Hotel Upselling: Tips for Upselling Hotel Stays

Lexi DeMers
Lexi DeMers
24 Apr 2024

Updated: 21 May 2024

Hotel upselling is a great way to elevate the guest experience and improve your bottom line. And while it offers numerous benefits, upselling in hotels is a skill that many hoteliers have yet to refine. To avoid ill-timed offers or high-pressure sales tactics, hotel upsells should be presented with a degree of finesse. 

From late check-out to an in-room wine service, there are many ways to upsell your hotel experience. In this article, we’ll cover the top upselling techniques that can help your hotel bring in more revenue and create a better stay for your guests. Keep reading to learn how to identify upselling opportunities. 

What Is Upselling?

Upselling in hotels is the process of offering your guests upgrades, add-ons, and additional services that are outside the scope of their base booking. Typically, hotel upselling is done at the booking stage, during check-in, and at various touchpoints during the guest’s stay. This practice increases the booking value and allows guests to customize their visit to match their preferences and needs more closely. 

Why Upselling Opportunities Are Important for Hotels

Capitalizing on hotel upselling opportunities is an important aspect of staying ahead in the competitive hospitality industry. According to a report published by Statistica, the global hotel industry will reach an impressive 446.5 billion dollar value in 2024. Further, the same report shows that the hotel market is set to grow by nearly 14%, or over 62 billion dollars, from 2024 to 2028. So, there is plenty of room for increasing revenue. 

Offering packages, add-ons, and unique services helps you increase your value to guests. These additional offerings can also help set you apart from competitors, which in turn helps you claim your share of the hotel market. 

Upselling is a highly effective tool to increase your average booking value. Whether guests indulge in a welcome drink, book a massage service, or upgrade to a suite, every upsell brings in additional revenue. These incremental increases, when applied across numerous reservations, can substantially impact your bottom line.

Experience Seamless Upselling with Bookinglayer

What Can You Upsell in a Hotel?

Within a hotel business, there are a variety of upsells to offer guests. Aside from room upgrades, you can also sell guests a range of services and add-ons that create a more well-rounded stay. Take a look at some of the different upselling opportunities you can leverage in your business below. 

Room Upgrades and Add-Ons

The most obvious upsell in a hotel business is a room upgrade. During the booking and check-in processes, you can prompt guests to opt for a suite rather than a basic room. You can also upsell rooms with a better view. 

Additionally, a lesser-used way to upsell in a hotel is to offer room add-ons. This could include anything from a chilled, in-room bottle of champagne waiting upon check-in or upselling guests a later check-out time. Hotels can charge fees for all of these services that heighten a guest’s stay. 

On-Site Services

Another method of upselling is to offer your guests more than just a place to stay. This is a great way to not only increase bookings but also to increase your average booking value. You can upsell things such as laundry, massages, and room service. Larger hotels even upsell tailoring and nanny services. 

Tours, Activities, and More

Hotel upselling isn’t only limited to on-site offers. In fact, some of the best upselling opportunities come from your surrounding area. Offering your hotel guests city tours or popular local activities allows you to upsell while providing extra value. 

Even if your hotel does not operationally offer these services, you can partner with other organizations that do. As such, you can upsell hiking excursions, rafting adventures, cooking classes, museum tours, and more. 

Bespoke Packages

Selling special packages can help you take your hotel upselling to the next level. This tactic enables you to upsell multiple items at once. 

For example, you can create a Honeymoon package that includes a three-night stay in a suite, a couple’s massage, and a private dinner for two on the beach. These offers can be curated to appeal to families, solo travelers, couples, business travelers, and more.

The Top Upselling Techniques for Hotels

With the right techniques, upselling in your hotel can be a breeze. The trick is to offer real value to your guests and to avoid coming off too salesy. Try implementing the upselling techniques below to maximize your hotel’s revenue. 

A women enjoying an in-room wine upsell at a glamping site.Hotel upselling helps ensure guests get the most our of their stay.

Build Upselling into the Booking Process

One of the simplest and most streamlined ways to upsell in your hotel is to build upselling right into the booking flow. Using customizable booking software, you can tailor hotel upselling options to your guests. For example, if a guest selects a family room, you can show upsells for nanny services and family-friendly tours. 

Integrating add-ons into the booking process ensures guests can cultivate their ultimate holiday. Plus, it is a hassle-free and automated way of upselling for your hotel. 

Make the Most of Check-In

The check-in process is another excellent upselling opportunity. When guests arrive at your property to check in, they are typically excited and eager to start their stay. During the check-in process, you can kindly ask guests if they would like to upgrade their room, enjoy some spa services, or schedule a tour of the area. 

This is also your first time connecting with guests in person. And a warm welcome and friendly smile can go a long way in encouraging your guests to enjoy their stay fully. 

Use Visuals to Better Illustrate Your Upsells

Giving guests a visual of what they can buy can help make you upsell offers more appealing. You can print out posters or brochures that show what your upsell options look like. For example, you can show what your spa and wellness area look like or how you set up a romantic private dinner on the beach. 

Just as you show guests what your hotel rooms look like before they book, you should accurately represent your other services. This can help manage guests’ expectations and entice them to opt for certain upgrades or add-ons. 

Highlight Your Range of Services

As mentioned, offering various on-site services is an effective way to increase revenue. However, you must also market these services to guests if you want to capitalize on your hotel upselling potential. 

You should mention the other services you offer at multiple points during the guests' stay. This can be easily done during the booking process, within a guidebook in the rooms, and via flyers and other leaflets on the reception desk or around the property. 

Offer Packages

Curating packages that amplify the typical hotel stay is an excellent way to increase guest satisfaction. It is also an excellent opportunity to expose your guests to various experiences. For example, a "Weekend Getaway" package might include a suite, a local tour, and breakfast in bed on the last morning. 

This personalized approach meets guests' expectations and increases your average booking value. Design packages that cater to different types of travelers to attract a broader audience. Make sure to promote these packages prominently on your website and during the booking process.

Increase revenue with Bookinglayer's dynamic Package Builder

Partner With Other Local Businesses

Partnering with local businesses opens up new avenues for upselling. By collaborating with nearby restaurants, tour operators, and other service providers, hotels can offer guests a range of unique experiences.

Consider upselling a gourmet dinner at a nearby restaurant, a wine-tasting tour, or a guided city walk. These partnerships enrich the guest experience while providing hotels with additional revenue streams. This approach also helps you build stronger connections within the local community.

Harness the Power of Suggestion

Subtle suggestions can be a powerful tool for upselling in hotels. Instead of pressuring guests, train your staff to lightly suggest upgrades or add-ons during key interactions, like check-in or room service orders.

For example, a front desk employee might casually mention the benefits of a room upgrade or the availability of spa treatments. These subtle hints can pique guests' interest without feeling pushy. This approach allows for a seamless upsell while maintaining a high standard of customer service.

Leverage Hotel Upsell Software

Hotel upsell software can be a game-changer in boosting revenue. Dynamic software can automate suggestions for room upgrades, in-room services, or local experiences based on guest preferences. 

This not only increases your upselling opportunities but also ensures consistency in your approach. By leveraging this technology, you can streamline the upselling process and create a more customized experience for your guests.

How to Start Upselling in Your Hotel 

If you want to start upselling in your hotel, you can begin by defining what add-ons, services, and packages you can offer guests. With this, you want to ensure you have a wide range of options. Taking advantage of different upselling opportunities will help ensure you provide added value for each type of guest you host. 

After your offers are defined, you can begin implementing upsell offers during the booking and check-in processes. But remember, hotel upselling doesn’t have to be a labor-intensive endeavor. With the upselling techniques detailed in this article, you can seamlessly integrate upselling as a standard practice in your business.

Boost Revenue by Selling Activities and Accommodation With Bookinglayer

Bookinglayer is an all-in-one reservation management system designed for upselling. We help our clients increase revenue by selling both accommodation and activities in one booking flow. From set packages to customizable packages to automated upselling and cross-selling even after a booking is made, we make it easy to raise your bottom line. 

Check out the video below to see how Bookinglayer can take your business to the next level. Or, if you are ready to see for yourself, sign up for a free personalized demo to experience the power of Bookinglayer in action.

Hotel Upselling FAQ

When can you upsell to hotel guests?

You can upsell a wide range of things to hotel guests, such as room upgrades, food and beverage packages, spa services, late checkout, and local excursions or tours. Hotel upselling can also include transportation, concierge services, dry cleaning, and more. 

What is an example of upselling?

One example of hotel upselling is asking the guest if they’d like the poolside suite rather than the standard room. If upselling is done successfully, this effort will heighten the guest’s experience and increase your revenue. 

What is an example of suggestive upselling in hotels?

Suggestive upselling in hotels in when your staff makings suggestions to guests in conversation, such as, “Would you like to enjoy a drink at the bar before heading up to your room?” You can train your team to use the power of suggestion during different interactions with guests to encourage more spending and a more enjoyable stay. 

What is the difference between upselling and cross-selling?

Upselling is the practice of selling customers more expensive or an upgraded option of what they are already looking for. Alternatively, cross-selling is the effort of selling clients additional or complimentary items or services. However, both terms are often used interchangeably.

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