Hotel Winter Checklist

Check you have your rates set up for 2017

Remember most OTA's will sell rooms 12 months in advance. In many regions January can be a good booking period for summer dates as people get Christmas out of the way and start to think about summer holidays or journeys.

Check the OTA's you are working with.

Are they all performing? Do you need to remove any or add any?

Check your OTA listing details.

Are your photos uptodate? the map location? Could the description be improved? Forget about your new bedspreads and upgraded curtains, see the property through your customers eyes. What is important to them?

Check you have all the room types listed on all the OTA's

Currently there is something of a move to Room Only and Advance Purchase rates. Because Room Only rates are cheaper your property will appear higher up the list when someone does search for a room on an OTA by price. Breakfast can be listed as an ‘extra’. Advance Purchase rates are useful to counteract the high level of cancellations through some OTA’s.

Review your Channel 'Prioritisation'

There may be dates next year when you dont need the OTA's to sell rooms ie Bank Holidays, Summer Weekends and other peak periods. Close out the OTA's on these dates now.

Review your 'Selling Conditions'

Most Booking Engine and OTA's offer the chance to speed up the booking process by not requesting a postal address or even a credit card number under certain conditions. Check that these are consistently set to what you require.

Review your 'Booking Confirmation' Message.

Most Booking Engines offer you the chance to insert a message at the end of the booking process. This can be to give useful information to your guest such as your location, how to get there or even upsell key features of the hotel.

Review your Upgrades/Extras

Normally on your Booking Engine you can add Upgrades and Extras such as Late Check-out, Early Check-in, Room Upgrades, Local Tour Tickets, Transport, Welcome Packages etc. Make sure yours are fine tuned.

Optimise Adwords

Sit down with whoever runs your Adwords Campaign. Make sure the ROI is good and the budget it is being spent in the right areas. If you don’t know what remarketing is ask someone. Its important!

TripAdvisor Business Listing

Did you renew your Business Listing? Is the Special offer displaying? Are your photos uptodate?

Staff Training

Do you have any new staff? Are there any areas or systems you dont understand? Use the winter period to get them trained on your Channel Manager/Booking Engine/Website CMS etc

Gift Vouchers

Its that time of year! Do you have attractive Gift Vouchers set up. Do your staff know how to process them?

'Book Direct' Marketing

Review what you are doing to get customers to book direct. Is it obvious as soon as they walk into the property? Are there ‘Book Direct’ messages at Reception? In the Lift? In the Toilets? On the Menus? In the Rooms etc etc

Sales and Marketing Plans

Do you have the semblance of a plan/budget for marketing in 2017? Do you know who is going to action it? (If you dont have anything the OTA's will do it for you… at a cost).