How to Generate More Hotel Revenue in a Time of Uncertainty

As we enter the fall of 2021, there is lots of uncertainty surrounding hotel performance. Will leisure return to its July 2021 levels? When will business travelers start to travel? Are group contracts going to ‘hold,’ or will they start moving to new dates in 2023 and 2024?

While it would be easy to just sit and ponder these questions, why not use this opportunity to ask Who is my customer? and Why do they stay at my hotel? The more you and your team can answer these two questions in an in-depth way, the more likely you will find revenue opportunities that support this exercise.

The best way to look at this is to get every hotel department involved, making it a holistic exercise versus just letting the sales and marketing team develop plans in isolation. They will have other ideas (possibly from successful actions/campaigns at previous hotels they worked at) and can also provide ideas about how their department can support the initiative.

By the way, this exercise is best completed based on pre-pandemic data, since the hotel’s segmentation is very different right now. Answering the question Why do customers stay here? is likely to be very different now, too.

The first step is to identify the ideal business mix and the percentage breakdown among the three core segments of leisure, individual corporate, and group travel. Once the primary segment has been identified (usually the largest percentage), you can brainstorm ideas to increase revenue. 

For example, if the hotel’s primary market segment is business travel, ideas to increase revenue include:

  • Revisiting the workstation in the guestroom. Is it efficient? Is there an opportunity to add a second work area for a spouse for bleisure travel—a predicted trend in the future?
  • Considering if it is time for a Wi-Fi update to improve Internet-access speed.
  • Developing workcation and bleisure packages. 
  • Promoting a 4th-night-free package (ideally for the usually soft occupancy night of Sunday).
  • Providing a free Welcome Drink on Thursday night to encourage weekend stayovers.
  • Creating a family or comfort food special dinner on Sunday nights (e.g., Nonna’s Meatballs & Pasta for $12.99).

Once you have done this for your primary segment, move to the next segment, but be sure to exhaust all ideas and implement them fully so that the component with the most significant revenue opportunity is maximized.


By answering the ‘Who’ and ‘Why’ questions, you will be able to create new products and services that are relevant to your customers and thereby increase revenue.

Use this time when the hotel world is full of uncertainty to prepare for the upcoming travel surge so that once it arrives, your hotel is ready to leverage demand and garner maximum revenue opportunities.


"Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves." – Steve Jobs

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Need help finding ways to generate revenue? Contact Jo-Anne at
[email protected].

About Jo-Anne Hill

Jo-Anne is an industry expert who founded JH Hospitality Consulting to help hotels around the world dramatically improve revenue and profitability in creative ways. Her strategic thinking, skill, and practical approach to problem-solving come from hands-on experience at companies such as The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, the Mandarin-Oriental Hotel Group, the Dorchester Collection, and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts.

Jo-Anne’s recently published book ‘Cultivating Leadership: How great leaders make a difference, one hotel at a time” dives deeper into the equation: happy staff = happy guests = more revenue.

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