“Every hotel typically has distinct and predictable slow periods that are challenging to fill,” said Traci Mercer, vice president of hotel market management for Expedia. “With the notable exception of resorts and some big city hotels, Expedia data shows that from now through the end of the year, most hotels are painfully slow.”
Mercer suggests these tips for capturing last minute bookings:
- Make opaque part of your online strategy today. As holiday plans firm up, value-conscious consumers looking for the best room at the last minute enjoy the element of surprise and the thrill of finding a great deal on an opaque channel. These customers book on average 10 to 15 days ahead of arrival for mainland US destinations, making now the perfect time to make your opaque offers available for holiday stay dates.
- Mobile is a must. Mobile shoppers are looking for next-day or same-day deals, so when inventory is available, a hotel should always have a same-day offer posted. Nearly 70 percent of mobile bookings on Hotels.com are made within one day of stay. “Whether people are traveling across town for a holiday party, or across the country to visit family, many will face unforeseen travel delays over the holiday season,” said Mercer. “So whatever the circumstances – whether it’s winter weather or simply indulging in too much eggnog – making same-day mobile offers available makes it easy for them to upgrade from a friend’s couch to your hotel.”
- Expect the unexpected. Airport hotels typically need help on weekends, when business travelers are off the road. This year, Christmas and New Year’s fall on a weekend, creating great opportunity for hotels to pick up extra room nights from holiday travelers. Kelsey Miller, market manager for Expedia in San Francisco, offers this suggestion: “Park and fly packages typically perform well for airport hotels, which is ideal for attracting incremental demand during such a busy travel season.”