Finding profits and productivity in the new era of group travel

by | Apr 26, 2022 | For Hoteliers

Hoteliers continue to optimize in the face of inconsistent travel regulations that limit business opportunities and force staff to do more with less. While in the UK we are getting back to pre-pandemic routines, we still have a long way to go. Hoteliers must get creative in order to hold on to loyal customers and generate revenue.

Group travel has long been the security blanket that provides stable, predictable business for hotels; but a world affected by the pandemic is different. There is only so much that hoteliers can do to stimulate cross-border travel, and with the inevitable rise of home working on the domestic front, there remains a substantial psychological impact on travel. To win business, companies need to find new pockets of demand.

Luckily, Groups360 is now able to identify two key strategies that help hoteliers maintain a healthy business as they ride out the waves of change – and more importantly, minimize the risk of getting left behind.

Rethinking ways to create stability

People have felt deprived of the world as they know it for more than two years. Today there is a pent-up appetite not only for travel, but also experiences. Wise hoteliers can invest in their property’s longevity by devising a plan to invite people back out of their homes and into hotels. Creatively marketing food and beverage services and spa services is a simple way to monetize a hotel’s resources outside of room bookings.

While one may assume that revamping a property’s marketing is the last thing that already busy teams need, there is good news. Equipped with the proper tools, hoteliers can easily add up to 25% to their bottom line with little additional effort.

Innovative platforms such as GroupSync Gifting have already shaped new ways for early adopters to create an instant, stable revenue stream, by selling vouchers, food and beverage services, amenities and even wedding packages to corporate and leisure guests through a hotel-branded website that is easy to create.

Businesses learned quickly how to do more with less during the pandemic: fewer resources and less staff, to name but a few changes. Now the industry is evolving using technology that helps businesses do more with less, and do it better.

It’s time to get closer to customers

Customer loyalty information is a powerful tool for hotels. It empowers direct communication with a guest from the moment they book, up until arrival. But for valuable segments such as group travel, hoteliers are given limited access to any information about the individuals staying at their property. Instead, it resides on a planner’s rooming list until a point much closer to the guests’ arrival.

Evolving this planner-hotelier relationship to increase transparency will be a massive area of innovation in the industry. It helps to know that the next generation of meeting planners—those who hold the future of the meeting and events industry in their hands—have a basic expectation that the businesses they work with will use simple technology that streamlines their work.

Booking a group trip can be stress-free with features like viewing hotel occupancy rates ahead of time.

Traditionally, it could take up to three days to create a booking link for an event. Using GroupSync Housing, creating an event-branded microsite to share with planners and attendees takes only minutes. Most importantly, the tool gathers essential attendee information that hoteliers can use to capture shoulder night demand, market directly to attendees and monetize amenities.

The world is emerging from the pandemic with a fresh pair of eyes, driven by an urge to challenge the status quo and adopt better ways of living. The hotelier industry is no exception—and the businesses that begin innovating today will experience gains in productivity and profits in the long run. There has never been a better time to evolve.

Originally published in Hotel Management International. This blog has been slightly modified for a digital audience.