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    21 August 2023

    Upselling Techniques for Hotels to Boost Revenue in 2023

    Media Name: 1920x230_upselling-shutterstock_1430294444.jpg

    In the hotel industry, upselling is a strategic approach aimed at promoting upgrades on bookings or reservations. This entails encouraging guests to spend more on additional amenities and services at any point throughout the guest journey, encompassing pre-arrival, stay and post-stay phases. 

    It’s well-known that these upselling techniques can significantly help hotels increase profits. But it’s also essential to have in mind the best practices and avoid potential pitfalls. 

    In this article, we delve into the benefits of upselling for hotels, what to upsell in hotels, key guest types to consider, and examples of upselling tactics for hoteliers. Keep reading to discover more about our recommendations.

    Benefits of Upselling in Hotels: Why Is It Relevant for Your Property? 

    In essence, by investing effort into applying these techniques within your daily operations, you’ll reap multiple rewards. Here are our top reasons why you should tap into them. 

    Enhanced Understanding of Guests

    Every interaction with your clients starts with a dialogue, and each attempt to upsell pushes you to listen to your customer’s voice. Understanding your audience improves their experience and facilitates customer retention.

    Increased Customer’s Satisfaction

    Upselling serves as a great way for you to showcase your services and product range, offering more options to your customers. They might not be aware of upgrading options, or simply might have had other needs coming up since they made their booking.

    Boosted Revenue

    Effective upselling can give you extra revenue streams. Opting for the right distribution partner, such as Hotelbeds, can grant you access to international guests that are more likely to upgrade their booking as they tend to spend more in a destination. 

    Hotel Upselling Ideas: Where You Should Put The Focus 

    When you start implementing this technique, it’s very usual to get very creative and offer an extensive array of amenities or services for your upselling purposes. 

    However, prior to delving into the upselling possibilities, it’s important to acknowledge that you should avoid giving guests too many options that end up overwhelming them. 

    Our recommendation here is that you start by presenting classic options, such as breakfast, early check-in and late check-out. And then add a few deals tailored to that specific segments. A selection of 10–15 options would be ideal. 

    Once said this, let’s see some of the most popular options for your upselling purposes. 

    Room upgrades & Rooms with special features

    • Bigger rooms, suites, or accommodations with panoramic views, terraces, saunas or kitchens.
    • Stay extensions: Encourage guests to stay longer with discounts for a one- or two-night extension. This will help you sell additional rooms during off-peak seasons. 
    • Pet fees
    • Dry cleaning services
    • Special occasion packages 
    • Baby beds

    Food and beverages

    • Strawberries and champagne
    • Wine bottles
    • Premium minibar selections

    Activities & Transport

    • Spa treatments
    • In-room massage
    • Dog walking services
    • Parking facilities
    • Bicycle rentals
    • Off-property excursions
    • Airport shuttle services

    Check-in and check-out

    • Early check-in: Guests arriving earlier than check-in time may be caught by surprise by your hotel and their rooms might not be ready. It would be a great opportunity for you to provide a room upgrade to a suite or simply a larger room as an alternative solution.
    • Late checkout: This is important in order to facilitate the logistics of late departures, such as evening or late afternoon flights.

    Guest Categories to Consider In Your Upselling Strategies

    First and foremost, it’s vital to know which segments of guests you’re attracting. This will give you insights on which type of amenities and services can be useful for each of these travellers. Some of the main guest categories to have in mind are as follows:

    • Families with children: Consider offering connecting rooms and fun activities. This segment appreciates flexibility. Also, provide meal packages and family-friendly activities. 
    • Couples: They may be willing to upgrade their experience with larger, more comfortable rooms, panoramic views, and other features that can enhance their stay.

      Romantic packages like couple’s massages, candlelight dinners, or a spa experiences are likely to be of interest. 
    • Business travellers: This segment has a great potential for upselling strategies as these guests are often less price-sensitive, and are looking to improve and smoothen their stay.

      Some interesting upsells for business travellers would be early check-in or airport transfer, flexible departure times, express laundry, parking... Ensure that they are comfortable and that they perceive your property as one that is convenient and provides prompt service.
    • Digital nomads: Some high-valued offerings include well-equipped in-room workstations, a coworking space or a chance to upgrade to high-speed Wi-Fi. Discover further initiatives to cater for remote workers here.
    • Solo female travellers: Given the rise in solo female travellers, consider offering secure transfer options with trusted providers, as well as other options that we explore in this article on solo female travel.  

    5 Upselling Techniques for Hotels That Deliver Results

    Now that we have defined what services and products are a fit for upselling – and how to cater to some of the most lucrative guest types –, it’s time to deep dive into some of the most common techniques to drive upselling success.

    • Start selling before your guest arrival: This is one of the best moments to upsell because the traveller is eager to buy extra/complementary services

      You can send customised emails or WhatsApp messages with offers 2–3 days before arrival. For instance, consider sending a brochure with relevant information about the hotel, and include a section with add-ons to their primary booking, such as airport transfer, early check-in or room category upgrade. 
    • Partner with local businesses: Collaborate with local companies to provide tailored and enriching experiences. Offerings like private walking tours, boat trips, wine tastings and spa packages can enhance guest experiences. 

      Check what popular activities are held close to your property, and reach these local businesses in order to establish a collaboration. A good example would be partnering with local wine farms to create a complete wine experience package for a minimum stay of two nights. 

      Another great idea is to reach out to festivals or sporting events’ organisers. As you can read in these comprehensive articles on film tourism and sporting events tourism, there are plenty of appealing activities and proposals for your guests.
    • Keep a look into data: To better understand which amenities and services were most popular in the past, it's imperative to collect this information. It will enable you to identify the trends of your property, and you may be able to prioritise some offers over others to increase your chances of selling.
    • Focus on training your staff for front-desk upselling: Ensure all hotel staff are aligned, and know how and when to upsell. Train them to gauge guest moods and how to ask open questions to gather relevant information.

      The check-in might not be the best moment to try to upsell your products, as guests often arrive tired and want a smooth check-in process, without having to hear your offers. Instead, it’s better if you have sent your list of offers a couple of days before their arrival so that they can have a look at it and decide if there’s something appealing to them. 
    • Present every upsell opportunity as an option: Pushing hard doesn’t always work, that’s why it’s crucial to showcase upgrade offers as choices. Customers can get annoyed by aggressive upselling techniques. Focus on offering solutions rather than increasing your profits.

      In addition, when offering a new deal, only mention the incremental price, not the full price. E.g: Instead of saying ‘For £260 a night you could upgrade to our Seaview Suite with a Continental breakfast included,’ say ‘Would you like to upgrade to our Seaview Suite and add our Continental breakfast? It’s available for an extra £35 per night.’

      And always try to reaffirm the primary purchase and then offer the upselling. For example, say that the room chosen is wonderful, but that they can have the superior one for a small add-on. 

    By embracing these techniques, hotels can elevate guest experience while boosting their revenue. As mentioned, it’s essential to start by understanding your customers’ needs in order to cater to them with your best offerings. 

    Remember that Hotelbeds offer access to high-value customers more likely to purchase add-ons. We expand your hotel’s visibility among international travellers, who usually have a larger budget and seek to enjoy their holidays fully. Join our network of 66,000+ B2B travel distributors today. Register your property for free and boost your visibility and occupancy rates!
    Already part of Hotelbeds? Log in to continue leveraging our campaigns and maximising your revenue.
    Lastly, don’t forget to download our free guide on how different channel distribution strategies can enhance your hotel’s performance. Click below and get it now!
    Cover of the guide understanding hotel distribution

    Free Guide: Understanding Hotel Distribution Channels

    With this comprehensive free guide, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the different selling options for your rooms.

    Our 'Understanding Hotel Distribution' guide provides a useful overview of:

    • What distribution channels are, and the differences between online and offline distribution
    • The main channels for hotels
    • The key benefits of B2B distribution via Bedbanks
    • How to start creating your distribution strategy