Is your hotel ready for 2017’s total solar eclipse on August 21? The sun will disappear behind the moon, turning daylight into twilight, causing the temperature to drop rapidly and revealing massive streams of light streaking through the sky around the silhouette of the moon. These two minutes in August promise to cause one of the heaviest travel periods in history as millions make their way to the U.S. for one of nature’s most fascinating sights visible once every 99 years.
Experts predict this could be the most-watched eclipse in the history of mankind – sending from 7.5 million to 20 million or more travelers to prime viewing areas in the path of totality stretching from Oregon to South Carolina. Epic travel on this scale is rife with potential for amazing experiences or epic failures – in the form of disgruntled or disappointed guests.
Follow these preparation tips to optimize this once-in-a-lifetime experience – for both your hotel and your guests.
TARGET COMMITTED ECLIPSE CHASERS
Experts anticipate travelers from around the globe to descend on the 70-mile wide path across the continental United States called the Path of Totality. Follow the tips below to reach eclipse chasers headed for your city.
Set proper arrival and length of stay restrictions to draw the most committed celestial fans, likely to arrive days before the eclipse in hopes of avoiding what could be the largest traffic jam in the history of the universe.
Get the Word Out Via Social
Still have rooms to sell? Use social media and email campaigns to alert late bookers that you have rooms available. With many of the major cities already sold out, people may assume all hotels are full. Determine drive markets for your area with GreatAmericanEclipse.com’s “Drive times to the centerline” map. Reach potential travelers living in these markets with geo-targeted campaigns.
Maximize Rate with a Solar Eclipse Viewing Packages
Package your guest room with eclipse glasses designed for solar viewing, viewing party VIP seating, free parking, and custom branded “I survived the path of totality!” and “Epic Mooning” bumper stickers, t-shirts, glowsticks and coffee mugs (click here to order with your brand).
Promote your pet-friendly hotel to pet owners who want to experience this phenomenon with their canine and feline family members, who experts agree will likely exhibit interesting behavior during the sudden mid-day darkness.
Even if your hotel’s city isn’t in the path of totality, there’s still an opportunity to reach travelers displaced from nearby areas, along heavily trafficked areas, or travelers unable to book in the busiest cities. Visit eclipse2017.org to see if your hotel is in the path of totality.
After navigating the biggest traffic jam in history, the next biggest goal will be finding $%&# parking. Plan in advance to protect your valuable parking for guests.
MAKE IT MEMORABLE
Guests traveling hundreds, even thousands of miles for this historic experience will want to make the most of it. Plan eclipse related activities and events to keep your guests entertained and in-house.
- Host a viewing party with branded eye safety wear so they always relate your hotel with this amazing experience.
- Set up viewing areas so your guests are comfortable and safe during this potentially frenzied 2 minutes
- Use professional signage to direct and inform your guests
ENGAGE YOUR GUESTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Generate exposure for your brand before, during and after the eclipse.
- Create a custom Snapchat Geofilter for the day of the event, encouraging users to include your brand with snaps to their community. Read more about how to set up custom Snapchat Geofilters here. Setting this up is fast and easy with the ATH Custom Snapchat Geofilter package.
- Set up Solar Eclipse Selfie Stations directing guests to the best spots for selfies. Contact ATH for easy-to-order custom designs to match your brand.
- Build excitement with daily social media updates counting down to the big event.
Share your ideas for making the most of this once-in-a-lifetime event?