By: Eric Gourdie, Strategic Revenue Director at Sceptre Hospitality Resources
Hoteliers, and many others in the industry, won’t say it out loud, but all have thought about it. I’m speaking of the fear all hoteliers have; the fear of becoming forgotten and unknown; a transparent, run-down shack on Highway 1. So, how is this fear overcome?
Whether the hotel is an independent 2 room, escape palace or a 500 room chain hotel, there is one thing in common between them—the ability to utilize consortias to advertise and market the hotel. Marketing and advertising is the key to keeping a hotel afloat and not becoming a Highway 1 road ornament!
Consortias are effective at helping properties gain revenue and increase reservation volume because of their ability to market and advertise. Consortias advertise to some of the most important people in the industry, Travel Agents and Travel Agencies. Many consortias allow hotels to give incentives to travel agents, and/or the agency, to book the hotel. Remember, a hotel must be participating in the accepted consortia program, but this type of service allows the travel agents to become familiar with a hotel, and in turn, increase reservations.
Each consortia is different and they all have different ways of advertising. However, the one thing they do all have in common is the advertising market. E-mail blasts, newsletters, fax blasts, and broadcasts are just a few ways consortiums grab the travel agents’, and agencies’, attention. Looking at the advertising and marketing plan of a consortia your hotel has been accepted to is a great place to start for getting your property recognized.
Contacting the consortias that have accepted your hotel is another great place to begin for advertising and marketing means. They can give different suggestions that tailor to your hotel’s marketing and advertising needs as well as create strategies to accomplish your marketing goals. Contacting them also lets them know about the hotel so they won’t forget in the future!
Another suggestion is to visit the consortia’s offices and introduce yourself and the hotel. Of course, you only want to do this to the consortias that have accepted the hotel, but putting the hotel in front of them, and letting the consortia know the hotel is out there, shows you care and you are interested in their product.
Travel Agents do play a big part in gaining reservations and revenue. Running a Travel Agent Report from WindsurferCRS allows you to view all the different types of travel agencies that are booking at your property. Contact the travel agencies that produce high bookings and are in the same city as the hotel. This is a great way of recognizing the source of reservations. Send a Thank You note, visit their offices, or even send a small gift. This allows other means of exposure to the hotel, and gives travel agents another incentive to book at your property. Utilizing these simple tools to market your hotel can lead to increases in revenue and reservations.