The onset of television media catapulted sports into the global spotlight – and now, with sports tourism growing in popularity, almost any sporting event can be turned into an occupancy driving campaign by local hoteliers.
Football is the most watched game in existence, with a mind-boggling 3.5 billion fans following the sport globally – that’s an audience comprising of nearly 1 in 2 people!
But perhaps a stronger motive to target football fans is the passion they exhibit for the game. Take the ongoing Euro 2016 for instance. Host nation France has been rocked by security issues with terrorism rearing its ugly head in the months building up to the event. And yet, the disturbing events have done little to discourage travelers from attending the Euros, forging a sense of unity amongst the fans instead.
The evidence for this is in the numbers – 2.5 million football tourists were estimated to fly in for the 31 day tournaments despite the unrest in the country.
So what can hoteliers do to maximize revenue during these few volatile weeks?
Turn bars into screening locations –
If there’s one thing football fans enjoy, it’s the company of other enthusiasts. Dress up your bars and pubs with flags of participating countries, set up placards outside the entrance, and turn all televisions in the bar to cover live games. Make sure that your staff dedicate some time daily for updating fixtures on all display boards.
Get innovative with food and beverage –
Guests love personalization, and football fans are no exception! Customize the names of popular cocktails to highlight countries and players – the Bloody Mario, British Island Iced Tea, Cristiano’s Screwdriver, let the creativity flow! Follow suit for food by offering international themes for relevant days – pizzas and steaks when Italy plays England.
Offer shuttle services to stadiums –
Give your guests the option to avail of free shuttle services to stadiums hosting games. Arranging transport for the matches has always been a major pain point for fans and offering them a solution can give your hotel a major competitive advantage. The cost of organizing the shuttle can be more than overcome by the increasing revenue per room – the attendees, mostly millennials, are looking for convenience and pricing usually comes second.
Stock your gift-shops with memorabilia –
Football memorabilia is one of the hottest selling gift items, even in between league seasons so stocking up all gift-shops with collector’s items should be a no-brainer. Moreover, fans are known to spend more on something that catches their eye, so you can turn the prices up a notch without worrying about compromising on sales.
Embrace the Euro 2016, and let every fan know that your hotel is the football haven they’re looking for!