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Strategies for Summer Revenue Optimization

Discover actionable strategies and tech solutions that hoteliers can implement to optimize revenue during the summer travel season.

In 2024, the trend of spontaneous and flexible travel presents a significant opportunity for hoteliers who are looking to capture a market segment unsure of their travel plans but keen on vacationing. To win over these guests, maximizing loyalty programs is key. This involves gathering guest data for tailored promotions, incentives, and discounts, driving engagement and repeat bookings. To delve deeper into these strategies, HT interviewed Mo Chaar, Chief Commercial Officer at Givex.

What travel trends are you seeing in 2024 as the summer travel season ramps up? 

CHAAR: Spontaneous and flexible travel are definitely emerging trends. Many travelers are confident that they will go somewhere this summer, but they are still undecided on both destination and departure dates. In a recent survey conducted by Skyscanner, 51% of its website and app users are still determining their destination and date of departure. This flexibility suggests that brands in the travel industry should be taking a more dynamic approach to travel arrangements, allowing individuals to adapt their plans over time.

The rise of remote work has also led to an increase in the number of people who are taking the opportunity to travel while working; this may also be a contributing factor in the increasing trend of solo travel as well. However, while traveling, individuals are keen to make connections with new people, opting for sociable accommodations. Another notable trend is the rise in demand for personalized travel experiences, with more travelers seeking out private drivers or guides to curate unique tours. 

Hot weather is less of a driving factor this summer, with tourists selecting more comfortable climates and “destination dupes,” which are more affordable, less crowded destinations that still provide a similar experience. Many of these destination dupes are scattered across Europe; over 75% of travelers are heading abroad this summer with Italy as a top destination choice for many. 

What are some ways hoteliers can use tech to personalize travel loyalty programs?

CHAAR: Hoteliers can leverage omnichannel point-of-sale (POS) platforms to personalize travel loyalty programs in several ways. Through these platforms, hotel operators can gain insights into guests' spending habits and preferences. With this data, hotel owners can design customized loyalty programs tailored to specific groups or individual guests. But even more, guests are massively influenced by the offer of a loyalty program and this trend is growing with younger generations; 44% of Gen Z travelers utilize travel loyalty programs, which has increased by 11% since 2021.

These loyalty programs can then be used to offer targeted promotions, incentives and discounts that resonate with each guest’s personal preferences. One of the most effective ways hoteliers can use loyalty programs is by focusing on rewarding top-priority guests and encouraging other guests with similar preferences or backgrounds to visit. And because of the tailored incentives and tempting rewards, hoteliers are likely to see increased guest engagement and satisfaction, which leads to repeat bookings.

How can tech help hoteliers highlight specific on-property experiences that will attract a traveler?

CHAAR: As the 2024 summer travel season ramps up, travelers are prioritizing experiences, particularly culinary ones, above all else. A recent study highlights the increasing enthusiasm for immersing oneself in local and regional food culture, with 86% expressing interest. Additionally, 82% seek accommodations with excellent dining options right within the hotel premises, underscoring the significance of culinary experiences in shaping travel choices.

Technology gives hotel operators the tools they need to create guest-specific marketing campaigns based on real-time data insights. Hoteliers can tailor marketing campaigns to highlight specific on-property experiences that align with their guests' interests. For example, if a guest has previously shown interest in spa services, the hotel can promote spa packages or related special offers. 

Technology also enables hoteliers to communicate directly with guests through various channels, such as email or messaging via mobile apps. This instant communication can be used to promote and discuss hotel amenities and experiences. It also makes it easy to communicate with potential guests who may have questions.

What are some ways tech can help hoteliers to optimize revenue during the summer travel season?

CHAAR: Hoteliers can take advantage of the data they collect from their guests to optimize revenue during the summer travel season. The ability to create targeted marketing campaigns means that hoteliers can promote high-margin products and services to a very receptive audience. Loyalty programs should not be overlooked as loyalty members spend somewhere between 12-18% more in a year than non-loyalty members.

Recent findings indicate a notable trend: Millennials are spending the least on travel compared to previous years, whereas Gen Z is anticipated to lead all generations in travel expenditure. In fact, Gen Z is projected to surpass all other generations in travel spending for the first time in four years. This pivot underscores the importance of aligning and tailoring marketing strategies with the evolving preferences and behaviors of summer travelers.

Through personalized loyalty programs, hoteliers can encourage repeat bookings or encourage brand advocacy with rewards, which will further drive their revenue growth.

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