Your Shout: Rajul Chande, Elite Hotelier

27 August 2004
Your Shout: Rajul Chande, Elite Hotelier

By increasing your family bookings you can boost average spend per stay and generate consistent repeat business.

Most families are looking for a hotel that offers security, fun and value - and you should not underestimate the importance of security in appealing to families. Create an environment that offers total peace of mind to parents. Train your staff to keep a watch on stray children and to smile often. Introduce child/balcony locks and put up signs to make guests aware of this. And make rooms and amenities fully child-proof. Strategy one. Appeal to the kids directly. Kids can do a lot of emotional prompting of their parents if you can offer the following: - Gifts, such as welcome packs. - Appealing menu and food promotions. - Special activities. Boredom is the enemy. - A kids' loyalty club. Strategy two. Provide a wide range of added-value amenities and services, such as: -Nanny/baby-sitting services. - Biscuits and milk, even storytelling, at bedtime. - Internet access with filters to screen out unsuitable content. - Luxury family suites. - Keep a selection of confectionery and add this to room service. Strategy three. Offer imaginative tailored family packages: - Packages for parents to reward their children for specific achievements, such as passing an exam. - Romantic weekends with the kids, providing married couples with freedom and romance while the children are kept amused. - Healthy family breaks, with good food and treatments. - "Kids welcome" activity weekends. The biggest incentive you can provide to families to return is to make them feel especially welcome. If your staff can engender a relaxed family feeling in the way they relate to each other, this will be sensed and enjoyed most by your youngest guests. by Rajul Chande, director of hotels consultancy the Elite Hotelier
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