How Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve achieved 99% occupancy post-lockdown

How Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve achieved 99% occupancy post-lockdown

28 August 2020Arkadiusz Czerwinski

Through a seamless guest experience and optimised booking channels, Port Lympne hotel has managed to achieve 99% occupancy, following the UK’s nationwide coronavirus lockdown. And, here’s how…

Port Lympne is an iconic hotel with a conscience where you can sleep amongst wild animals in its award winning eco-friendly reserve situated in 600 acres of Kentish countryside. Owned by the Aspinall Foundation, a renowned conservation charity formed almost 30 years ago, its profits go towards supporting and protecting animal projects all around the world.

Home to over 900 animals and 75 species, Port Lympne’s offering is somewhat unique, and it provides a diverse array of guest experiences, including 14 different accommodation types made up of a boutique hotel, lodges, treehouses, panoramic bubbles and more.

Offering such a variety of accommodation types creates significant challenges when it comes to taking bookings, not least of which is conveying enough information to guests to give them the confidence to make a direct booking via the Port Lympne website.

Improving direct bookings

To change direct booking behaviour, the reserve needed a comprehensive booking solution that would improve its existing online customer journey, suitably showcase its varied offering and help relieve the burden on its front desk to process bookings. In the video below, we caught up with Port Lympne to find out more about how we have helped them improve their guest journey, achieve a 99% occupancy rate and reach a booking rate of 1 every 11 seconds.

Port Lympne approached Profitroom in 2017, in search of a solution to improve their booking platform and customer journey, with the desired effect of improving their conversion rate and lowering their dropout rate, which sat way below the industry standard.

Profitroom’s tech solutions specialise in improving leisure and resort hotels direct bookings and boosting profits, providing an array of tools to do so, along with an expertise that appealed directly to Port Lympne’s needs. 

A central component of our toolkit is our booking engine, used by more than 4,000 hotels and resorts across the UK and Europe, it provides a seamless booking experience, delivering the highest industry conversion. This performance is facilitated by our solutions’ many benefits, including automated communication, personalised triggered messaging, centralised reporting, simple integrations and flexible connectivity, as well as secure and schedulable online payments and more.

Forming a partnership with hoteliers

Port Lympne selected Profitroom as a business because it looked to develop a partnership, rather than simply seeing ourselves as a supplier – an ethos we believe in wholeheartedly.

Since working with Port Lympne, we have helped them improve their levels of conversion and drop rates. With a vast amount of accommodation types, there’s an overwhelming amount of accommodation and information to convey to guests. The booking flow that we provide allows a clear and concise area for guests to see that information and make their decision, along with the ability to deliver authentic personalisation with ease.

Receiving a lot of generic enquiries via our website, from people who are looking for something a bit more unique, the opportunities function allows Port Lympne to tailor the offerings that go to people, thereby reducing calls and reducing the to and fro of emailing information. Also, it provides the ability to prepare a totally personalised proposal, as well as adding extra incentives such as discounts or additional nights.

Ease of Use

Another thing that stood out for Port Lympne was how quickly our solution could be implemented, something which we endeavoured to make as simple as possible through extensive training and setup support. The integration between our solution and Port Lympne’s PMS system was very easy, as well as their other third party channels thanks to our intuitive channel manager.

Ensuring our solution is user-friendly for hoteliers, customers and sales teams is important. For Port Lympne, as a very unique venue, with 14 accommodation types on site, it enables them to display information in a way that’s completely customer friendly, with the detail of information going to our customers being where it needs to be.

How Profitroom has helped during the pandemic

Following the coronavirus crisis, Port Lympne was in a fortunate position where it had already made the relevant steps to enhance its direct booking strategy. In the wake of its reopening post-lockdown, Port Lympne’s investment really started to pay dividends. Initial demand (facilitated by ongoing communication to its databases throughout lockdown) was unprecedented, and, at one point, the reserve was seeing a booking every 11 seconds. This popularity saw Port Lympne achieve more than 99% occupancy throughout July and August – and it was only through its initial foresight that this level of demand could be catered to. Having to rely on its team to field calls and enquiries would have meant bookings being lost at a crucial time

Furthermore, its Average Daily Rate looks set to increase by 30% in September and 35% in October; a period which will really help it to make up the shortfall having been closed for 3 months.

Port Lympne, since reopening, has really hit the ground running – and a key contributor to that has been its streamlined, optimised booking strategy, which has enabled it to maximise the opportunities presented by post-lockdown demand. Having put the relevant measures in place, Port Lympne is well on the way to recovery and its team is hoping for a swifter than expected return to normality. Consumer behaviour is changing post-lockdown and many guests are searching for staycations with a conscience. Staycations which offer a reduced carbon footprint and eco friendly credentials, such Port Lympne continue to be front of mind for all those who embrace nature and the great outdoors.

If you’d like to find out how Profitroom can help drive your direct bookings, why not explore some of our products here.