Six Powerful Methods to Combat Slumping Travel Sales

By Blake Suggs Account Director & Integration Specialist, Range Online Media | November 30, 1999

Like everyone I know, I've grown weary of hearing about the economy and its seemingly endless downward spiral. The chickens from the last eight years of bad deeds are coming home to roost, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it might be a lot closer than you think.

When speaking to clients, they often bring up the economy as having mortally wounded their company - more often than not, though, they're not referring to their online business. This is both a good thing and a bad thing - naturally it reminds all of us who work in the online world that there are other mass channels that account for a great deal of revenue for most large travel brands. The fact that travel has managed to cultivate its revenue stream online over the past few years more than any other vertical bodes well for the future of this industry and its chances of weathering the recession.

Now let's get past recession talk and move on to more productive topics. Specifically, I want to discuss 6 methods that will not only help you avoid slumping sales, but also just might help you grow while everyone else is suffering. You have undoubtedly heard talk about the housing foreclosure market - well we can be the house flippers here, not the ones losing our homes, so let's talk about how we make money.

1) Play to your strengths:

Whether you're offering amenities like free wi-fi or breakfast or something as generic as your commitment to giving your "best price" at all times, playing to what's strong about your brand is key. Ask yourself a simple question: why do people like my brand? Chances are that those who are not current customers are going to feel similarly to your loyal customers as to what they enjoy about your offering. Obviously, if you're going after a new and incremental customer segment, this might not always be true, but in so many cases playing to your strengths can create positive movement.

2) Maintain partnerships:

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.