For most hotels, cutting all ties with the OTAs isn’t feasible. Their reservations make up a sizable portion of a hotel’s business mix, and without them, many properties wouldn’t stay open. With really only two major OTA players left in the game, far too much power is taken away from the hotelier and put in the hands of others. Reducing the hotel’s dependence on these OTA channels is crucial. Once the hotel’s marketing efforts are focused on driving direct bookings, it is time to get creative and take full control over their inventory.
For most hotels, the typical reservation guarantees a room from around 4 pm to 10 am, so the ADR is based on 16 hours of occupancy. With a 30 minute turn time in between reservations, hotels are potentially missing out on 7+ hours of revenue. Taking into account that many guests check-in later than the guaranteed reservation time and leave early, these gaps of empty and profitless rooms can be even more significant. A revenue manager looking to yield fully needs to develop a strategy that will capitalize by selling the time between reservations. Day use rooms aren’t a new idea, but it’s one that is being underutilized. Many potential guests would be willing to book these in-between hours. The prominent guest for this kind of reservation is the traveler with a long layover, but this only helps hotels near airports. But hotels near museums, shopping malls, beaches or anywhere people might be looking for a break in the activity can sell the time in between reservations.
To reach these potential guests is where things can become difficult. One effective method would be placing advertisements inside airport terminals or in malls. Adding a QR code to these will give guests easy access to the hotel’s web page and easy access to a direct booking. Or for those looking for more assistance attracting these guests, a new startup is stepping in to help fill these rooms during the day. HotelsByDay has built a platform for guests to book intra-day reservations instantly. With the success of home and ride-sharing services, this segment is quickly growing, and hotels need to capitalize on the “daycation” trend early. Opening up a hotel’s inventory to these reservations has the potential to boost revenue, increase exposure to the property, and build more relationships with its guests.