Preparing for the end of a year that most of us are happy to be rid of, we look ahead with plans for a much better 2021 as we continue to learn to live and travel in our new reality. For most lodging operators, this holiday season will look very different from the last, but exercising a little creativity can help drive occupancy and revenue now and in the coming year.
With sights set on local, drive, and/or domestic markets, hoteliers can attract more bookings by offering staycation packages that serve guests’ needs during these challenging times for all. Here are some ideas for packages that can help guests de-stress and have fun beyond their four walls of home:
We’ve all been through a lot this year and could probably all do with a little time out for some self-care. From good food to fitness to relaxation, wellness packages offer guests a chance to recharge. Spa treatments, yoga or meditation classes, outdoor activities, and organic, locally sourced dining experiences could be just what the doctor ordered for a lot of your guests. Promote in-room attractions that inspire relaxation, like the big-screen TV, fluffy bathrobes and boutique toiletries, and consider throwing in some extras such as aromatherapy options or in-room yoga kits.
The work-from-home movement surged with COVID-19, but not everyone’s home is the best environment for working. From noisy children or pets to un-ergonomic dining-room-table workstations, working from home can negatively impact productivity. Which is why many hotels (like Hyatt and Marriott) have introduced work-from-hotel packages that offer guests quiet, well-equipped working spaces. Work-from-hotel packages work best with rooms that offer separate living/office spaces, ergonomic workstations, and fast, secure Wi-Fi.
Whether available with an overnight stay, extended stay or just for the day, work-from-hotel packages should include access to on-property business facilities, as well as early check-in and late check-out, and consider throwing in complimentary parking, healthy snacks, free breakfast, and an evening cocktail for after work.
Some luxury hotels are offering relief to homeschooling parents with schoolcation packages that include dedicated study spaces and tutors for supervised distance learning sessions, lunch, snacks, and fun recess activities—as well as access to the hotel’s recreational facilities when school’s done for the day. While the kids are studying, parents are free to get some work done themselves, enjoy a cocktail by the pool, or perhaps a spa treatment!
In a world of social distancing, recreational activities away from crowds are in demand. Properties in secluded locations surrounded by nature should promote this advantageous position with staycation packages that include outdoor activities. Collaborate with local tour operators to support other local businesses and benefit from cross-promotional opportunities.
Urban-based properties too can offer safe, unique, socially-distanced experiences through private or small-class workshops (think cooking and arts and crafts…), guided tours and behind-the-scenes visits (think museums, art galleries, zoos, craft breweries and chocolate factories…).
The holidays will look different for many people this year due to travel restrictions and limits on social gatherings keeping extended families apart and preventing large parties and events. Many of us will be looking for alternative ways to celebrate the holidays and other special occasions.
Get creative and come up with a stand-out celebration package that could include a premier room, in-room decorations (a tree and tinsel for Christmas, balloons for a birthday), a holiday-themed menu (or a celebration cake), a bottle of champagne or in-room cocktail station, late check-out, and perhaps even a hotel-branded or locally made gift.
Lockdowns, social distancing and concerns about health have brought a lot of pressure upon people and relationships. While romance packages are not an original idea, the time is right for helping couples find some quality, stress-free time together.
There are plenty of seductive extras that could be included in a romance package. In addition to wine, chocolates and a candle-lit dinner for two, romantic activities like dog-sledding tours, ice-skating, private classes (cooking, yoga, dance, art), and couples massage fit well into an attractive romance package. In-room extras like massage kits and fairy lights could also be included or offered as add-ons.
Families too are seeking quality time together away from the stresses of their new-normal daily routines. Package family-friendly rooms or adjoining rooms with family-friendly activities such as tickets to local attractions that are operating. Include in-room activity packs and hot chocolate for the kids, free breakfast and dining discounts, and don’t forget to promote family-friendly hotel amenities that are available, such as the pool or playground.
Staycation packages promise local travelers a convenient, value-added getaway from their daily routine and are an effective way to attract bookings during these times of limited travel. Even traditional packages can be given new life with a little creative thinking—as long as you stay true to your brand and guests. Don’t forget to promote packages on your website, via targeted email campaigns and on social media to spread the word!