How Independent Hotels Can Boost Bookings This Valentine’s Day

Hotel Love

Love and travel go hand in hand and so many properties take advantage of Valentine’s Day to attract more bookings. In fact, as a hotel, it can be hard to stand out among all the other hotels touting red roses, bubbles and chocolates.

To be irresistible, try doing something a little different. Whether promotions are limited to Valentine’s Day weekend, the week, or available to guests throughout the month of love, here are some ideas for attracting more guests this Valentine’s Day.

Create Enticing Packages

It’s true that guests expect classic add-ons like red roses, wine and chocolates with romance packages, but if you want your Valentine’s Day package to stand out, go above and beyond the usual…

Think Local: What’s special about your destination or property? Is it the unbeatable skiing? Your award-winning dining? Think about the features that set your location or hotel apart — your unique selling proposition (USP) — and incorporate it into the design and marketing of your package.

You can get really creative; for example, if your destination offers hot air balloon rides, consider partnering up with a tour operator to offer a “Love is in the Air” package that includes a balloon ride. Or provide tickets to a big show and include dinner for two for the ultimate date night package. If your property boasts a pretty lakeshore or beautifully landscaped grounds in the Southern Hemisphere, why not create a romantic package that includes a picnic lunch, complete with a wicker picnic basket and a cozy blanket?

Think Beyond Couples: Valentine’s Day is often a tad tedious for singles, so tempt them to spoil themselves with an offer that focuses on friends — like a “Girls’ Night Out” package that includes tickets to a show. How about a “Girls’ Night In” package with free in-room movie rentals, chocolates, wine and popcorn? Or tempt singles to indulge with a spa package for friends, or a package that includes a fun activity such as free canoe or bike rentals, horseback riding or amusement park tickets.

Romantic evenings out are few and far between for parents of young children, so a romantic package (perhaps offering a couples massage and a candlelit dinner for two) that includes babysitting could entice family travelers that would have otherwise stayed home.

Throw a Fancy Party

Another way to stand out is to host a big event. Whether it’s a masquerade ball, an old-fashioned barn dance, or a carnival like Hotel Figueroa’s “Love, A Fair” held last year, people love to celebrate and Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse.

Make tickets available to locals, and include entrance with your Valentine’s Day package for overnight guests (which could also work to turn some of the locals into overnight guests).

Hosting such an event provides a great opportunity for boosting F&B revenue as well as overnight bookings, and makes for a great marketing and publicity opportunity too.

Organize Fun Activities for Your Guests

Throwing a fancy party does require a significant amount of effort and might not be right for all properties, but you don’t have to host a big event to get noticed.

Consider organizing special Valentine’s Day activities that are available to your guests, paid or free, or as part of your Valentine’s Day packages. Some ideas for activities include meditation or yoga classes, cooking classes, dance classes, romantic movie screenings, wine tastings, a love-themed happy hour, bocce ball tournament, or paint (and sip) night.

Share the Love on Social Media and Your Blog

Simply joining the conversation does wonders for boosting engagement and reach (and ultimately bookings). Use your social media platforms and blog to share romantic ideas and suggestions, such as the most romantic local date spots, gift ideas and fun activities for couples. Ask your followers to weigh in with their own ideas.

You could even create a hashtag like #myperfectdate and ask followers to share the story of their best date or how they met their significant other for the chance to win a hotel gift voucher or date night.

Finally, promote your Valentine’s Day packages, events and activities on your social media platforms and blog too, as well as on your website, via your e-newsletter, online ads and OTAs. Include enticing images to stand out from the crowd and engage your customers’ emotions. And use keywords like “romantic,” “gift,” “chocolates,” and “Valentine’s Day” to boost organic search rankings.

Valentine’s Day can be a lucrative event for hotels that put a little love and effort into their campaigns — after all, love is a two-way street!

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