Competition for hotel guests is currently fierce since vacancy rates are still higher than the golden days before the 2008 economic downturn. Savvy hoteliers are looking for ways to provide added value to guests, and daycare services are one relatively simple way to increase your property’s appeal to parents.
While providing kiddy beds with fully fitting crib mattresses, linens, and extra plush baby toys is a great first step to attracting families, giving the adults a break from parenting duties is the ultimate vacation perk to overworked moms and dads!
While parents can, of course, call a babysitting service, they are less likely to do so in a strange city for a number of reasons. First of all, the hotel is a trusted source of staff for all kinds of services, and they would not have the same level of confidence in an off-property childcare service.
Secondly, it’s an extra effort to find, interview, and arrange for an outside service. Most parents today are stretched to the max and don’t have the time to look for a reputable babysitter they feel they can trust with their most prized possession — their children. Hotels that make life easy for parents get the lion’s share of the business.
A Natural Option
Onsite daycare is a natural option for families. It’s so easy, in fact, that parents feel no guilt when taking advantage of the service. It’s viewed as just part of the overall hotel experience. Onsite daycare can be an integral part of the daily hotel offerings.
Spa, excursions, or sports activities for parents. Fun activities with other kids their own age for the younger set. It’s all just part of the plan. No fuss, no muss, and especially, no guilt!
For any property in a crowded market, onsite daycare services differentiate you from the competition and give families a solid reason to choose your hotel over all of those nearby. A hot breakfast buffet, clean rooms, and a pool with a sand beach are easy to find these days, but daycare is a relatively untapped benefit. Offer daycare services and you’ll stand out as a special property that takes the needs of customers into account as a foundation of your customer service.
Additional Revenue Stream
Basic daycare can be provided as part of the hotel experience, but hotels can go a step further with special services such as camps and classes. Parents feel even less guilt about leaving kids in daycare if it’s an educational experience. Turn that trip to the beach to a marine biology camp and watch the families sign up.
Nothing is better than recommendations from happy customers. Word of mouth advertising is free, and with social media platforms, kids’ stories to their friends about their fantastic daycare fun can naturally go viral — at least in their circles. Parents are also willing to share family travel experiences that work with other moms and dads in the same boat.
Your internal social media marketing staff can create all sorts of ingenious interaction with happy customers on Facebook or Twitter and share photos on Instagram or Pinterest. Getting some dialog going or having a contest — best sandcastles, for example — will bring the community together for future visits.
Daycare services provide benefits for families and for the hotels that offer them. Creative hotel management can create experiences for families that will keep them coming back for many future stays.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Daniel Sjöström