Boosting the Revenues of Your Hotel Parking
By Lillian Connors, Senior Digital Marketing Strategist at Bizzmark
When strategising about the optimisation of your hotel's revenue streams, hotel parking and its lucrative opportunities rarely come to mind. For most hotel managers, the parking they offer to their visitors is not only complementary and an essential part of the service, but it is rarely considered a multi-million feature that it actually is. Or rather, that it can become.
Embrace parking technology
Firstly, the majority of hotel parking charges are based on an honour system that doesn't work, and that never will. Charging for parking only to your guest that admit to having a car and failing to monitor your daily parking occupancy can cost you thousands of dollars on a weekly basis.
More than 50% of visitors will park for free any given day, and by simply introducing a parking access and revenue control system (PARCS) you will not only eliminate unauthorised parking, but you will also be able to charge a valuable feature. This will help you pull in more revenue to better your business across the board.
Revenue control and guest parking
Rather than thinking of your parking space as a complementary amenity, you need to think of it as a small gold mine ready to be dug out. This will help you maintain the quality of your overall service, but also invest time and resources in training your staff to handle parking logistics and finances rather than just watching over the parking lot.
Your parking department staff also needs to be well-versed in the associated parking accounting processes and front desk management systems so that guest arrival and departure can be monitored effectively. This will help you optimise event parking and fees as well.
Parking maintenance and upkeep
One of the most important aspects of a profitable parking lot is its regular maintenance and upkeep. In order for your guests to want to park and more importantly, pay for your parking service, the lot itself needs to be in stellar condition.
To this end, you want to adhere to regular cleaning and upkeep with water hoses, and promptly fix any surface damage with floor coatings to protect the parking area from further wear and tear. Also, as aesthetic appeal and lot quality plays a key role in monetising your hotel's parking, make sure you use a durable line marking paint that delivers long-term performance under any weather conditions.
The "problem" with parking fees
A major problem in the hotel industry is managers not charging for their parking at all, as they fear that doing so will deter their potential customer from staying and that they will opt to go to their competitors. This is, although arguably valid, a mindset that is setting you back.
While customers don't like paying for extra features if they don't have to, they will readily do so if your brand portrays an image of trust and quality. If every single one of your services is second to none, including your parking, your prospective customers will have no problem paying a little extra as long as the price is reasonable. Simply conduct your own market research and figure out your fee based on what the competition is charging.
Complimentary parking and discounts
Finally, discounted and complimentary parking are great ways to attract guests and spread the word of your hotel as a fine choice in the industry. However, these practices must be implemented strategically, as you would strategize about offering any other benefit to your customer.
Think about it, if you would strategize how much it pays off to offer free drinks after 10PM, why wouldn't you do the same for your parking? Consider who is visiting, how many people they are bringing, and how long they will be staying. Sometimes a discount is perfectly fine, but with high-priority guests, offering free parking is one of the best decisions you can make.
Hotel parking is often an unexploited revenue pool that could transform your business and put you on the fast track to success. Use these essential tips to strategically implement parking charges and optimise your parking revenue streams.
Senior Digital Marketing Strategist