The Balancing Act - How Resorts Can Maximize ROI on Amenities

Oct 08, 2018

Much more than just an overnight guest room, today’s hotels and resorts offer a variety of services and experiences. Amenities such as onsite spas, golf, local tours, water sports, dining and various concierge services are growing in popularity, driven by guest demand. And resort managers are trying to determine which offerings suit their operations, and their guest demographics, the best. Adding new amenities or services to your hotel or resort can bring positive returns, such as increased guest satisfaction, attracting new business and maximizing profitability. However, as a resort manager it can be hard to accurately predict or even measure the profitability of these amenities.

A new study from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration’s Center for Hospitality Research shows that guests’ anticipated use of some hotel amenities often is inaccurate. The study suggests that guests expect to use certain amenities such as in-room dining more than they actually use it. Meanwhile, other amenities such as concierge services, guests generally underestimate how much they will use. Therefore, it’s important for resort operators to understand which of their onsite amenities are the most popular, and which offer the most return on investment. Below are three tips on optimizing guests’ use of hotel amenities and knowing what works best for your property.

  1. Examine and Optimize Unused Amenities
    Before changing a less successful offering at your property, take a look at possible reasons why it isn’t being used. An onsite amenity can go unused for many reasons and might not be directly linked to the satisfaction it brings guests. An example could be a pool that is only open from 9-5 in a resort that hosts mostly business travelers. Instead of the pool area going unused, the property could increase guest options by extending the opening hours and might even consider adding poolside food and beverage service with a flexible POS to increase profitability.
  2. Less Effort to Maximize Profitability
    Some hotel amenities are successful from the day their doors open, but can be so extensive to manage that their ROI remains low. For example, a resort with an onsite golf course, where scheduling and tracking tee times, organizing tournaments and overseeing player experiences might require a large staff which cuts into the profitability of the operation. Using a powerful property management system that seamlessly integrates and helps manage all golf operations without the extra overhead can help streamline operations and grow revenue.
  3. Know Your High-Value Customers
    Having a detailed view of guests and their use of amenities is important. Knowledge about your guests and the amenities they enjoy is an essential factor to optimizing ROI. For example, an onsite spa can sometimes be an infrequently used amenity, but if it is critical to your high-value guests then the spa is  likely worth maintaining and perhaps promoting in new ways to target other guests as well. Allowing your spa operation to integrate fully with the property management system can reveal which of your guests frequent those services.

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