Earlier this week, we took a look at how hotels in North America can maximize the effectiveness of their summer campaigns. Today, we’ll take a look at how hotels in the UK, Ireland, and DACH markets can do the same.
When do campaigns see the most bookings?
First, we looked at when hotels are seeing the highest number of bookings ber campaigns. The hottest months, shown in the graph below, are July with 20 average reservations per promotion and August with 24 reservations per promotion. Things settle down in September and then we see an uptick again in October with 19 reservations per promotion when hotels are sending out early birds offers for next summer.
How many summer campaigns are hotels sending in a year?
The next thing we analyzed was the frequency of summer campaigns sent in a single year and the average number of summer reservations they received. The chart below shows 3 separate cohorts: Hotels that sent: (1) only one summer promos per year, (2) 2 to 5 summer promos in one year, and (3) 6 to 12 summer promos per year.
What we found was that the overwhelming majority of properties choose to send between 2 to 5 summer campaigns per year. However, we can also see that sending more campaigns actually paid off, with those sending 6 to 12 summer campaigns seeing more reservations over the year.
When are hotels sending summer campaigns?
Next, we looked at the months in which hotels are sending the most summer campaigns. In general, things start heating up in May, peak in July with 20 hotels sending promotions and from there things slow down again.
Putting it all together
In UK, Ireland and DACH, most campaigns are happening in July and August and most of them make a reference to a summer discount. However, the data shows that summer promotions that go out as early as April see promising results. It may be worth creating a strategy to drive more summer bookings over a longer time.
How we suggest hotels promote summer offers
Hotels in North America have found success with the following approach to promotion. If hoteliers feel the strategy isn’t right for their market, at the very least this research suggests they should use it to market to their American database.
Stage 1: The Fall Before
Stage 1 starts around November. At this stage, hotels promote VIP sales for the following summer, and the discounts are big, often as high as 45% to 50% OFF.
Stage 2: A Dream of Spring
Stage 2 begins at the beginning of April (or even a little earlier – hoteliers in North America have seen success starting as early as February). The tone of the campaigns at this stage should highlight the urgency of booking because summer is almost here. Here, you may see examples like, “Let the fun begin! Up to 45% Off your Summer Vacation,” or “Every Day Should be Beach Day! Summer up to 45% Off”
Stage 3: Summer is Here
Stage 3 starts in May. This time may yield fewer reservations per promotion than stage 1 in May and June but you’ll really start to see things heat up in July and August. Discounts tend to be a little less generous and are anywhere between 10% and 35% Off. You might see offers such as, “The Beach Vacation You Deserve! Only 1 Day Left to Save 30% Off Summer,” “Book a Summer Gateway Stay & Get 10% Off!” or “30% Off Summer Nights Ends Tomorrow”.
Stage 4: The Beginning of the End
Stage 4 starts as summer comes to an end. Now, the tone of the emails should be focused on these offers being your last chance to enjoy a summer vacation. Deals trend higher, in the neighborhood of 20% to 35% off. Interestingly enough, many hotels tend to use actual currency costs as opposed to percentages here. You might see offers like, “25% Off Final Days of Summer Sale Last Chance!”, “There’s Still Time! Summer Vacations from $79”, and “Only 44 Days of Summer Left!”
To sum up, hotels in the UK, Ireland and DACH markets are leaving a significant amount of money on the table by starting their summer promotion later in the season. We suggest starting in April and continuing through the end of summer. You also want to market in October and November for the next year’s summer. Finally, consider sending more summer special campaigns than you did last year, as more campaigns correlated with more bookings.