Hotel Sales Marketing: No Niche Left Behind, Part 1

Niche marketing for hotels is a hot topic, and it’s getting hotter as competition intensifies for traveler dollars. Customer loyalty is a lot easier to build when you not only figure out your target market, but go the extra mile to make them feel your hotel was built especially for them.

Here are some tips to get you started on the road to niche hotel sales marketing.

Find Out What Your Customers Like

Doing your homework to identify the customer you most want to come through your hotel doors is basic hotel sales marketing 101. Hotels big and small are taking it one or three steps further by breaking that group of customers into special interest segments, then tailoring their facilities, amenities, deals, and packages to attract that customer.

A few examples include:

  • Weekend travelers
  • Sport tourism
  • Eco-tourism
  • Culinary tourism
  • Groups of customers who have a culture in common (Chinese, Indian, etc.)
  • Pet lovers
  • Aging baby boomers
  • Pop culture tourism centered on the booming ComiCon and cosplay culture

How do you figure out what your customers’ special interests are? Start with a travel and tourism review site such as Tripadvisor.com. Read what customers are saying about your hotel, what they like and what didn’t work for them. Look at those reviewers’ profiles (it’s okay, it’s not considered stalking!) to get a look at their interests, hobbies, and travel preferences.

Define A Few Niches To Target

Select perhaps half a dozen customer niches on which to concentrate, and start making your hotel’s facilities, services, and amenities attractive to these customers. For example, providing grassy areas for dog walking, pet washing facilities, and pet sitting services for travelers who hate to leave their pets at home. Provide covered parking (or at least well-lit, secure parking at the front of the hotel) for motorcycle tourists. Visitors in town for a major sports event may appreciate upgraded fitness facilities.

Look Close To Home

What does your hotel’s location offer that attracts tourists? Professional sports teams? Natural beauty? Cultural significance? Ski slopes? A thriving theater, music, and arts community?

Stay tuned for the next part of this series on niche hotel sales marketing!

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