This Labor Day weekend, up to 30.4 million travelers will be packing their bags and hitting the road for one last summer hurrah.
AAA predicts the highest travel volume for the holiday weekend since 2008, thanks to rising wages and low gas prices. Despite being less than a week away, there’s still time to appeal to last-minute travelers from your drive markets.
Here are five hotel marketing tips to max out the number of Labor Day vacationers coming through your property’s doors:
1. Entice Labor Day Procrastinators
As we get closer and closer to Labor Day weekend, update your social media accounts and send an email to your list with a room inventory countdown. Use the scarcity principle to make your followers aware that yes, you still have rooms and no, they will not be available for long. For instance, “Labor Day is heating up! We’re down to our last 7 rooms for the weekend. Who wants to celebrate the last official summer weekend with us?”
2. Include Parking
With so many people road trippin’ their way to Labor Day destinations, this is a prime opportunity to craft clever packages that include parking with the room rate, or tout your already complimentary parking. Market the package for "an epic end-of-summer road trip" to trigger people into rounding up some friends to enjoy the last golden days of summer sun.
3. Trigger Wanderlust With Content
For your Labor Day marketing, make a list of top 10 drive-worthy attractions, restaurants, and other interesting spots that are within a close driving distance from your hotel property. Or, create a "before the summer ends" bucket list with fun activities that people should take advantage of in your city before the heat and sunshine subside.
Make it personal by curating the list from your own staff members and post to your blog, your website, email list and social media. Make the list sweeter by offering discounted tickets to these attractions.
4. Feed the Foodies
AAA Travel surveys show that up to 58 percent of Labor Day weekend travelers ranked dining as their top activity. Have your chef create witty and holiday-inspired F&B promotions, such as a "Last Taste of Summer" breakfast or lunch in your restaurant using local and seasonal summer ingredients. Or, shake things up at the bar with a "Summer’s Final Fling" drink infused with crisp, summer flavors. Another idea is to offer a complimentary juice or water infused with summer fruits to enhance your hotel lobby experience.
5. Gather Guests’ Photos and Content for Future Campaigns
Since this will be the last summer travel getaway before school starts and folks wind up their year at the office, hotel guests will be voraciously posting fun travel photos and quips to their social media pages.
Create a hashtag for the weekend and advertise it to your guests throughout their stay. Share it upon check-in, have signage at the front desk or post it in the elevator. Encourage your guests to use the hashtag when posting photos of their vacation and offer an incentive to do so, such as entering them all in a giveaway for a free stay later in the year. Gather all the images to use for future social media campaigns and create a gallery on your Website, Facebook or Instagram showing these images of your guests having a great time.