The world has come to a complete stop due to COVID-19. Industries across the globe have taken a hit, but the most affected is the hotel industry. In fact, recovery may take longer, even after it is over. Therefore, hotels should arm themselves with continuous adjustments and strategies to reduce the impact.
To help you set out on the road to recovery, I am sharing some actionable recommendations. Read carefully and take notes.
Do Not Change Your Pricing Strategy Mindlessly
The first thing many hoteliers are going to do after the crisis is over is reduce prices to attract business. But you don’t necessarily have to do that. Do not let panic take over; maintain your brand reputation and stick to your original rates. Employ automated revenue management for hotels to analyze the market rates and find ways to be competitive without dropping your prices. Here are a few strategies that can help you:
- Offer flexible cancellations. If your guests know that they can cancel any time, they will be more confident to book with you.
- Offer add-on packages, such as free dining or spa services.
- See if you can bundle your rates. Tie non-refundable business with refundable services so that you don’t have to bear much loss and the guests are also encouraged to book.
Practice Market Segmentation and Analysis
The hotel industry is going to see major changes in commercial trends and customer profiles once the clouds begin to lift. Therefore, it is important to segment the market as per the demands. For example, corporate travelers may frequently schedule business meetings once the lockdown is removed. Also, people might prefer drive-ins or short 1 or 2-day vacations nearby. Therefore, it is important to capture the advantage of new booking patterns.
To do that, you can use hotel data analytics which would help you identify your most valuable customers and offer competitive services and diversified products such as special drive in packages, limousine services, professional laundry services, food delivery, etc. Adding alternative revenue sources, along with addressing the direct demand, will give a thrust to your hotel business.
Incorporate Stricter Disinfectant Procedures
In the near future, travelers will make decisions based on cleanliness policies. So, create a prevention plan to ensure that guests have a safe and positive experience at your hotel. Also, make sure that you communicate it to your potential guests and everyone in your guest database.
Here’s how you can create a prevention plan:
- Incorporate artificial intelligence to offer self-services so that guests do not have to face other people.
- Allow room control through mobile apps so that guests do not have to touch buttons.
- Employ trained housekeepers for room cleaning as a precautionary measure.
- Conduct individual body temperature checks.
- Install an external circulation system to prevent aerosol infections.
Invest in Digital Marketing
With a drop in revenue, it may be tempting to cut costs. But do not make the mistake of reallocating your digital marketing budget. Your hotel business requires digital marketing efforts now more than ever. So, be creative and capitalize on business-driving opportunities. Here’s how you can leverage digital marketing:
- Promote your newest products and improvised services to create a buzz around your hotel.
- Share your prevention plan against COVID-19 on social media channels.
- Create fresh blog content on how you are promoting safe travel.
- Promote offers and add-on services to attract business.
By implementing these strategies, you will not only be able to survive but also come out a winner. Seize every opportunity so that you can bounce back and up your hotel revenue game when the pandemic is over. All the best!
Karan Iyer is an end-to-end digital marketer and blogger who inherently understands the hotel industry with his hospitality background. Karan knows how to convert the pain points and challenges of the hotel industry into business opportunities, and that’s what he writes about for his readers. He also shares industry trends, insights and news to help his readers stay up-to-date.