Revinate
Revinate
Blog Articles

Summer 2024: Insights and solutions to boost hotel performance

Last Updated: May 16, 2024|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , |6.5 min read|

As the summer heat rises, so does the demand for unforgettable getaways. In our recent webinar, we discussed how all signs indicate that the hospitality industry is headed for an outstanding summer this year. Hotels are retaining their prime position as the top lodging choice, with a recent American Hotel & Lodging Association survey revealing that 3 out of 4 Americans plan to maintain or increase hotel stays.

The question is: Are you ready to seize the stays?

In order to capitalize on summer demand, maximize direct bookings, and drive revenue, you need to be aware of the coming trends. You also need to have the right solutions in place. In particular, you want to harness the power of your hotel call center.

Read on to discover the latest summer travel insights, strategies, and the tools that can help you leverage guest data to boost your business during the “hottest” season of the year.

What you will see here

2024 summer travel demand predictions

From evolving booking behaviors to an international influx, here are the latest trends of note for the busy season ahead.

Shorter windows, longer stays

According to Skyscanner research, booking windows for U.S. travelers are tightening; while stay lengths are experiencing an uptick. These trends highlight evolving traveler behavior and highlight the importance of maintaining an agile reservation team ready to capture bookings with efficiency and precision.

RevPAR is on the rise

As unemployment and inflation rates decrease – along with no recession looming on the horizon – the American economy is on the upswing. This growth means more business and leisure travelers are hitting the road this summer, with group travel making a big comeback as well. As a result, CoStar is forecasting strong RevPar growth of 4.1%.

U.S. becomes the global hotspot

With foreign exchange rates set to decline, U.S. destinations are becoming more affordable for international travelers. Industry pundits predict international inbound travel will return in a big way, increasing 20% year over year. The markets with high international exposure include:

  • Miami
  • Honolulu
  • New York
  • San Francisco
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Los Angeles

Baby Boomers have big travel plans

Even if it means taking budget away from other things, travel spending – particularly among Baby Boomers – shows resilience compared to other spending categories. Boomers who stayed home or trimmed travel budgets in previous years say they have bigger plans for travel in 2024, with the average number of trips increasing significantly over previous years.

Alise Deeb, Chief Revenue Officer for Dragonfly Strategists, suggests properties should prepare to grab their slice of the summer travel pie by targeting this population with strategies such as offering senior discounts. She also notes that speaking to this market requires very different campaigns in comparison to those targeting bleisure travelers and remote workers.

Inbound sales calls going up

Not everyone books online, especially when planning a big-ticket summer vacation. And your property needs to be prepared. Revinate’s 2024 Hospitality Benchmark Report reveals that voice-based lead management system, Reservation Sales, fielded 26.9 average monthly inbound calls per room last year, with peak call numbers occurring from June through August.

Metrics to monitor

To capitalize on the coming summer surge, it’s crucial to diligently monitor key metrics and take the necessary steps in order to navigate the season’s travel demand effectively.

Pace

As the summer season unfolds, analyzing pace will be key to maximizing revenue. You want to compare booking windows, call volume, and call distribution with previous years. However, bear in mind that if your current pace is lower than it was for the same period last year, you shouldn’t overreact. Remember that booking windows are getting shorter. Instead of instantly dropping your rates, consider adjusting configurations and inputs within your revenue management system to help you maintain price integrity.

With regard to call volume, Revinate research shows that guests typically make two to three calls before booking, with 2.6 average monthly non-booked calls per room. These non-booked leads present a prime opportunity for direct revenue capture. Solutions such as Reservation Sales allow you to capture and leverage data from these interested callers, so you can follow up with them to avoid losing potential bookings to competitors or online travel agencies (OTAs).

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa has experienced the benefits of Revinate solutions firsthand. The resort saw average room revenue per lead double, and call-to-booking conversions nearly triple after implementing Reservation Sales.

Macroeconomic factors

Understanding macroeconomic factors is vital for shaping an effective summer direct booking strategy. You need to know where your guests are calling from and what their budget concerns are, as well as their barriers to booking.

Reservations agents should be trained to successfully capture this type of data during calls. You can then harness that information to proactively market to those potential guests in ways that speak to their unique situations.

For example, given the ongoing high costs of airfare, drive market demand remains robust. Understanding whether this is true for your property allows you to effectively cater to drive market travelers by using techniques such as geo-targeted advertising, and offering enticing packages that include complimentary parking or fuel vouchers.

Maintain hotel call center staffing

Ensuring that you have sufficient hotel call center staffing levels is critical for seamless operations and maximizing revenue opportunities. For example, let’s say that you have a targeted email campaign lined up, poised to flood your lines with eager callers. If you don’t have enough hands on deck, you risk missing bookings from abandoned calls and frustrating callers with long wait times. Not to mention the diminished productivity of overburdened team members as the campaign progresses.

An on-demand contact center such as Revinate’s RezForce provides you with a strategic advantage in these situations. With round-the-clock availability and extensive training, RezForce agents seamlessly integrate with your reservation team. They understand your property, destination and amenities, offering the ability to proactively sell to your guests and helping ensure that no customer falls through the cracks. Last year alone, RezForce deftly handled a staggering 300,000 calls. By leveraging a solution such as a RezForce, property owners can seamlessly navigate peak call volumes and deliver stellar guest service with ease.

Reservations and marketing alignment

Another key component that can impact your ability to capitalize on summer demand is making certain that you have alignment between your reservations and marketing teams.

Your reservations team excels at truly listening to your customers, understanding their needs, and making tailored recommendations. With their finger on the pulse of guest preferences and barriers to booking, they are an invaluable source of customer data.

By keeping open lines of communication between reservations and marketing, you can use this information to craft highly targeted direct booking campaigns that resonate with your potential guests. Whether it’s following up on non-booked leads or sending personalized messages, coordinated efforts help ensure a seamless guest journey across channels.

A solution such as Revinate’s Customer Data Platform (CDP) simplifies this entire process by consolidating data for easy access. With shared insights, you can effectively maintain cohesive messaging across your voice and digital channels, delivering exceptional experiences from the first point of contact with a guest to their final stay.

Leverage the right tools for summer success

As you gear up for the busy summer season, strategic planning combined with the right solutions are your ticket to success. By examining historical data and anticipating trends, you can fine-tune your approach for maximum impact. In addition, when you’re armed with tools such as Reservation Sales and RezForce, you’ll not only be prepared for peak demand periods, but you’ll be primed to elevate guest experiences and seamlessly drive more direct bookings throughout this year’s summer market landscape and beyond.

Related Posts

Insights that drive results

Subscribe now to get the latest content

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. *Required fields.

Name(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.