As we all know, unexpected occurrences always can pop up for our properties and markets. Going into the 3rd Quarter of every year, the Hurricane season reveals its troubling presence to our hotels near the coast. Our first thought is to focus on the safety and preparation, but you cannot forget that hurricanes do still pose unique opportunities. A few things to remember when a hurricane is declared, and the path is in line with your area:
1). Follow the pricing guide lines for “price gouging” per you state and county. We all look to maximize revenue, when demand begins to brew in our area but is raising rates or price gouging ethical? Review you local and state laws geared toward price gouging and set your rates accordingly. Remember, this is a state of an emergency.
2). Close your Qualified Discounts rate plans. As it is unethical to increase your rates, you can take a heavy yielding approach. Review and yield your everyday Qualified Discounts, usually ranging between 5%-15%. This includes AAA rates, senior Rate, etc.
3). Restrict & Potentially Close OTA rate plans. While the OTA channels are a huge piece of hotels business, it often helps the operations team to go ahead and close out these channels, especially when there is demand in excess of supply, guests will be able to find you via your brand website, or directly.
4). Be flexible with your Hotel’s Policies – Be forgiving and allow cancellations and modifications, if there is excess demand you will be able to pick up new reservations easily, and it’s not worth the hassle to
5). Evaluate your FEMA, FedRooms, CLC rate plans/programs availability – Make sure that you are visible and bookable with major disaster relief programs if it is your desire to do so.
Although hurricane season can be stressful, if you go into it prepared you can make a positive impact for your guests and top line revenues!
Senior Revenue Analyst