raise your prices while avoiding guest’s resistances. After reading this blog I want you to walk away with the confidence and self-belief to raise your prices and not fear losing guests and market share. Rising prices are a sign of a hotel’s health and vitality.


Turning Prospects into Guests



Turning as many prospects (potential guests) into paying guests is obviously going to decide if your hotel is going to be a success or a failure. Filling your bedrooms night after night, week after week is what it’s all about. But we both know that’s easier said than done.

However there are some simple steps you can take to ensure that you convert more of your prospects into paying guests.

What is Your Unique Selling Point

You have to understand when somebody is looking for a hotel they are going to be offered a lot of choices. In actual fact they will be presented with so many hotel choices they won’t possibly be able to look at and investigate every hotel the internet offers them.

So how to do you attract potential guests to your hotel and not your competitors? The answer to this central question lies in making your hotel stand out from the herd of hotels that Google shoots out at people.


This hotel certainly stands out

Or maybe your hotel is the only hotel in the area that allows guests bring their pets with them. There are a lot of pet lovers out there and they will really want to know if your hotel allows them to bring their beloved four legged babies.


This little guy is enjoying his night away

You have to constantly advertise and publicize what makes your hotel different from all the rest. The days when you could simply throw open the doors of your hotel and watch the guests roll in are over. Selling hotel bedrooms are like selling any other service or product; you have to fight hard for every guest. Always remember that uniqueness will differentiate your hotel from your competitors and thus draw more guests towards your business.

Promotions and Packages

Neil Salerno in his article, 5 Simple Ways to Improve Hotel Sales in a Lousy Economy, argues that adding value is key to turning prospective guests into paying guests. Salerno advocates creating and promoting special packages as a way of adding value to your hospitality business. Salerno also points out that establishing special packages will allow you to mask the through rate of your bedrooms.

If your hotel doesn’t have packages at the present time you should sit down with your key team members and put your heads together to come up with different packages for the different types of guests which stay at your hotel. Quite a number of hotels find it both useful and profitable to design packages exclusively for hen and stag parties.

Follow Ups

Amazingly many hotels fail time and time again to follow up on inquiries made by prospective guests and possible group bookings.

There are so many hotels that are losing out on bookings and revenue, because they don’t put in the time and effort to follow up on promising inquiries.

Collecting contact information will allow you and your staff to touch base with potential guests after their initial contact with your hotel. It also gives you the chance to up sell to your guests and group bookings, and gives your sales and marketing departments the opportunity to send promotional material to possible guests.

If your hotel operates an over relaxed attitude towards following up on inquiries from prospect guests, then its time you shake up the culture in your hotel. It should be every hotel’s policy to always follow up on potential inquiries from possible guests.

Don’t Rush to Drop Room Rates

Many hotel managers who find they are having trouble turning prospects into guests will immediately drop room rates.

Reducing room rates may seem like a reasonable course of action when you’re struggling to get paying guests. However, this is not always the case and in many cases it is the wrong move to make and will do more harm than good.

Instead, hotel managers should come to regard dropping room rates as the nuclear option and should only drop room rates after all other marketing options have been exhausted.


Dropping the room rate is the nuclear option


Salerno in his article (sited above) writes, “Reducing rates is the lazy-man’s form of marketing. It’s generally the first thought when sales are low; after-all, it takes very little thought and certainly very little research and/or effort. If reducing the room rate worked hotels with the lowest rates would be full all the time.”

If you are struggling to generate a higher occupancy rate for your hotel, you should consider up-selling more to your existing guests. Many hotels find it both beneficial and very profitable to up-sell to guests. For example, if your hotel caters for a lot of couples you could create a special romantic package and charge couples a premium for the package. Always remember that people hate to be sold but love to buy, so make sure that any packages you create have value for guests.


It is of Paramount importance for the growth and survival of your hotel business that you are able to convert prospects into guests. To put it simply the success of your hotel relies on your ability to turn as many prospects as possible into paying guests. If you are worried that you are not converting enough prospects, then why not implement the steps outlined in this chapter?

The Sale Funnel

How to Capture More Leads from your Web Traffic

The Sale Funnel

The Sale Funnel

Are you getting the most out of your website? Does your website generate enough customers for your business? Or is your website a bit of an under-performer when it comes to attracting customers?

In today’s online world it is critical that your website is front and center in your marketing and sale strategy. In this blog I want to share with you some useful tips on how to get the most out of your website, and how to capture more leads from your web traffic.

Let’s start by defining what a lead actually is

A lead is simply a marketing term for a person who has visited a website and is willing to leave behind some kind of contact information. This could be an email address, a home address, or a phone number. The challenge is to convert your site’s web traffic into hot leads for your activity center.

Structuring your website

If your finding that your website is getting a lot of traffic but you’re not capturing enough leads, ask yourself how user friendly is your website? Is fundamental information easily found and clearly displayed on your website?

• Can potential customers easily make a booking
• Are your facilities clearly displayed
• Can group bookings book and pay for their activity through a group payment system on your website

Or is the opposite the case? Is your website a labyrinth of pages where leads have to search through page after page just to find out basic information?

Always keep in mind what people are looking for on your website. Prospective customers will just want to know about:
• The types of activities you offer
• Your prices
• How to book and pay for their activity
• Your Location
• How to book and pay for group events.

It is crucial for your business that vital information can be found without difficulty by possible customers. Nobody is going to search through a maze of web pages looking for basic information that should be easy to find.

Website Navigation

Link Solutions recommends organizing all of your content into categories. For instances, activities and offers, prices, your facilities, and group event information should be separate categories.

Try and limit yourself to seven main categories, you don’t want to overload your leads and customers with loads of information and loads of different categories.

If you find that you need more than seven categories which often happens then label one of your categories as MORE and provide a drop down menu and add in all your subcategories.

If you need any more information about how to make your website more users friendly and easier to navigate you should check out link solutions website, you will find loads of good tips at www.hotellinksolutions.com

Branding and design

How you brand and design your business online is also extremely important. You must always be aware that your website allows leads and possible customer to form a first impression of your activity center; And first impressions are everything in business, customers look before they book. People are not going to look twice at a business that doesn’t look good online.

A good tip when it comes to designing your website is to use your company’s brand colours. Don’t use new colors no matter how good you think they look. Try also to standardize your logo and color scheme.

The font size you chose for your website is another vital factor for you to consider. You have to put some thought and time into it. You need to pick a font that is easy to read and that looks good. You will also need to make sure the font colour you choose can be read against your website’s background. Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, Times New Roman, and Comicare are all good fonts for business websites.





If your activity center has a lot of customers coming from countries that don’t use English as their first language, then why not offer a translation service on your website? Providing a translation service on your website will take some time and effort but it is a great way to capture more leads from countries that are not part of the English speaking world.

It is only logical that consumers travelling from France, Germany, or any other country that doesn’t use English on a daily bases would choose an activity center that offers a language service. Just think how impressed tourist from Europe would be if they could read what your activity center has to offer in their mother tongue.

If you decide to add a translation service to your website look up Google translate.Google Translate will walk you through the rest of the process. However it is important to realize that Google translate is the cheap choice and may not be the best option.

There are a number of other language translations companies on the market that will for a fee translate all your website content into whatever language you want.


HELLO in eight different languages


Up loading images to your business website is another really great way of engaging the attentions of leads. People will always check out your images before reading any written content.

The right images used in the right way can make a huge difference to your company’s reputation and bottom line. But be cautious with the pictures you put up on your website, just as the right images can attract lots of leads and customers. The wrong images can turn people of your business and lead to you missing out on bookings.


This blog has been all about how to captures more leads from your website traffic. It is essential that you invest both time and money into developing the right website for your business. Always remember that your website is your company’s primary marketing tool. You have to get it right.




How to Attract More Visitors to your Hotel Website



Are you getting the most out of your website? In today’s online world your website is your primary marketing tool. Getting your website right is an absolute must for any business.

However having a really great website is only half of the battle. You could have the best website in the world with amazing content; but if your website isn’t getting enough web traffic all your hard work and effort will have been for nothing.




High Ranking from Google

In order for your website to generate a large amount of web traffic you have to make sure your website receives a high ranking from Google.

Google ranks websites by using two methods and understanding the differences between the two is crucial when trying to increase your web traffic.

The first method focuses on the relevance of the website in relation to a person’s search. The second method is called the authority method and Google uses this method to determine how important your site is to an individual’s search.

The authority method will analyse both the content of the website and the types of links a website has. So the more quality links your site has the higher its ranking will be. Make sure your website is linked to as many high ranking sites as possible.


“Increasing traffic to your website can be a fulltime job. But it doesn’t have to be.”

Penny C. Sasseviera

Penny C. Sasseviera in her article, How to Drive more Traffic to your Website and Blog, gives three very good tips on how to increase your website’s traffic.

Tip 1: Have social content on your website. This could be a blog, a forum, or social networking. For example you could blog about a new group payment system your hotel has invested in, which makes booking and paying for group events much easier.

Always let potential guests know about investments your have made in order to enhance the guest experience in your hotel.

Tip 2: You need to consistently and frequently provide fresh content for your website. Make it your goal to have fresh new content for your website every week. I know the idea of producing fresh content every week is daunting but it’s not as hard as it sounds.

If your head chef creates a brand new menu why not upload the entire menu to your website? If you have a concert or conference taking place at your hotel, get the details up on your website. All this information is important and it all counts as fresh content for your website.

All search engines including Google love new content. The more content you provide the higher your site’s ranking will be.

Tip 3: Get your hotel on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Experts in the area of search engine optimization (SEO) call these big social media sites, feeder sites.  Meaning they direct web traffic to other sites. If you haven’t all ready make sure your social media pages have a link to your main website.

Use Keywords Strategically

When it comes to keywords make sure your keywords are in places where both the search engines and potential guests look for them. Such as in title pages, headlines, and meta tag descriptions.

Optimize Your Mobile Site

The introduction of smartphones has dramatically changed how we engage with the internet. We now use our phones much more than laptops or desktops to search online. So when designing your hotel’s website you have to bear in mind a lot of people are going to be using their smart phones to see what your hotel has to offer.

Remember search engines use phone numbers to provide local search results, so include your phone number as a HTML text. That way, it can be read by search engines. Also focus on shorter keywords; no one taps out long search strings on a mobile device.





The first chapter of this ebook has sought to provide you with good practical advice on to get the most out of your hotel’s website. It is so important for your business that your hotel websites gets a high volume of web traffic. The more traffic you get the more guests you get.