Carols and decorations greeting guests in the lobby, with the aroma of Christmas bakes wafting in from restaurants – the holiday season holds a special charm for the hospitality sector, and not just because it makes occupancy rates skyrocket. Christmas and New Year’s eve give hotels the opportunity to showcase their finest and create exceptional experiences for guests.
They also present challenges, and hotels are increasingly turning to technology to overcome them. From AI-assisted bookings to digital check-outs, these are a few ways in which your hotel can make the most of the season.
- Maximize occupancy with targeted marketing campaigns
In the age of data, the saying ‘Know your customer’ is more relevant than ever. Data can give you the edge in guest segmentation and help tailor your marketing campaigns for each group. For example, if you’re targeting international guests, you could offer a complimentary tour of the local Christmas market. Ads aimed at local guests could focus on the restaurant’s Christmas specials or the New Year’s eve party helmed by a popular DJ. Hotel calendars offer something for everyone during the holiday season, and data-based advertising can showcase the right offering to the right audience.
2.Optimize booking and reservation management
Hotels can also deploy dynamic pricing algorithms to calibrate room rates according to demand and maximize revenue. Online booking software can manage bookings 24×7 and co-ordinate with multiple platforms across the distribution network. The latest innovations aren’t just targeting the right customer, but also increasing conversions. Websites featuring AI-powered chatbots are reporting more direct bookings, thanks to the chatbots’ ability to converse in any language, understand the customer’s needs and suggest the perfect package for them.
- Reduce wait times, increase holiday time
Christmas and New Year often result in long queues at the front desk and crowding at the restaurants. With hospitality apps like Hudini, guests can skip the front desk by checking-in online and using their phones as digital room keys.
The Hudini app is synced to the hotel’s management systems, which streamline room cleaning and make rooms ready for occupancy sooner. The app can also manage dining reservations for guests, ensuring that restaurants aren’t overcrowded. When a guest is checking-out, he can review and clear bills on the app; this results in a smoother check-out process for the hotel and the guest.
- Make guests feel at home
Holidays are traditionally celebrated at home, but these days, customers are using the vacation time to travel with friends and family. Hotels can offer them the best of both worlds by combining the comfort of home and the luxury of a hotel.
With apps like Hudini, guests can add a personal touch to their rooms; this includes regulating the temperature and lighting, streaming content from their personal devices on the in-room television, and even customizing room service menus to their preference.
- Tackle staff shortage effectively
82% of hotels in the US are facing staff shortages, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). The shortages will affect service quality during the holiday season, but this can be mitigated by using technology.
Contactless services such as digital check-in and check-out can ease the workload at the front desk. Guest experience apps can make every step of the guest journey more convenient and comfortable. Guests can access the Hudini app on their mobile devices to make reservations, order room service, schedule housekeeping, connect the in-room TV to their personal OTT accounts and more, without contacting hotel staff. Additionally, the app’s chatbot doubles up as a 24×7 digital concierge. Staff can register and track requests through Hudini’s centralized dashboard. Hotels are also integrating employee scheduling software and communication tools to ensure that shortages neither put a strain on employees nor affect guest satisfaction.
- Customize services for every guest
With the data generated by apps, hotels can make every guest feel like the property has been specially designed for them. From helping them choose the right package and even the floor that their room is on, hotel apps can make personalized recommendations that are aligned with each guest’s preferences.
Planning to welcome guests with a small Christmas cake in each room? If the guest has mentioned a vegan diet on the app, you can switch the traditional cake with a vegan substitute. If you’re hosting a family, a Christmas movie night for the kids will be appreciated. For international guests, highlighting local holiday specials in your in-room menu will pique their interest.
Technology doesn’t just address challenges that hotels face, but also unveils opportunities they’d never thought of. With its potential, technology can feel like a gift to hotels, especially during the holiday season.