Holidays provide many reasons to celebrate

We are in the midst of a number of holidays that afford hoteliers with many creative opportunities to encourage incremental business and bring more guests through the doors. Valentine’s Day fell over a weekend this year, offering a perfect occasion to promote a tough February weekend, and the following week Chinese New Year celebrated the Year of the Goat.

Soon Easter will be upon us and then Mother’s Day. So the calendar rolls on offering the enterprising hotelier countless opportunities to create special food and beverage and accommodation packages.

Last month in Asia, I was struck by how well-organized many hotels were in their promotion of Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year. In January, The Peninsula Hong Kong had an exhibition of mouthwatering chocolate creations in showcases just off the main lobby. The Fullerton and Fullerton Bay Hotels in Singapore were both decorated inside and out for Chinese New Year and a number of food and beverage themed events were already being effectively marketed to guests.

The management of both hotels, like others I saw in the region, were using the calendar to help plan strong marketing campaigns to drive local stays at their hotels. Holiday promotions appeal to the last-minute traveler looking to plan a vacation closer to home and avoid the hassles of long flights and other impediments to booking a weekend getaway at the last moment.

Whether it is a global or regional celebration, both the food and beverage and rooms divisions can benefit from a well-planned events marketing program that stimulates incremental business at relatively low cost – perhaps requiring only flyers, posters, electronic direct mail, social media, and local advertising.

Despite the blizzard-like conditions in Litchfield, Connecticut, over the weekend, The Mayflower Grace, a Relais and Châteaux property two and a half hours from Manhattan, enjoyed a full house as couples enjoyed Valentine’s weekend — rooms, spa and the two restaurants were all completely booked.

As more hotels attract celebrity chefs and signature restaurants, I wonder if we pay enough attention to the opportunities already on our doorstep. Special occasions, anniversaries, and important milestones can increase revenues, attract new consumers and add vitality to the business.

Ensuring hotels have a cohesive holiday promotion plan in place as part of the annual marketing program is essential – these celebrations are an important source of revenue – are you getting your fair share?