Impala December check-in: Attract cost-conscious guests in 2023 without cutting rates
- We’re just weeks from January, when many travellers will start booking for 2023. And with consumers anxious about rising costs, the real trend that continues into next year is that nothing is certain. Impala’s Head of Operations Nathalie Rey Valdivieso shares her advice for properties on standing out from the crowd when guests pick where to stay.
January is just around the corner, and that means a peak booking season for European summer holidays is almost upon us. But in early 2023, with a cold winter and expensive energy bills to pay, consumers will be looking for a deal. You’ll rightly want to protect your ADR. But how can you do that, while making sure you’re competitive in a tough environment? Here are five tips to consider.
1. Get flexible
In 2023, travellers don’t just want flexibility in case their plans change. They also want flexibility if their finances change. The worry that energy prices or mortgage payments could escalate has consumers spooked. And with so much to worry about, they want to book a trip to have something to look forward to, but they don’t want the inability to pay for it to become another concern. The odds are that the vast majority of guests will opt to preserve their plans, so offering more flexibility than usual can be a great competitive advantage to lock in bookings that would otherwise be either deferred or go elsewhere.
2. Offer payment choice
Take a good look at your distribution channels: do they offer a breadth of payment options?
The rise of payment options like Klarna and PayPal Pay in 3 means guests expect more choice than ever in spreading the cost of their spending. Deliveroo is even offering instalment payments on meal delivery. So take a good look at your distribution channels: do they offer a breadth of payment options? Is it easier to spread the cost of a stay at your property compared to your competitors? And are the payment options relevant and popular in your source markets?
3. Cut the nasty surprises
Nobody likes unexpected fees as they’re entering their card details to complete a booking, or unanticipated costs when checking in or checking out of your property. And in this context of extreme price sensitivity, what was previously seen as a necessary evil can become a red line that results in lost bookings or painful reviews. Take a good look at how you charge for things like taxes, resort fees, cleaning fees etc - across all of your channels. Try to make sure the price the customer sees online includes everything. And if you have to charge fees on property, make sure they’re clear before a booking’s made.
4. Make it extra special
A hotel stay that includes a free arrival drink and a spa visit is better than one that doesn’t
A hotel stay that includes a free arrival drink and a spa visit is better than one that doesn’t. And when guests are hoping for their holiday to be a true escape from all sorts of worries, these little touches make a big difference. That’s why including some extras in your rates - and executing them well - is a strategy that is working well for some Impala partner properties. Yes, they take more work to deliver, but they can seriously help your business stand out. Get it right, and you might even encourage guests to boost their on-property spend.
5. Have them stay a while
Our early data suggest that travellers will keep their traditional summer vacation, but where they need to save money, they’ll favour more affordable properties. Using promotions that encourage longer stays can be a useful tool to protect your public rates while still making your property look attractive alongside other options. And the longer they’re on-property, the more they’ll use your on-site facilities.
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