Guest expectations are no longer confined to in-room amenities — they expand beyond to encompass a variety of services, activities, experiences, and all-inclusive packages. In this blog post, we take a look at over a dozen hotel revenue-generating ideas and explore how add-ons, services, and amenities can both improve the customer experience and boost your business.
First, let’s look at areas that can be expanded. When deciding how you’ll maximize your hotel revenue, consider a few things:
- What makes your hotel unique?
- What do you have to offer that no one else does? Is it your destination? Your particular location within your city? Architecture and design? Amenity offerings?
- What are your most popular offerings?
- What do guests love about staying at your hotel? Is it the service? The food and beverage? Your pool and spa?
- Why would someone choose your hotel over others?
With these things in mind, you can chart your course for how to best augment your offerings to generate more hotel revenue.
Explore 17 hotel revenue-generating ideas to grow your business:
1. Host entertainment events at your property.
Work with local performers, entertainers, or musicians to bring them to your hotel for events on a regular basis. Invite local bands to play during happy hour in your hotel bar or restaurant, or host weekly concerts that showcase new musicians or the best local talent. Aloft does Live at Aloft Hotels – live, intimate performances from local and emerging artists. Aloft even organized a Homecoming Tour for eight hometown artists who traveled to various Aloft locations.
2. Cater to the needs of locals.
Convert your hotel into a community hub and everyday problem solver for locals. AccorHotels calls this concept augmented hospitality. Augmented hospitality means hotels provide everyday services to locals — other than lodging — that helps them in their lives. “It’s all about proximity, instant gratification, and the feeling of belonging to a community,” said Maud Bailly, chief digital officer of AccorHotels, in an interview with Skift. Your hotel is open 24/7, and you have staff on hand with local knowledge — leverage that, and offer it up to the community.
AccorLocal is AccorHotels’ way of connecting with the community. Through this program, hoteliers can choose which amenities they offer depending on local demand, and which local products they sell in their hotel depending on relationships with local vendors. As another example, Ace Hotels acts as a community hub by hosting nightly community activities in its bars and restaurants.
Think about what locals in your community need and provide it. Is it a community gathering place? Dry-cleaning services? Luggage storage? Access to amenities? Work with local businesses and offer their services to the community in your hotel outside of normal business operating hours.
3. Offer pet services.
Many people and families want to travel with their pets, so offering pet services and being a pet-friendly property has the potential to attract more business. The Kimpton Monaco Seattle offers doggie room service with a special menu for guests’ furry friends at an extra cost. Rosewood London has a luxury canine package, where both dogs and owners are treated to a VIP experience. It includes a dog bed, collar, leash, and coat designed by Barbour, and a one-hour grooming session. The package also includes organic dishes made for your dog at the hotel restaurant.
4. Offer hotel services to local rental properties.
Offer your hotel services like concierge, maintenance, access to hotel manager, housekeeping services, and use of pool, gym, and other hotel amenities to nearby rental properties. Bermondsey Square hotel in London offers housekeeping, maintenance, and luggage storage services to Airbnbs within a one-mile radius. Airbnb guests also have 24-hour access to the hotel manager for any support they might need.
5. Make your hotel kid-friendly.
Making your hotel kid-friendly isn’t just great for traveling families, it’s a way to engage with your local community, too, and provide the services they need. Have kids recreational activities like a pool with toys, week-long day camps in the summer, and offer childcare services to guests and locals. Some hotels offer supervised kids clubs, like Palace Resorts in Mexico and Beaches Resorts in Turks and Caicos. The Ritz-Carlton has a children’s education program, Ritz Kids, where kids can get their hands into nature and learn about the planet.
6. Rent out your amenities.
Your hotel amenities aren’t only of interest to your guests – locals who live nearby might want to partake, too. Consider offering monthly memberships to use your facilities, like the pool and the gym. Local community groups might need a gathering place for a weeknight meeting for a few hours – offer up short-term rentals of conference rooms for small local meetings or events. Opening up your parking spaces for monthly rentals or pay-by-the-hour could be another way to boost your hotel's revenue. Or, set aside certain spaces or a certain level of your parking garage for public use, but make sure there are still enough spaces for all of your guests.
7. Rent rooms by the hour or for single-day use.
Especially now, offer to rent rooms during business hours for locals who don’t want to work from home, but can’t go into the office yet. It’s a good alternative to working from their home while still being remote and out of the office. And, that means a room that would normally sit empty can generate some extra revenue. Or, upsell existing guests with late check-out or early check-in. During the booking process, provide the option to arrive a little earlier or leave a little later for an extra fee.
8. Offer special discounts.
If a guest asks you or your in-room Alexa or Google Assistant about the pool or the restaurant, append special offers and discounts so they’re more likely to engage. Have Alexa or Google share promotions based on the weather or what hotel events are coming up. If it’s a nice day, advertise a discount for drinks by the pool. If the weather is poor, have Alexa suggest information about a spa treatment. Advertise weekend brunch specials on the Friday before. As CEO of Volara David Berger wrote for Hospitality Net, “Offering special ‘Alexa rates’ for bookings of voice-enabled rooms can increase ADR.”
9. Leverage custom F&B experiences.
People increasingly want experiences over material things. Rather than typical room service, upgrade your F&B dining experiences for those who are looking for a little something extra. Provide an in-room chef who will make the dish right in front of them, or a mixologist who will prepare drinks from the comfort of their own room. Personal cooking classes or demonstrations with the hotel restaurant chef could be a unique way to forge a personal connection with guests and give them an unforgettable experience. Or, create a special package with private dining experiences, a seat at the chef’s table, and a selection of tasting menus.
10. Encourage guest referrals.
This one is a two-for-one benefit for your hotel. By incentivizing guests to refer their friends and family to stay at your hotel, you have a chance at winning new business – and repeat business. If a guest refers a friend to stay with you, offer them a discount on their next stay, and offer a discount or freebie to the new guest. Marriott Rewards offers a referral program for members of their loyalty program. Members get 10,000 points per referral, and for every stay their referral makes (up to five stays), the member can earn additional points.
11. Offer packages based on guest preferences.
You learn a lot about your guests through the booking process, especially if they’ve stayed with you before. Focus on their personal interests and preferences and offer packages designed exclusively for them. Partner with local event venues to promote concerts and shows that might be of interest and offer a package with a ticket and room bundle.
If you know the guest is interested in local food and breweries, bundle a pub crawl and discounts at a nearby restaurant with their room nights. If they’re winery fans, offer to add on a tour at the local winery. If they're looking for a relaxing weekend away, suggest some spa treatments at a discounted rate or offer a deal for multiple sessions. If it’s a family traveling with kids, offer tickets to the local zoo or waterpark.
12. Set up your own tours and activities.
Organize your own tours of the city or partner with a local agency to provide these kinds of add-ons to your guests. Consider working with your local CVB or DMO to connect guests with the best experiences your destination has to offer. Surf lessons, guided hikes, bike tours, walking tours, museum-hopping, and kayaking and canoeing rentals are just a few ideas of activities you can offer to guests.
13. Offer local food and beverage in-room and for sale in the lobby.
Partner with local cafes, restaurants, breweries, and wineries to provide guests with an authentic taste of your town. Stock rooms with a basket of small free samples and have the larger versions available for purchase in the minibar or in the lobby snack shop.
14. Offer amenities for purchase.
Partner with your suppliers to offer in-room amenities for guest purchase. This includes things like linens, pillows, bathrobes and slippers, towels, toiletries, and things like dining ware, artwork, and china or light fixtures. Especially if you know your guests rave about certain amenities in their reviews, like the softness of the pillows or the quality of the towels, make sure to offer those things for purchase.
15. Upgrade your loyalty program.
Loyalty programs help boost interaction frequency with guests. It also encourages guests to book rooms using their points, which supports hotel occupancy. Focus on fostering long-term relationships rather than the short-term “sign-up bonuses.” Morph your program to fit the desires of today’s travelers. They’re less interested in traditional rewards and want things like high-quality service, personalization, and convenience.
Amar Lalvani, CEO, Standard International, said in a 2018 interview with Skift: “The loyalty that we want to generate is based on providing unique and addictive experiences. … We earn loyalty by connecting with guests on a social and cultural level. Knowing not only who they are and what they like, but knowing who they want to be when they stay with us.”
If you win their loyalty, you win their business for the long-term.
16. Create a seamless app experience.
Apps like Amazon and Uber are examples of seamless experiences. With just one touch, the transaction is complete and the item or service is on the way. Mastercard’s Dana Rosenberg said of seamless apps in an interview with Skift: “Hotels can develop a truly tailored loyalty experience with automatic behavior trigger conditions for offers and communications based off traveler geolocation, history or recent redemption to drive dynamic engagement and build customer appreciation.”
For example, Disney’s Magic Band is a wristband that provides a single touchpoint for guests to manage every part of their experience at the park and their hotel — from check-in and room access to food and retail purchases at the park. A branded app for your hotel can also offer the same type of seamless experience, and make it easier for guests to add on additional items and purchases.
IHG partnered with OpenTable and Grubhub to allow guests to order delivery or make a restaurant reservation and earn rewards points. Guests can also connect their credit or debit cards to their IHG Rewards account and earn points if they dine at thousands of qualified restaurants across the country. It also provides flexibility, where members can choose how and when they use their points to redeem Rewards Nights stays.
17. Offer exclusive experiences.
Experiences matter more than possessions. In fact, 74% of Americans prioritize experiences over products. As part of their rewards program, Marriott Bonvoy shifted their focus to experiences. Loyalty members can get exclusive offers like VIP concert access, tickets to sporting events, and midnight visits to the Great Pyramid of Giza. Offer fun experiences for all guests, like a cooking class with your chef or a guided tour of a local museum. Take those experiences to the next level for your rewards members, like with a private dining option and tasting menu, or a backstage pass to a concert of their choosing.
Put these revenue-generating ideas for hotels to use today!
Up next, explore just how important hotel SEO is, and discover how you can use it to maximize your visibility.