Boost Hotel bookings by optimizing your Booking Lead Time

Dear hoteliers,

We analyzed about 400,000 trips that were made in 2019 to identify new trends in Lead Time.

FYI: The Booking Lead Time is the number of days between the time a guest books their room and the time they are scheduled to arrive at the hotel. 

Example:

On 7 February, Luke books a room for a period from 26 February to 3 March. Luke’s Lead Time is therefore 19 days, the total number of days between 7 February and 26 February.

Booking Lead Time information is essential to plan for your bookings and thus manage your tariffs. 

Enjoy reading!

Analysis

The numbers are simple and convincing enough not to require a more complex analysis here. 

The most interesting point is the impressive difference in usage between the younger generation and the older generation. The younger generation are clearly more “emotional” consumers who decide to leave on a whim while their elders tend to plan their holidays in advance. 

You get similar results when comparing family and friends travellers with couple and solo travellers. The more people there are, the more time they take to plan their stay, which is fair enough. However, this information enables you to extrapolate data and you can adapt it to your rooms. When you plan and schedule your rates, you should come up with your estimates while accounting for the fact that your Singles will get booked at the last minute, while your Triple and Family rooms will be get booked early. 

And last but not least, business travellers are the type of profile with the shortest Lead Time at only 3 weeks on average. 

Customer Relationship Management and Revenue Management System, a pairing that works

A few years ago, we experienced the great Yield era. Today, Yield is no longer an “evolution”, it’s one of the founding principles of a hotel’s sales strategy, and it is definitely already established in your hotel.

At the moment, we are in the middle of the next step, the CRM Revolution. This means that all hotels are in the process of rethinking their customer relationship and loyalty and of course their understanding of customers. We are all beginning to see that you get poor ROI from a segmentation based solely on Leisure/Business. So it has now become obligatory to improve this in order to improve the customer experience. Today, every customer is very easily classifiable according to more than thirty criteria, usually used for e-mail campaigns.

But why not also apply this segmentation to your Yield strategy?

Considering that your CRM and RMS solutions must work together to maximise your revenue is a new way of seeing things. In my last article, I gave a concrete example of how a CRM could help you maximise your ranking on Booking, Expedia, etc. (article available here: http://www.tonyloeb.com/unbeatable-loyalty-indicator-nps/), but this also hold perfectly true for a tariff strategy.

By knowing the fluctuations of your client typology, month after month, you will optimise your strategic decisions more quickly.

Conclusion

Booking Lead Time is an important concept to know about and exploit when considering your future tariffs. But you have to combine it with an analysis of your customer segmentation to be able to optimize your tariffs to 100%.

Feel free to use the comment area below if you want Experience Hotel analysts to provide you with specific data.

We are here to help you!

Tony Loeb