No doubt it’s a tough time for a hotel to attract business travelers, and the repertoire of required services continues to grow. The bottom line is, in this economy it just requires more work to achieve the same market share as in years past. Presuming you’ve already optimized your website and marketing materials, here are some routes to help overcome the odds and differentiate your hotel from the competition:
- It’s a given, but be sure you are listed in the proper directories and better yet, know the staff of your local chamber of commerce, convention centers, and visitors’ bureau.
- Build relationships with other local business owners and let them know about your state-of-the-art conferencing facilities, group rates, transportation options, etc. By expanding your networking circle outside of the hospitality industry your business opportunities will grow exponentially.
- If there is a particular type of industry that is either prevalent in your town or is something you’d like to attract, go where they go for your advertising. Have a booth at a trade show, visit their industry meetings, or advertise in their trade journals.
- Offer educational seminars that are relevant to the type of industry you’d like to attract.
- Cross-brand with complementary businesses. This can range from standard restaurant and entertainment associations offered to all guests to specific services tailored to the type of industry you’d like to attract. Let all your guests, leisure or otherwise, know about your business capabilities.
A hotel cannot be everything to everyone. It’s essential that a hotel articulates its guests’ profiles and tailors its offerings to retain their loyalty. Concentrating efforts on a specific target market and their business industries is a sound path for gaining business travelers.
What is the business profile of your guests? How can you distinctively satisfy their needs?