With Mother’s Day next week (we hope we didn’t just put anyone in panic mode!) many properties are enticing moms to come and stay for the weekend with special Mother’s Day packages. Like other popular holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and of course Father’s Day, Mother’s Day is a great opportunity for lodging operators to generate some attention and boost occupancy through selling value-added packages.
Value-added packages work by offering guests high perceived value — or more for their money. This doesn’t mean deeply discounting package components; it means creatively packaging components to offer guests a special experience in a convenient way and at an attractive price.
In addition to grabbing customers’ attention and boosting occupancy, value-added packages stimulate ancillary sales, increasing total revenue. Value-added packages are also an effective strategy for increasing direct reservations (when only available through booking direct), attracting target customer segments (like families, couples, baby boomers or nearcationers), and for promoting the property’s unique offerings and brand. Not only that, they help increase customer satisfaction by providing memorable experiences. Indeed, value added packages can pack a strong punch.
Designing Value-Added Packages
The most effective packages are designed with a property’s best assets and guests in mind. Think about your property’s unique appeal (or USP — unique selling proposition), be it your on-site services and activities (such as dining, spa, or fishing charters) or your location (nearby activities, seasonal events and other attractions), and build packages around those assets to stand out among your competition.
As well, it’s important to think about who your target customers are and design packages for them. Why do they choose your property and how can you enhance their stay experience? A family-friendly lodge could consider partnering with kid-friendly local attractions like theme parks, while a boutique hotel might offer couples romantic cultural experiences like winery tours or theatre tickets and/or include hotel services such dining and spa treatments.
A family-friendly Mother’s Day package might include an upgrade to a family suite, credit at the hotel restaurant and admission to the local indoor waterpark. For a more pampering experience away from kids and responsibilities, luxury properties could entice moms with in-room chocolates and bubbles, spa and dining credit and late check-out.
Then there are package terms to think about to help maximize profit — for example, limiting the package to certain room types, restricting package availability or booking times to certain dates, applying a minimum length of stay to increase the booking period, or applying stricter cancellation policies.
Implementing Value-Added Packages
With the right technology, lodging operators are limited only by their imagination when it comes to creating and selling packages. A modern property management system (PMS) like WebRezPro offers flexible rate and package management features that make implementing even the most complex packages easy.
From breakfast and in-room extras to scheduled activities like horseback tours or theatre events, WebRezPro allows you to add multiple package components to room rates, with the ability to automatically track the package rate’s add-on components to the appropriate revenue accounts. For example, imagine your Mother’s Day package includes in-room chocolates and a bottle of wine, dining credit and a guided trail ride; the chocolate and wine component can be tracked to your room service revenue account, the dining credit to F&B, and the horseback ride to your activity revenue account.
While you can make packages as unrestricted as you like, a good PMS will also allow you to set various restrictions in support of your revenue strategy.
As well as restricting the availability of packages to certain dates, you might want to limit the package to certain room types, and restrict package sales to a maximum number of rooms per night. You should be able to set restrictions such as length-of-stay, closed to arrival/departure, and how far in advance package rates must be booked, and to override standard cancellation and guarantee policies.
Your PMS should also allow you to determine who has access to the package. Is it available to the general public or restricted to select customers via a special access code, to corporate clients or to travel agents only?
With a PMS like WebRezPro, packages can be pushed out across a property’s distribution channels or limited to direct bookings only. Furthermore, direct-book packages can be designated online-only through the property’s direct online booking engine.
The more flexible your rate management tools, the more effectively your packages can be designed to achieve your revenue goals. Contact us for a free demo to see WebRezPro in action.