Now that we’re deep into the fall travel and conference season, it’s time to start thinking about holiday season. Sure, some parts of the country may feel like summer, but with Halloween decorations popping up everywhere, hoteliers must start thinking about selling rooms at the best possible rate between now and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

In fact, according to a new survey from AAA, about 28 percent of Americans will vacation between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. And that’s before the holiday season officially starts. “Travelers increasingly prioritize immersive travel experiences, and autumn offers more opportunities for them to explore a destination’s local culture, thanks to fewer crowds and mild weather,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA’s SVP, Travel and Publishing.

Rate setting has become an increasingly complex task to find the perfect price to charge for a hotel room on any given day of the year. Hoteliers using a cloud-based PMS such as the SkyTouch Hotel OS® property management system, can get additional assistance from the property management system itself.

Besting BAR

The SkyTouch Hotel OS® features up to nine Best Available Rate (BAR) levels, as well as four demand types, and unlimited seasons. This provides hoteliers with a well-balanced approach to setting basic rates throughout the year which are easily adjustable to compensate for peak and shallow demand periods.

During the holidays, rates can fluctuate depending on how close it is to the next holiday, so the PMS utilizes automated rate management features. The SkyTouch Hotel OS® features derivative rates based on BAR rates, which automatically adjust every time the BAR rate changes.  Rates can also be changed manually from anywhere where there’s an internet connection. Plus, the PMS automatically adjusts BAR based on occupancy for any given evening, or number of rooms sold for a specific night.

With an automated approach, rate management is simplified while ensuring all rates change when you want them to most.

Perfecting Packages

With STR reporting occupancy is set to decrease as supply starts outstripping demand in 2018, creating packages bundling different elements such as room, F&B and spa experiences, when relevant,  can help hoteliers  potentially increase  revenue during a down cycle. Bundled packages for features typically sold separately, allows hoteliers to mask premium pricing for each package feature.

Creating a package with special rates for a certain date range is a simple, easily defined process featuring – for example – a special room type, perhaps a unique suite, or special view. Or maybe the package also comes with a special holiday focused amenity, such as a bottle of champagne to celebrate the New Year.

The system also enables the creation of local only rates available solely by calling or visiting the property, or special rates designed for OTAs or other channels.

One more aspect: It’s simple to transfer rates from one bucket to another. So is setting up specific policies and restrictions for a rate plan. Say, for example, a rate should be available during a special date range, or only during specific days of the week.

Overall, rate setting doesn’t have to impact your holiday season. With easy to enact rate setting solutions, hoteliers are finding more time to get out of the back office and connect with their customers front of house. It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year.

Special Events

Finally, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are just two days typically getting highly specialized pricing. With SkyTouch, hotel operators can copy annual events from one year to another with just a few mouse clicks. That makes it fast and efficient.

Be sure to be prepared for holiday season by maximizing your rate opportunity. Learn more now, and contact SkyTouch Technology about modernizing your hotel’s technology to fully leverage holiday season opportunity today.