Without huge marketing budgets or access to expensive industry PR services, small hotel and vacation rental owners need to get creative with their strategies. Small hotel marketing is all about staying flexible and crafty.
One of the easiest and most productive things small hotel or vacation rental owners can do to boost their occupancy is align themselves with travel associations or organizations. The travel industry is comprised of hundreds of specialized topics, each with a strong following and loyal clientele. Whether it’s annual fees or free membership, simply submitting your lodging’s address, website, and contact information to these organizations can boost your occupancy like the flip of a switch.
1. Gay travel: The gay travel industry is extremely lucrative and signing up to be a member on one of its most popular associations means tons of exposure. By simply demarcating that you are a gay-friendly establishment, you’ll be amazed at the amount of travelers that are immediately comfortable booking a few nights in your accommodation.
2. Eco tourism: Take some time to make adjustments to the way your hotel operates in the name of the environment and you instantly become eligible for some of this fastest growing trend’s organizations. A lot of these associations are free to join, as long as you qualify. Small hotel marketing is a perfect fit for eco-tourism.
3. Medical tourism: One of the travel industry’s fastest growing segments, signing up to be the preferred lodging for medical tourism programs means loyal, long-term guests. These are guests that will want to avoid big chain hotels in the name of privacy and intimate service.
4. Ratings associations: Paying to get a proper hotel inspection and quality rating can open the doors to a segment of travelers you never knew existed. There are travelers who select their lodging solely with these ratings in mind. If you’re looking to do marketing for your small hotel and have not gotten it inspected by a certified association, you may be ignoring a large canvass of eligible guests.
Memberships to travel organizations or associations is one of the few, instantaneous things a small hotel or vacation rental owner can do to increase his reservations. In our study, 4 hotels using travel memberships were able to bump up their monthly reservations by an average of 32% compared to those not practicing membership use. Aligning with special interest groups, particularly gay travel which, in our research, showed the biggest gains, has a way of catapulting small hotel or vacation rental occupancy to new heights.