Ways to Compete with a Big Chain Hotel

It’s a sad reality but many independent hotels feel as though they can’t compete against bigger chains.  Whilst it’s true that big chain hotels have more money to put towards manpower, marketing strategies and advertising, smaller hotels needn’t write themselves off just yet.  You may have fewer people to hold the fort but with the advancements in technology and the online world, there are ways in which you can compete against those larger chain hotels:-

Social Engagement

You may be surprised by over 90% of travellers will look online for a review of a hotel before making the decision to complete a booking which means that online reviews are an area you can’t afford to miss out on.  If a traveller can’t find any reviews for your hotel then they may assume you are not worth staying with and simply move on so encouraging guests to leave online reviews can be a great way of boosting visibility for your hotel.  Of course you can’t always guarantee that the reviews will be positive and this is why you should also regularly monitor review sites and reviews of your hotel; if you receive a negative review then try to respond to it as quickly as possible and address how you would work to improve on a guest’s experience were they to stay with you again.  Chances are, that specific person won’t be a return guest, but you may just convince someone else that you are worth giving a shot.

Likewise, having a presence on social media can also be a fantastic way of competing with larger chains; just by having an account which you regularly update and by responding in a timely manner to enquiries, you will attract new customers.

Get The Price Right

It is no good to simply set a rate and then walk away; you need to be constantly comparing rates with your competitors and adjusting them to reflect the time of year, season and even local events which may be taking place.  A hotel revenue management strategy is a good way of doing this, and it can also help you to predict how rates should alter throughout the year.  You can also use this strategy to make sure you aren’t losing customers by having rates which are too high or that you aren’t losing money by underselling your rooms.

Update Your Website

Despite the advances in social media, and the importance of using social media as a way to boost business, your website is still your strongest marketing tool and it’s important that you keep the content there fresh and updated.  If you’ve made changes to your hotel, then update the static content on your site to reflect this.  Likewise, if you have special seasonal offers then make sure these are clear and obvious from your landing page, and that they are removed quickly once the season has passed.  Additionally, you might want to consider using a hotel blog to draw potential customers in through good use of SEO.

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