The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has slammed the brakes on the travel and hospitality industry. A report from Travel Weekly revealed that hotel businesses would be hurting into 2021.
Although the global health crisis has left hoteliers around the globe in unprecedented waters, not everything is doom and gloom. Domestic travel went up during the pandemic, providing an opportunity for hotels to bounce back. If your hotel is in a financially difficult situation right now, don’t fret.
Implement these six strategies to make sure your business can adapt to the travel crunch.
- Invest in Public Relations (PR)
A crowd attracts a crowd, and the conversation around your hotel brand on social media can make or break your business. People judge a brand by what others say about it — and hotels are no exception.
As competition increases around a small market suffering from a barrage of promotional messages, brands will depend more on social proof to support their decision-making. As a hotel business owner, you can make strategic investments in PR with the help of a digital agency.
The right PR strategy will pay dividends, as prospective customers scrutinize brands by finding out what others say about them on social networking channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For some hotels in Singapore, business loans were a smart investment to fund their PR strategies.
- Use Data to Your Advantage
Carry out reliable customer satisfaction surveys and obtain accurate feedback about your guests’ experience throughout their stay in your hotel. By getting insights about guest experiences, you can determine which areas of your business require the most help. If Wi-Fi connectivity is a problem highlighted in the survey, for instance, make improvements to your wireless internet connection, like installing Wi-Fi repeaters.
- Promote Heightened Sanitation and Cleanliness Practices
Many hoteliers have been adhering to cleanliness and sanitation standards to assure guests that the establishment is maintaining a hygienic and safe environment. Some best practices you can follow and promote to improve hotel hygiene and put guests at ease are the following:
- Physical Distancing – Add social distancing markers in guest areas, such as lobbies and check-in counters. Make sure you establish safe distances mandated by the health authorities in your local area.
- Hand Hygiene – Install free-standing hand hygiene stations and wall-mounted alcohol-based sanitizers in common touchpoints of your hotel establishment, such as corridors, entrances and lifts.
- Occupancy Limits – Enforce strict limits on the number of people that can stay in each area of your hotel.
- Staff Compliance – Make sure your hotel staff members follow the basic protective measures provided by the World Health Organization (WHO). These include wearing face masks, avoiding touching mouth, nose and eyes, practising respiratory hygiene and staying at home or consulting a health care professional if symptoms arise.
- Shift Your Attention and Efforts to Local Travelers
Given that most international borders are closed, tourists from around the world will be unable to visit your country and stay at your hotel. If this is the case, you’ll want to divert your focus to domestic travelers.
One strategy you can implement is to persuade guests to check-in to your hotel for “staycation” instead of an international trip. Boost your domestic market exposure by zeroing in on in-country advertising.
Another tip is to place extra emphasis on the existing features of your hotel. If you have an award-winning restaurant, for instance, you could promote that to local foodies and tourists.
Alternatively, you could highlight the awesome facilities in your hotel establishment. This could be an infinity pool on your rooftop or a lush garden filled with wonderful plants and flowers.
- Leverage Your E-mail List
Many established hotels have developed considerable e-mail lists, but aren’t using them to bump up their overall marketing efforts. If your hotel has been in the hospitality industry for quite a while now, allocate time to use your e-mail lists to reconnect with previous guests. Engage them by presenting your travel options and offering hotel discount.
- Redesign and Optimize Your Website
Many hotel websites feature a traditional “brochure theme” that screams dull or boring. Sticking to this theme won’t do your business any favors, as it offers a flat and one-dimensional digital experience to your target market.
So, say goodbye to the “brochureware approach” by giving your hotel website the makeover it deserves. Hire a trusted and experienced digital marketing agency that can redesign and optimize your site at a reasonable price. Website optimization contributes to a better user experience and higher chances of conversion. It also helps your brand stand out from a sea of brochure-themed hotel sites.
The demand for travel and hotel will eventually make a comeback. Until then, apply these six suggestions to help you adapt and get through this crisis.