A Hotelier’s Guide to the Holiday Season

You’re probably just beginning to take down your Halloween decor, but pretty soon you’ll have new decorations to put up. Christmas is fast approaching, and you need to be prepared. The holidays are an excellent time for hotels to increase occupancy, up-sell bookings, and delight guests. So, it’s time to start planning.

Here’s a quick guide to help hoteliers get ready for (and get the most out of) this holiday season.

Special packages

Like all special occasions, you should take this opportunity to curate themed packages to offer your guests. These could include things like Christmas dinner, gift-wrapping services, holiday cookies—family packages could even feature a visit from Santa.

When building packages, consider partnering with local businesses. You might not have the ability to put on big holiday events at your property, but you can still include tickets to local events and attractions in the community. Things like sleigh rides, light displays, holiday concerts, and ski passes make great additions to a holiday package.

In addition to creating new packages, look at existing ones and tweak their descriptions to give them a holiday spin. If it includes spa services, for example, you could rename it “Holiday Bliss” and invite them to “have a stress-free holiday this year.”

Seasonal cocktails

If you have a bar or restaurant at your property, the drink menu is an excellent place to add some holiday flair. There’s nothing like the smell of mulled wine (maybe next to a roaring fire) to make it feel like a cozy Christmas haven. And seasonal cocktails like peppermint martinis, eggnog, and hot buttered rum are sure to spread some holiday cheer.

Holiday events

There are all sorts of holiday events you can host at your property. They can be as extravagant or as simple as you want so long as it fits your brand and clientele. Among a long list of holiday offerings, Fairmont Empress is hosting multiple turkey dinners, will have Christmas carolers in their lobby and a life-size gingerbread house on display. Last year Woodmark Hotel invited families to decorate cookies with a local chef. So, get creative. You can hold a snowman building contest, plan a card-making workshop, host movie nights with holiday classics—whatever you think will get your guests enjoying the season.

Decorations

No holiday venue is complete without decorations. These should go up around the first week of December and can include garlands, lights, ribbons, wreaths, ornaments, and, of course, a Christmas tree.

If your property is family-friendly, consider adding an Elf on the Shelf into your decorating strategy. This popular toy can be moved every night and set up in a new and entertaining pose (look here for inspiration). And you can turn it into a contest with your guests. They can take a picture when they find him, upload it to social media, tag your property, and be entered in a contest. It’s a lot of fun for the guests and great marketing for you.

Marketing

Speaking of marketing, once you’ve planned all your holiday festivities you need to promote them. Whatever packages and events you have planned should be featured on your website and across social media channels. And consider creating a seasonal events calendar on your site that highlights your own activities as well as those in the community. Offering current, relevant information will help SEO and add value for your guests.

Once you’ve decorated your propertyand when events and activities are going onbe sure to take professionally shot photos and footage. They’ll be a valuable marketing asset this time next year.

 

The holiday season is an exciting (and profitable) time. Start preparing your property now so that you can make the most of it.

Pillow Mints and Pumpkins: A Hotelier’s Guide to Halloween

The summer is ending here in the Northern Hemisphere. We hope it was a good (and profitable) one. But there isn’t any rest for a hotelier, so it’s time to turn your attention to the fall. With the busy season slowing down you should start thinking about new ways to boost occupancy and generate buzz for your property. And there’s a holiday around the corner that could help you do just that: Halloween! Just like Valentine’s Day and Easter, with a little imagination, this occasion can be a great marketing (and revenue-generating) opportunity for your business. Read on for ideas on how your lodging operation can make the most of this spooky holiday.

Throw a party

This one’s a no-brainer. Everyone loves a good Halloween party. And you can go as big (or as small) as makes sense for your property. Looking for a little bit of inspiration? The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver hosts a 6-ballroom party at their historic property. In the past, they’ve had haunted mazes, amusement park rides, illusions, and even a comedic conjuring of the hotel’s famous ghost—The Lady in Red. Ace Hotels Los Angeles has included Tarot card readings, aura photography and costume contests at their past events. And Hotel del Coronado in San Diego hosts an annual “Hallo-wine and Spirits” party. It’s a fun holiday with unlimited potential, so be creative!

Host a murder mystery

If you’d like to plan an event that’s a little smaller in scale, why not host a murder mystery dinner? The Stanley Hotel in Colorado (known for its role in the movie The Shining) did just that in 2017. Guests dressed up to compliment the 1920’s mafia theme of the event and partook in a 4-course dinner and murder mystery activity. It’s a great way to celebrate the spooky occasion. And if it’s a hit, you can always turn it into a weekend-long affair like these hotels.

Screen a spooky film

If you’re looking for another way to deliver a festive fright, consider screening a scary movie at your property. It’s an activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family. And depending on your space and location, you could set up the screen indoors or out. But whatever you choose, don’t forget the spooky decorations or Halloween-themed treats.

Decorate pumpkins

Pumpkin carving is an activity you can offer to your guests (and community members) that’s appealing to all ages. And you can make it as extravagant as you want. A few years ago W New York offered guests the chance to have their selfie carved into a pumpkin by the famous pumpkin-artist Hugh McManon. But if that seems like too much, you could also create a pumpkin carving competition on social media. Participants can submit photos of their best creations, and the winners can receive a free night stay at your hotel. It won’t provide the revenue of hosting an actual event, but it’ll create some good online buzz for your property.

Offer a themed package

If you are going to offer Halloween-related activities and amenities, be sure to create a themed package for the occasion. In addition to a night (or two) stay, you can include tickets to the events, meals, complimentary candy—anything that makes sense for your property. The Hay Adams in Washington DC offers a stay in their “Transylvania Suite” which comes decked out in cobwebs, skeletons and other creepy decorations. The package also includes a selection of horror movies to choose from and 3-course meal.

Halloween is an exciting holiday with a lot of potential. It’s the perfect opportunity to get your creative juices flowing, so take advantage of it! You’ll be rewarded with new revenue streams and great promotional material for your website and social media channels. Have fun!

Repackaging Hotel Packages

Every hotelier ponders how to increase revenue. Whether you’re looking to increase midweek bookings, improve off season reservations, increase your ADR, or avoid offering discounts, the advice you’ll find time and again is: Create Value-Added Packages! So, we thought we’d take the time to explore how to make your hotel’s packages more compelling. Price is one aspect to think about, but it’s not the most important. Potential guests seek value and experience. Most packages include lodging and an activity, but because packages seem to be the answer to the numerous ways hotels seek new and returning clientele, there are many on offer, which means, to the potential customer, they start to all look the same. So, here are some reimagined packages to help spark your creativity.

Make Use of Your Locale

You are the only hotel in your particular space. What makes your location unique? Consider offering an upgrade to your mountain or cityscape view when someone books three or more nights. Who are your neighbours? Collaborate with the restaurant at a winery next door to create a package for an evening of wine and food where they can walk back to your inn via a private lantern lit path, or consider pairing with a local bakery for a morning delivery of fresh croissants. What amenities do you have onsite? Perhaps the chef at your restaurant has started to create buzz or a bartender’s cocktails bring in locals. Don’t just package free appetizers or cocktails with a room, but tell the story of why a potential guest should experience them.

Your city, town, and/or community is also unique. Exploit that. What businesses, services, and experiences are unique to your community? Is there a music venue or comedy club that’s gaining popularity? A so-called restaurant that is rumored to have the best fried chicken? Rotis? Ramen? Poke? Hot dogs? One of the first things a savvy guest will do is ask the hotel staff where to eat and what to see in the city; they’re looking for the inside scoop – the coveted personalized experience – so discuss this with your staff and approach up-and-coming businesses for mutually beneficial collaborations. Packages that highlight local individuality not only offer a unique experience to guests, they also demonstrate that you know and are connected with what’s going on in your community, which is another attractive trait that guests seek.

Also, consider including (and tell potential guests that room rates include) shampoos, soaps, and lotions from a local producer. These can be marketed as features that add value in the eyes of potential customers. You may also want to consider selling these products in your lobby to further boost revenue.

The Wellness Package

The wellness package has been in vogue for many years if not decades, and they continue to be popular. Friends, couples, and solo travelers still enjoy weekend spa getaways or week-long yoga retreats. Whether you’re a larger hotel with amenities onsite or a smaller boutique inn who collaborates with a local yoga studio or spa, it’s also important to highlight the relaxation that your rooms provide through views, beautiful décor, comfort provided by a particular brand of linen and (again) wellness extras like local organic toiletries. These add-ons increase value while augmenting the package you’re offering and the brand you’re portraying.

You may also want to expand your idea of wellness. Increasingly, health and wellness is being associated with what has traditionally been called adventure. Consider including biking, kayaking, or walking tours in your wellness packages. Offer surfing or archery lessons, wall climbing or hiking. Wellness and an active lifestyle go hand in hand, and by combining and marketing activities in unique ways, you can set your hotel’s packages apart.

The Adventure Package

Expand your idea of adventure packages as well. There continues to be a market for getaways that include activities like zip-lining, white water rafting, air balloon rides, and whale watching, but the number of experiences that can now be marketed as “adventures” has grown. Urban adventurers are often looking for culinary escapades. Collaborate with restaurants, markets, food festivals, wineries, breweries, and distilleries to package and promote the culinary expertise of your area.

There’s also an increasing trend towards traveling to gain new skills. Travelers want to learn to cook local delicacies, to make wine, chocolate, and craft beer. Wood-working, photography, cheese-making, gardening, and sustainable farming are other skills that people seek.

Renovation vacations have also gained popularity. The Chateau de Gudanes in southern France offers packages with a variety of charming options, including morning yoga, guided walks to local villages, lessons on cooking traditional French food, horseback riding, walking through the woods to pick flowers, and an opportunity to help with renovations and contribute to the restoration of this historic property. They expertly craft a unique adventure for their guests by making use of their locale, collaborating with their community, and giving guests the opportunity to gain new skills.

The Seasonal Package: Think Winter!

In the past, winter travelers have sought sun and surf or slopes and skis. Not anymore. Winter travel to northern destinations has dramatically increased. Quebec’s Winter Carnival, China’s Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, Norway’s Ice Music Festival, and Japan’s Sapporo Snow Festival have all become major attractions. But even if your northern hotel is not in one of these high-profile locations, you can look for opportunities to create winter traveling packages that include experiences like snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding. You may want to think about promoting your area’s ice sculpture competition, pop-up chef event, or ice wine festival to guests who live within a couple hundred miles. The seclusion and silence of the off season can also be attractive to some travelers who are looking for an individual and authentic experience away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist season.

Other Tips

Consider the Modern Traveler. Single parents travel with their children; grandparents travel with the grandkids; and people travel alone. Keep these groups in mind when you’re building and marketing your hotel’s packages. With these groups of travelers on the increase, packages should include options that include and attract them.

Allow Personalized Packages. Individual experience is a top priority for many travelers, so where possible, let your guests choose the components of their packages.

Think Ahead. Don’t wait until the beginning of December to think about what you’ll plan to do to attract guests over the holidays. Plan and promote early, but not too early. Find the appropriate balance between having enough time to create thoughtful packages and being close enough to the date that you can generate excitement.

Offer Exclusive Packages. You may want to consider approaching a bridal or lifestyle magazine or website to promote an exclusive offer to their subscribers. This can be especially effective for new or experimental packages because you can easily track results that will help you build future packages.

Your ability to create and promote unique packages will directly contribute to your hotel’s bottom line. By making use of your unique location, forming good connections within your city or community, and transforming traditional package genres, you can offer the personalized travel that guests seek when they search for new destinations and hotels to explore.

A Hotelier’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

Ever feel like you’re in a marketing rut? It can be challenging to find new and exciting ways to connect with customers and improve your bottom line. Fortunately, there are moments sprinkled throughout the year that offer unique opportunities to mix things up: Holidays! Whether it’s New Year’s Day, Easter or Halloween, public holidays are an excellent occasion to stretch your creative mucles and create fresh promotional content for your lodging operation (an imperative in the age of social media).

Of all the holidays throughout the year, Valentine’s Day has some of the greatest potential for maximizing revenue. In fact, consumers spend around 18 billion dollars on the holiday in the United States alone. So take advantage of it! With February 14th fast approaching, here are a few ways hoteliers can make the most of Valentine’s Day this year:

Offer Special Packages

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, guests are looking for a special way to celebrate with their special someone. Offering packages exclusively for the occasion adds an element of luxury often associated with the holiday. While tried and true features like Champagne and chocolate will never go out of style, you don’t need to limit yourself to the classics. Why not prepare all the fixings for a romantic picnic for two? Or partner with a local business (think carriage rides, wine tastings, etc.) to curate a date night to remember? Standing out from the crowd will land you more bookings and nurture loyalty with your guests.

You also needn’t limit yourself to Valentine’s Day packages designed for couples. Broaden your reach with offerings that appeal to singles as well (perhaps a “Girls’ Night In” package equipped with movie rentals and popcorn).

Seize the Opportunity to Upsell

Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for upselling that shouldn’t be missed. Guests are looking to make the occasion exceptional, and they’re more than willing to splurge. After bookings are made, offer additional amenities like a couples massage, a room upgrade or a nice bottle of wine. These upsells will enhance their guest experience.

Host an Event

To really seize the day, consider hosting a Valentine’s Day event (or events) at your property. You can plan a party, offer dance classes, or schedule a Paint Nite – anything that suits your brand. In additional to being great publicity, you’ll also boost food and beverage revenue and likely increase overnight bookings. If you choose this option, make sure to advertise locally and include tickets in Valentine’s Day packages.

Celebrate on Social Media

However you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day at your property, don’t forget to include a compelling social media campaign. Whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, it’s a good idea to:

Highlight the romance>> Leading up to February 14th, begin sharing content that showcases the romantic aspects of your property. A candlelit table set for two, a suite adorned in rose petals, a bottle of Champagne on the beach – post images that let your guests know your hotel is the idea spot for the Valentine’s Day of their dreams. And be sure to use words that evoke romantic imagery. On Valentine’s Day, guests are looking for an experience that is “cozy,” “luxurious” and “intimate.”

Encourage engagement>> Like all social media campaigns, you want your guests to interact with your content. Consider creating a Valentine’s Day hashtag that increases brand exposure through user engagement. You could even choose to host a giveaway for those who share your holiday-related posts or use your hashtag.

 

Valentine’s Day has enormous potential for those in the hospitality industry. It’s an opportunity for hotels to both maximize revenue and increase guest satisfaction by delivering an extra special experience that lives up to all the expectations of the day.

Is Your Hotel Set to Boost Revenue with Mother’s Day Packages?

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.

How Ordinary Hotels Can Offer Extraordinary Experiences

As an hotelier you’ve probably noticed the growing emphasis on hotels providing unique experiences in order to stand out in an increasingly competitive market. While some properties are extraordinary experiences in themselves — like Bolivia’s Palacio de Sal, which is made of salt, and Free Spirit Spheres, which accommodates guests in orbs suspended high in the treetops on Canada’s Vancouver Island — more and more luxury hotels are reinforcing their brand by offering exclusive excursions.

Four Seasons’ “Extraordinary Experiences” offers a vast menu of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including a private performance of Don Giovanni at the luxurious Estates Theatre with a stay at Four Seasons Hotel Prague, and a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon for a spectacular private picnic lunch with a room at the Four Seasons Las Vegas. The Peninsula Chicago is offering guests VIP access to Chicago experiences through their new Keys to the City program — like a “fast pass” to skip the queue for the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel, and an exclusive culinary experience at notable restaurant Grace.

But you don’t have to be made of money (or salt) to offer guests an extraordinary experience. Any property can stand out from their competitive set by tailoring local experiences that help guests enjoy their trip to the fullest.

In a recent blog post, Not Just a Pretty Room: Selling an Experience, we wrote about why and how hotels are incorporating experiential elements to create and sell stay experiences that are more than just a room. We mentioned packaging local activities with accommodation — a strategy more and more lodging operators are employing to stand out from their competitors and earn loyal customers.

In this post, we dig a little deeper into how any property can incorporate local activities to offer guests an extraordinary stay experience…

Identify relevant experiences

It’s important to choose experiences that are relevant to your guests and your brand. While the idea of a private helicopter flight to a spectacular canyon-rim picnic might appeal to almost anyone, such an elite excursion is beyond the budget and expectations of a typical 3-star motel guest.

Identify the travel motivations of your guests and the activities they partake in during their stay. Families looking to spend some fun quality time together might be drawn to the nearby waterpark, couples looking for a romantic retreat might enjoy your stunning local scenery on horseback, and business travelers might often ask about nearby spa services. Experiences that are unique to your destination can attract travelers across segments.

Once you have identified relevant experiences, think about how they can be incorporated into your offerings to provide added value to your guests. This is where forming partnerships with activity operators is key (read on).

Form partnerships

For most properties, the ability to package local activities and experiences depends on establishing relationships with other local businesses. Unless you run a stay-and-play enterprise like a dude ranch, fishing lodge or a beach resort, lodging providers typically choose to outsource tours and activities.

In addition to local tour and activity operators, consider reaching out to restaurants, museums, galleries, theme parks, spas, event organizers and the like. City tours, outdoor adventures, culinary experiences, attraction tickets or spa treatments are all ways to turn a standard hotel stay experience into an extraordinary one.

Forming partnerships with local businesses reaps mutual benefits. When businesses work together to provide value to customers, both parties achieve expanded reach across valuable markets.

Through discounted access to activities, a hotel can provide added value that incentivizes guests to choose the hotel over its competitors. To sweeten the deal even more, hotels can offer guests curated experiences that aren’t available to the general public. For example, imagine partnering with a local surf school to offer guests discounted surfing lessons. In addition to a standard lesson that the surf school might offer to the public, your guests also enjoy a free post-lesson drink at your bar or the local beach bar to celebrate their success in the sea.

Work with your partners to establish the best way to combine your offerings and don’t be afraid to get creative.

Promote experiences

Offering guests activities is a strategy that not only works to create memorable stays that turn guests into loyal customers and advocates — it’s also a great promotional opportunity.

Promoting added experiences (especially curated experiences that no-one else is offering) that align with guests’ motivations helps build a property’s image, even if nobody books the package! The offer itself speaks volumes for the property’s commitment to guest satisfaction and its involvement in the local community. So promote activity packages across offline and online channels, especially on your website and on social media.

Manage bookings

Extraordinary experiences are supported by flexible, intuitive booking systems that make managing and booking activities with accommodation easy.

Whether activities are pre-packaged with accommodation or available to guests as optional add-ons, a reservation system that integrates room and activity bookings through flexible package management, a user-friendly direct booking process, and comprehensive invoicing and reporting is key to efficiently managing activities alongside accommodation.

Make sure your reservation system provides the tools to manage, track and sell stay-and-play packages or separate activity bookings to prevent an extraordinary stay experience from turning into a frustrating one for you and your guests.

The “experience” trend is gaining momentum across all hotel categories, not just luxury properties. Offering activities is a practical and effective way for hotels to distinguish themselves through unique stay experiences, especially when those experiences are thoughtfully and appropriately curated for guests.

How Independent Hotels Can Boost Bookings This Valentine’s Day

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!