Published on
January 17, 2024

Tips for your property to boost revenue during the Christmas holidays

The Christmas holidays are around the corner, now is the time to prepare your hotel or vacation rental for the most cosy time of the year. Good preparation for this period can have a big impact on your occupancy and revenue. Don’t worry, we are here to give some essential tips to help you achieve these goals and more.

Understand travel trends for revenue maximisation

During the winter holidays a lot of people have time off, and students have holidays, so naturally every year we see an increase in long term pick-up during December and January. 

We are seeing that the pandemic downfall in the travel industry is recovering very well. The fast increase in bookings this summer was even labelled the ‘travel boom’. We predict that this trend will stay this winter. Tui Belgium already noticed 40% more holiday bookings than last year. On top of that a survey estimates that customers will increase their spending on travel, gifts and entertainment with 7% this year. Europe is also becoming a more popular holiday destination. There is a 16% increase in hotel bookings in Europe this year, compared to 2022 during the Christmas holidays. 

Based on your understanding of the increase in tourism during this period, you can make predictions about how many guests you expect, how long they will stay, and what dates they will stay. This can impact your rules on minimum night stay, you could increase your minimum number of nights to make sure you fill all of the days during this period. Consider  hiring more staff in advance.

When to start expecting holiday bookings?

Bookings for the Christmas break generally happen quite early in comparison to other periods, around 8 to 9 weeks before arrival. Once Halloween is over, people start looking for how they will spend their winter holidays. That is why ranking high on OTAs before and during the busy periods is very important. This way you can stand out between the competition and ask better prices. We explain how to rank on the top pages of OTAs further in this blog, so stay tuned! 

Take care of your Christmas marketing 

A good marketing strategy is a dealbreaker during the holiday season. You have to make sure to sell your hotel to the people online, by showing them how magical your hotel is and how they can have a great stay. 

First of all most hotels start their Christmas decorations in the beginning of December. You don’t have to go overboard, but a big and beautiful Christmas tree is a good start. You can upload pictures of your freshly decorated lobby on the OTAs like Booking.com and Expedia. These pictures can definitely attract the attention of the right target audience. But don't forget to update your own website as well, this way you can capitalise on the Billboard effect. This will ensure that you bring in more direct bookings.

Next you have to look at the attractions in your neighbourhood. Is there a nice Christmas market close to your accommodation? Are there any other holiday related activities going on? You can try to get involved in local lists for tourists about the best hotels to go to during the holidays, but you can also be creative with this. 

Add dynamic prices to your revenue management

Now that you created your marketing campaign and increased your value to your guests, you have to adjust your prices accordingly. This should be an important part of your hotel revenue management. You can just increase the price of your rooms, but unfortunately it is impossible to personally make the best decisions regarding your pricing. Often hotels overprice rooms during Christmas Eve itself, while this exact day is often spent at home, while other days will work better for tourism. 

That is why the best way to tackle this is by using a dynamic pricing strategy. Dynamic pricing refers to the practice of adjusting room rates based on real-time market conditions and a whole range of factors that influence supply and demand. Instead of offering fixed prices, hotels use dynamic pricing algorithms to determine the optimal rate for a given time period or booking situation. The better this strategy, the higher your revenue will be. 

Otamiser Booster®️ includes a pricing strategy that ensures you show the right price to the right customer at the right time. This not only increases your revenue significantly, but it also makes your listings more findable and attractive to potential guests.

Increase the visibility of your listings

We want to end with the most important tip of all. Get on top of those OTAs! Your efforts should be seen by the public and this you can achieve by ranking high on OTAs like Booking.com, Expedia and Airbnb. Because at the end studies (Expedia survey, 2023) show that 75% of people book a stay in the first 15 views on an Online Travel Agency (OTA) and Booking.com even estimates that 80% to as much as 90% of bookings made come from the first page of the listing. 

To really use the potential of OTAs to your advantage, you need in-depth knowledge of how these platforms work and how travellers behave on them. For example, you need to understand how OTA algorithms work, how search results are generated, and what factors really influence a traveller's decision to book your accommodation. Or you could just get the Otamiser Booster that will take care of your ranking for you so that you can take care of the rest!

Conclusion

By thoughtfully optimising your hotel for the festive season, you can create a joyful and profitable experience for both guests and your business. Embrace the spirit of the holidays, offer unique experiences, and leverage strategic marketing to make your hotel the go-to destination for Christmas celebrations. With a well-executed plan, you can turn this season of giving into a season of success for your hotel.

And don’t miss out on a 24% increase in your revenue by implementing our Otamiser Booster®️. Request a free audit to discover what we can do for your hotel or vacation rental!

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