Hospitality

Traveler data protection

Amidst the troubles the tourism industry has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercrime has been an unfortunate additional concern for hospitality companies and travelers alike. Cybercriminals have taken the crisis as an opportunity to prey on fear and the virtual shift at a time when we need online systems more than ever. This puts guest information at risk.

From credit card numbers to itineraries, your data should stay perfectly safe during your travels. After all, everyone deserves a peaceful break from the stresses of the modern world. Fortunately, hotels and tourism-related apps are becoming increasingly aware of threats and are taking the necessary steps to protect guest information.

Protecting your own and your hotel’s guest data comes down to understanding when that data is vulnerable and using the right tools and software to prevent unauthorized access. This article explores how hospitality-focused apps are stepping up to provide information security so that travelers can take advantage of digital travel tools without having to worry for their data security.


Vulnerabilities in Guest Information Processing

A variety of information is collected during travel and hotel visits. From the first instance of searching for appropriate accommodations and onward, travelers submit their names, email addresses, phone numbers, and credit card details.

Meanwhile, hotels increasingly rely on digital tools and practices like mobile check-in and smart assistants. This means additional data transfers over digital networks. These smart systems offer an improved guest experience, but they can also come with risks if not properly protected.

Fraud and data theft are unfortunate occurrences when using technological platforms and, while some systems are better than others, no network can completely guarantee absolute safety from a data breach.

Hoteliers and their guests face threats like:

• Theft of personal identifying information.
• DarkHotel hacking attempts through spear-phishing scams and peer-to-peer network attacks.
• Ransomware and DDoS attacks.
• Point-of-Sale system breaches.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hackers have more than doubled their attack attempts. Pandemic-related phishing schemes and social engineering scams have thus become common practices. Therefore, to keep tourists safe and at peace today, hoteliers must adopt security measures that mitigate cybersecurity risks so that they can also focus on all other pandemic-related health safety measures that are necessary to guarantee their guests a safe and pleasant stay.

Hacker breaching data – Photo by tookapic on Pixabay


How Hotel Apps Help Secure Data

Few industries are still unsupported by helpful mobile applications today. The hospitality and tourism industries are among the most served ones! Hotel apps enhance the guest experience at just about every stage of travel, from bookings to guest management and travel tips. But what are tourism apps doing in terms of cybersecurity?

Apps like Manet provide both guest convenience and information security right from the check-in process and on, offering a secure platform for travel assistance and contactless service. Here are just some of the other ways tourism apps achieve this security:


Securing Mobile Check-In

Digital room keys are one of the revolutionary tech innovations powering contactless service and virtual guest check-in. In the time of social distancing, these systems can be immensely helpful in maintaining health and safety standards. But they can also present digital threats, especially where credit card information is involved.

Fortunately, however, tourism-related apps like Manet, address these threats and have implemented security standards to better protect guests against any vulnerabilities in the system. Frequent updates, user authentication, and consistent tests of the Internet of Things (IoT) lock systems all help maintain mobile check-in procedures to keep guests and their information safe.


Educating Travelers and Providing Alternatives

Hoteliers recognize that when it comes to traveler data, guests want to feel like they are in control of their own privacy and security. Hotel apps can make this possible by educating guests regarding cybersecurity best practices. Whether it be through comprehensive guides to logging in safely to guest WiFi or information on how and when the hotel will contact guests, these applications can make a big difference in ensuring traveler data safety through education alone.

However, traveler-focused tools should also consider alternatives to guest WiFi. For instance, the 5G wireless network is emerging as a faster and more effective way to access the internet. Mobile app developers are recognizing the need for 5G compatibility in hotel and tourism applications and tools, allowing guests to utilize these networks without relying on vulnerable guest WiFi. Manet, with its smart travel assistants, has always been at the forefront of ensuring the compatibility and availability of network options like these to help keep traveler information secure.

Manet Smart Travel Assistant
Traveler using Manet Smart Travel Assistant


Revitalizing Security Tech

Cybersecurity technologies are improving all the time. In the course of application development, hospitality and software companies are applying these new technologies to improve encryption and data storage processes on mobile devices.

For example, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms are getting increasingly good at modeling, predicting, and catching potential data breaches. The use of these tools from the application development process onward inspires more thorough security practices to secure mobile app code from the backend. Then, encryption techniques can also be broadly instituted to secure the platform for the end-user.

Tourism-centered applications and digital tools are fueling better security through better processes and highly-trained information systems professionals who add value through their cybersecurity expertise. Modern tourism requires an extensively digital approach, so these professionals are key to constantly improving mobile hospitality applications to offer cutting-edge security.

Thanks to skilled cybersecurity professionals and highly secure travel and hospitality digital tools travelers can kick back and fully enjoy their stay knowing their information is safe.

Happy tourists – Photo by Jill Wellington on Pixabay


A Safer Future for Tourists

In the face of widespread industry troubles like pandemic and cybercrime, tourism app security is an absolute travel necessity. Not only can secure technology help hoteliers flourish, even while COVID-19 rages, but it can also help them establish high digital protection for business guests who often have to work remotely while traveling.

With the future of the travel industry dependent on the security of guest information, implementing protections from the app development stage to the check-in process helps making safe travel possible even in a world full of digital hazards. For hoteliers, implementing in their processes a secure and proven hospitality application may make the difference in hotel reputation for guest data security.


Article by Luke Smith – Manet Guest Writer & Technology Enthusiast

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Luxury Hotel

Traveling to unknown soil is something close to everyone’s hearts. It is our chance to free our minds from routines and troubles for a few days. It is a way to pamper ourselves for a change and the luxury hotel business rests upon offering up the best experience of our lives.

When you take a glance at a hotel room, you see a bed, night-lamp, TV on the wall, a bathroom, and furniture here and there for our convenience. But, hotel rooms are changing at a rapid speed, especially luxury hotels that are determined to pique traveler’s interest. However, the completion in the hospitality industry is ruthless and offering guests a lasting impression has never been this difficult.

With everyone incessantly active on social media and possessed a platform to criticize instantly, it has become quite difficult to stay on top of hospitality trends. On the contrary, technology has lent a helping hand. According to Allied Market Research, the global luxury hotel market is expected to reach $20.44 billion by 2022 and the increasing adoption of advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (AI) and robotics have boosted the market growth. Moreover, from mobile check-in to high-speed internet connection and smart hotel assistants, several technological advancements have helped gather tourists’ attention.

Here are a few emerging technology trends that would certainly change the tourism and hospitality industry as we know it.

Smart rooms

It is an era of smartwatches, smart shoes, and smart homes. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise if you saw an advertisement for smart hotels with smart rooms. The technology has become vital for the hospitality sector as it includes automated checkout services, the use of IoT and wireless data linking, and personalized environmental settings within the hotel room. The luxury hotels aim to offer the utmost luxury to their customers and a fully-customized experience helps them create their brand identity.

Luxury Hotel
Luxury Hotel Room

Mobile travel assistant

The use of travel assistant is the cutting-edge technology in the hospitality industry and luxury hotels should make the most of it. Mobile travel assistants such as manet offer you a unique, simpler, and user-friendly way to keep in touch with your beloved, use offers & services offered by hotels, and explore the city with just one tap. It offers you information regarding currency exchange, places to visit, buy tickets to the city’s prime attractions, and much more.

Virtual reality tour & hotel robots

Virtual reality (VR) technology has entered the real estate market to offer a tour of the flat without setting foot on the property. It creates a digital environment for customers to explore to check out services of the luxury hotel from their own home.

Customers can experience the tour of the hotel before making a booking. What’s more, several hotel websites now offer VR tours and 360-degree videos during the booking process to help customers understand exactly what they are spending their money on.

Apart from this, the use of robots is one of the most fascinating hospitality trends as it uses the most advanced technology available to use to improve traveler’s experiences. There are already several examples where luxury hotels are using robots for greeting guests, offering tourist information, and even for room service. Moreover, robots are not used for restaurant waiting, security, and luggage transportation. This minimizes interaction with hotel staff and frees them to attend to crucial issues that demand human interference.

Robot Butler for hotels
Robot Butler for Hotels

Mobile check-in and contactless payment

Mobile check-in allows travelers to check-in using the mobile app without and reduces friction for customers. Moreover, it eliminates human interaction, and customers can check-in according to their convenience and reduces waiting time. On the other hand, mobile check-in helps luxury hotels to carry out the check-in process without troubling customers and physical interaction, which has become essential owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has helped the widespread adoption of contactless payment technology. It not only helps to improve the speed of transactions but also offers additional comfort to customers as they do not need to carry their cards all the time. The increasing demand for mobile wallets and wearables has further supplemented the growth of contactless payment technology. With the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic still fresh in minds of travelers, contactless payment is on the verge of becoming a necessity.

Artificial intelligence for personalization

AI offers the simplest way to represent how the luxury hotel business is evolving. The ultimate goal is to offer a seamless and enjoyable experience during their stay and AI could help create an experience suitable to their preferences and choices. After analyzing guest data, AI can map and identify user preferences to create an ideal accommodation package. As per analyzing several customer’s travel plan data, luxury hotels can develop more targeted marking campaigns and understand what customers want.

Robot concierge for hotels
Artificial Intelligence in Hospitality

In the rapidly-evolving luxury hotel industry, it has become imperative to provide state-of-the-art facilities, impeccable customer experience, and a personalized experience that leaves a lasting impression. Advanced technologies such as AI, IoT, and contactless payments have helped the hospitality experience more streamlined and user-friendly, which is bound to gather more and more customers in the future.



Author bio: Swamini Kulkarni holds a bachelor’s degree in Instrumentation and control engineering from Pune University and works as a content writer at Allied Market Research. She is deeply fascinated by the impact of technology on human life.

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Hotel sign during winter

Winter is coming. Or, it may be already here, depending on where you live. Some areas of the continent have already seen their first snowfall. If you own or manage a hotel, winter always comes with a few trepidations and potential setbacks. But, this year, things might already feel worse than ever.

winter hotel
Image by Ivana Mariankova from Pixabay

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge hit on so many industries, and the hospitality sector has been severely impacted. While hotels have been heroes in times of need, with some housing first responders and healthcare staff, paying guests haven’t been as prominent this year. Part of that is due to travel restrictions because of the pandemic — the UK just implemented another strict travel ban to mitigate the risk of new COVID variants. Therefore, many people just aren’t going out and travellingtravellersthey usually would out of fear.

On top of the pandemic, winter weather can play a huge part in how slow the hotel business can be this time of year.

One way you can navigate the winter months and not only stay afloat but find success, is to use a hotel app. You can expect a digital transformation within the industry in a post-pandemic world. People will want a personalized experience and access to different amenities in the palm of their hand. You can get a jumpstart on that transformation by using your app now to get through the winter.


Make Your Guests Feel Safe

Unfortunately, winter is also commonly known as flu season. This year, that can have an impact more than ever, since COVID cases are still spiking in certain parts of Europe and the world beyond. While the best way to prevent the flu is to get a yearly vaccine, people can reduce their chances of getting sick by:

• Staying home if they have symptoms
• Washing their hands frequently
• Staying socially distant from others

Those tips might sound familiar, as they’re the same rules everyone should follow for COVID-19. While people have the responsibility of taking their health into their own hands, they also want to know the places they visit are doing their part to keep things hygienic, too.

public health best practices
Image by Klaus Hausmann from Pixabay

As more people start to travel again, you can give your guests peace of mind by keeping your hotel safe and clean. Disinfect surfaces and rooms frequently, and make sure your guests know the efforts you’re putting forth. Additionally, you can provide information about social distancing and best practices to stay healthy.

All of this information can be provided to your guests via your app. You can even let them know when their rooms have been cleaned, and every safety measure you’re taking to keep them healthy during their stay.


Keep Your Staff Informed

Your hotel has already undoubtedly had to go through some changes this year because of the pandemic. In winter, even more changes can occur in a matter of hours. It’s important to be able to communicate with your staff as effectively and efficiently as possible.

If a disaster occurs from a winter storm, you’ll want everyone to know quickly. It might be a burst pipe, a broken furnace, or damage to the actual structure of your building.

Whatever the case, you will need a direct line of communication with your employees. You should be able to inform them of what is going on, what your expectations are, and what they should be doing.

online training course for hotel staff
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Your app can help you do that, so there is no confusion as to what the recovery plan is. Your employees can stay safe, and you’ll be able to communicate digitally to make sure your hotel gets back to business as quickly as possible.


Attract Guests Throughout the Winter

Despite COVID, threats of bad weather, and other wintertime setbacks, it’s more important than ever to continue to market your hotel. In Prague and Rome, where the hospitality industry was significantly hit by COVID, the revenues per available room (RevPar) dropped by 78% and 86%, respectively for during March 2020. If your business is on the line, finding ways to keep guests coming throughout this cold season is crucial to keep things running.

Thankfully, having an app and getting on board with technology is a great way to start. You can market yourself through your app, and people will learn more about you from the palm of their hand. Customizable services are a great way to attract people to stay with you, especially when they can control those services on their phones. Some ideas for custom amenities include:

• Different room types to choose from
• Minibar options
• Various bathroom product brands
• Access to streaming services on the television
• Access to different areas of the hotel, including the pool and gym

Everyone wants a customizable experience, and they don’t want to have to make a phone call to the front desk or ring for room service all of the time. In today’s digital world, including as much information and as many services as possible on your hotel’s app can make a big difference in how you market yourself to travelers.

The possibilities are truly endless with a hotel app. From amenities and information about your business to suggestions on things to do and places to visit during a stay, you can give guests full control over their experience with you. During the upcoming winter months, that can be a crucial technique to help your hotel stay afloat and see success again.

Article by Luke Smith – Manet Guest Writer & Technology Enthusiast

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Hotel room

There’s no question about it: the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world significantly. And now, countries around the world are seeking to carefully open up again, hoping that a vaccine is on the horizon, even as they prepare for the possibility of a second surge.

In our new normal of optimism mingled with anxiety, hoteliers find themselves operating in a very different environment than what they’re accustomed to. In short, our world has changed, and the hospitality industry is having to change with it.

Tourists during covid-19 times
Photo by Victor He on Unsplash

The good news, though, is that technologies are able to make it easier than ever for hoteliers to give their guests first-class experiences. With hotel apps that your guests canenjoy on their mobile devices, you can provide them with the kind of service they’ve come to expect but at a distance that keeps everyone safe during COVID-related restrictions. This article describes best practices for using hotel apps to enhance your guests’ experience.

Contactless Service

In this era of social distancing, your guests are probably going to want to limit their contact with hotel staff as much as possible. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to be face-to-face with your guests to provide them with extraordinary service.

Manet App - Digital Concierge

Manet’s app, for instance, can be used directly to your guests’ smartphone or other mobile devices. With this app, your guests can access every ancillaries your hotel has to offer, from ordering room service and reserving seats for breakfast in a common area to digitally checking in and out and making payments remotely.

Going Digital

In addition to apps that guests can use directly by using ttheir smartphones or tablets , hoteliers can also provide proprietary digital devices that are keyed to unique services to upgrade your guests’ stay experience .

Manet devices, for example, can offer free calling as well as unlimited internet and wifi hotspot capabilities. Plus, thanks to tourist content and services available on Manet devices, your guest will always be in-the-know regarding the latest and greatest must-see attractions near them.

Manet App - Digital Concierge

And travel assistants such as these can be customized precisely to your guests’ needs. They can be used to help guests research the area, locate tourist attractions and shopping and dining venues, learn about local customs, and even help with foreign languages and currency conversions.

All your guests need to do is grab the digital device that will be ready and waiting for them in their rooms and then hit the road! Plus, if you want to take your service to the next level, you might provide a lightning-fast car charger or Bluetooth speaker to take along with them.

Mobile travel assistant charging in car
Photo by form PxHere

That will provide an added bit of security, knowing that this essential device will always be charged and ready, no matter how long your guests’ adventures may be. Best of all, it is precisely that kind of attention to detail, that kind of thoughtful finishing touch, that can win your guests’ loyalty for years to come!

SaaS Tools

Customizing and optimizing your guests’ experience isn’t only about making the best use of customer-facing apps and devices. You can also deploy these tools to learn about your guests, your operations, and what you might do better to boost your revenues while ensuring your guests’ stay is the best it can be.

Manet dashboard tool, for example, provides virtually limitless opportunities to learn about your guests, their needs, and their expectations. Geolocation capabilities in customer apps and digital devices provide important data on your habits, such as identifying local attractions that your guests are most likely to visit, as well as which customer demographics are most likely to be drawn to these attractions and when.

Manet Dashboard

Once you understand not only what your clients expect, but also what they like, you can provide customized recommendations, communicated immediately, and directly to your guests through your hotel app or digital device. “Heat maps,” for instance, can identify your guests’ aggregate locations once they leave your hotel and allow you to send push notifications for promotions and deals offered by partners and affiliates.

Premium features can also be offered through these apps and digital devices, providing an additional revenue stream. Guests can pay for these premium services on-demand, giving you a new tool for upselling without requiring face-to-face contact with your guests. And that not only protects your add-on services revenue streams, but it also provides the customization that ensures an outstanding customer experience.

The Takeaway

There’s no question that life as we know it has changed since the advent of COVID-19. As a hotelier, you’re going to be serving a customer base that is, in some ways, quite different than before the pandemic.
But, no matter what the impact of the virus may be, all guests want essentially the same thing: safety, peace of mind, and a good experience. And today’s technologies are perfectly designed to help you provide exactly that, no matter what the pandemic may bring.
Through the use of hotel apps, you can offer your guests superb, highly customized service, with minimal physical contact. From mobile check-ins and smart rooms to pre-programmed travel assistants, technology can help you not only maintain your stellar service reputation but bring it to the next level of excellence!

Article by Luke Smith – Manet Guest Writer & Technology Enthusiast

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Technology in Luxury Hotels - Manet Mobile Solutions
digital transformation in hospitality after covid 19 emergency

With continuous changes and developments in the digital world, industries and businesses need to adapt to the latest technological innovations and advancements.

After every decade, every industry experiences the need to go through a series of technological changes and transformations. And same is the case with the hospitality and food and beverage industry.

Modern hospitality dynamics


Today, hotel guests prefer to stay at those hotels than can offer a personalized hotel experience to their guests. Right from selecting the best snowbird heliskiing destinations to getting details about accommodations and reservations; people prefer a more quick, reliable and efficient customer service.

Benefits of providing personalized services to the clients

All kinds of hotel operators are actively adapting to the latest technologies that are specially made for the hotel industry. Right from building personalized mobile apps to providing virtual room tours, hotel operators are using all their digital resources to improve the overall quality of their service for their clients.

Today, hotels are aware of the competition between both new and old hotel operators. As a result, businesses are striving hard to find stand out by offering more personalized services to their clients.

To survive amidst the corona pandemic, companies need to upgrade their internal and external business operations.

The Internet of Things (IoT) in the hospitality industry

The Internet of Things (IoT) in the hospitality industry

By using the latest technological solutions, hotel operators can address different issues related to the hospitality industry and find effective ways to solve them.

Today the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) can be seen everywhere. Through smart rooms, guests can control all different amenities. And with the help of AI bots, guests can get a timely response on behalf of the hotel operators.

Whether it is IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence) or VR, (Virtual Reality), the hotel industry is benefiting a lot by using these technologies.

Giving access to different amenities and services through the mobile app or voice assistants

Just like any other service industry today, clients expect a smooth and uninterrupted hotel experience. The use of technology and the level of service given to customers should be better than what clients have access to at home.

With the rise of Airbnb and other online lodging services, accommodation that is backed by IoT and other smart features are becoming more popular among the general public.

• An IoT enabled smart room allows guests to access all amenities and services through the hotel’s own mobile app or voice assistants like Siri or Alexa.
• In smart rooms, all appliances, gadgets, and amenities are controlled by IoT hardware and voice assistants.
• Smart rooms help the guests to get more personalized and timely services from the hotel operators.

The use of automated chatbots in the hospitality industry

AI solutions, when combined with ML (machine learning), can determine big data that gives more accurate estimates for improving the decision-making powers.

One of the most famous examples of the implementation of AI in the hospitality industry is the increasing use of chatbots. These automated bots can:

• Help to improve the overall user experience of guests during their stay at a hotel.
• Are programmed to interact with hotel guests through various apps.
• Can provide relevant information regarding purchase history, accommodation, food preferences, online and offline payment options, recreational activities offered, etc.

With time and continuous testing and support, these bots tend to improve and become more for giving suggestions and recommendation to guests.

Analyzing and predicting booking behaviour

AI-driven bots are more responsive and quick. They can provide prompt answers and suggestions to guests on time. Chatbots have undoubtedly become the foundation of the entire hospitality industry.

Right from making reservations, to providing online customer support when combined with machine learning algorithms can help to predict customer behavior while making a booking with a hotel operator.

Giving virtual rooms tours to guests

With the help of AR, ML, and VR technologies, hotels can provide virtual rooms tours. To experience these virtual tours, people need to have:

• Access to a computer
• Any smart device with a Wi-Fi connection
• VR glasses
• Headsets

In some cases, hotels provide headsets to their clients. Through customized hotel apps, users can access all kinds of information regarding accommodation, food, and other services charges.

To sum up

Considering the current situation regarding the COVID 19 outbreak, a branded hotel application can help both customers and hotel operators to interact without any form of physical contact.

Moreover, guests can access any hotel service from anywhere anytime. Furthermore, guests can receive various notifications, alerts, messages, and updates through these apps. Therefore, customers can make online bookings, check-in, and check-out through these apps.

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Strategies to Up Your Hotel Revenue Game After COVID-19

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.

Hotel pricing strategy - Manet

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.
Market analysis - Manet
Person using laptop

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.

disinfection against covid19

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.
digital marketing - manet

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!

Author Bio:

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.

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woman wearing a protecting face mask

Covid-19, also known as the Coronavirus, is rapidly becoming a global emergency. Some countries, most notably China, Iran and Italy, have been hit by large numbers of cases. Other countries have seen lower numbers of cases but are being affected by government restrictions and a growing sense of unease in the community, in what the World Health Organization now has officially called a global pandemic. Large events and gatherings have been canceled all across the world, airlines are suspending certain routes, and the US and other countries have instituted travel restrictions.

This has serious implications for the tourism industry. Owners of hotels and vacation rentals are always seeing their businesses seriously impacted by this emergency situation. Covid-19 does not need to be a destructive force to your business, however. You can handle it effectively. Here is some advice on how to deal with the Covid-19 emergency as a hotel or vacation rental owner.

hotelier painting his/her hotel
source: www.pexels.com

Take the opportunity to improve your service offerings

During the Covid-19 emergency, especially if your property is located in an infected area, your bookings will collapse and your vacancy rates will skyrocket. It is important, however, to focus on the long term. In the short term, your property may be empty and your profits will take a hit. However, take a step back and look at how this period fits into the long-term strategy of your business.

This is a great time to review and improve your offers and services. For example, this will be the ideal time to undertaken maintenance or repairs on your property. You can use the slow period to conduct staff training, either refreshing previous training or adding to their skill set. You can also take this opportunity to develop new offerings of products for your hotel or vacation rental, and in particular to work on your marketing and targeting strategies. This will mean that once this crisis is over, you will be in an excellent position to hit the ground running with your business and make it better than ever before.

During the crisis, it is a good idea to include a message of reassurance in your digital guest communications. As you’re gearing up to deal with the virus at your hotel, provide your guests with up-to-date digital information about the actions you’re taking in regard to health and safety. This will not only enhance the service you offer to your guests but also, it will give them honest, upfront information, which is key during a crisis.

hospitality business notes
source: www.pexels.com

Maintain your rates

During these types of crises, it can be tempting to drop your rates. However, it is important that you hold steadfast and maintain your rates at their current levels. When occupancy rates are slashed due to a global emergency, reducing your rates will have no impact whatsoever on demand. For a guest who is cautious to travel due to health concerns, or is unable to do so because of flight or government restrictions, a lower price won’t convince them to book with your property.

What dropping your rates will do, however, is damage your business over the long term, much more than Covid-19 will. Once you have lowered your rates, it is very difficult to increase them again, and price recovery can literally take years. Therefore, the best solution is to maintain your rates throughout the crisis. A good thing to do at this time, however, is to make cancellation policies more flexible. This will help you to avoid bad reviews from guests who may have already booked but want to cancel because of coronavirus fears.

Maximize revenue from every guest

In the context of a downturn in demand, it is important to make sure you get maximum revenue from every guest you have. Every little bit of revenue helps, so now is the time to put efforts toward optimizing guest experiences. It’s an opportunity to prepare to offer extra services to guests in the future.

This is where extra services come in: our data shows that the highest upselling conversion comes from offering at least eight ancillary services to all of your segments. There are certain things all guests want, such as transportation, food, activities, and a great hotel experience overall. Make sure that your future guests buy these services from you rather than elsewhere.

hospitality business planning using a notebook
source: www.pexels.com

Keep marketing going

In a similar way, it is important to maintain your marketing strategy throughout the crisis. Continuing with marketing tactics is essential to attract as many guests as possible, as well as to set yourself up for maximum bookings once the crisis is over. You should be honest and upfront in your digital marketing about everything that is happening. This is, for example, an excellent opportunity to let them know about all the changes you are making regarding health and safety.

This is also the time to make practical shifts in your marketing to reflect the current situation. You may, for example, look to target local markets. There could be a great opportunity to host domestic travelers who are unable to go overseas at this time. You may also look for countries exiting the emergency and start targeting their markets also.

Final thoughts

Although there is no doubt that Covid-19 represents a significant challenge to hotels and vacation rental businesses, it can also be used as an opportunity. By holding steadfast in your rates and being creative in marketing approaches, you can use this crisis to make your business stronger, so you will be ready to hit your stride again once the crisis is over.

This is also a time to identify your most valuable business partners. These people will reveal themselves through the crisis as the ones who will communicate and cooperate with you to face the emergency together. Although it is difficult to see this global emergency as a blessing, it can be used as an opportunity for hotel and vacation rental owners in a variety of ways.

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Boutique Hotel building

Our industry is constantly changing and adapting to movements and developments. 2020 is a revolutionary year because it will firmly cement several growing trends that cannot be ignored if you want to stay relevant. 

Trend #1 Guests Will Get Serious About Sustainability

People aren’t willing to ignore the global issues we face and the social responsibility they feel you have. Showing your efforts in this space will establish trust and help your guests do “their part” as they travel.

Millennials who travel not only want boutique hotels that manage their impact but that also communicate their initiatives. Point out where you’ve made changes because this group believes the success of a business should be measured by how it impacts the world. 

Takeaways

Expand how you engage with the environmentally mindful traveler. Consider:

  • Monitoring the use of water
  • Removing single-use plastics from rooms and dining areas
  • Sourcing food from local farms
  • Offering vegan options

Trend #2 Digital Will Define the Customer Experience

Digital immersive experience on mobile
Image by FunkyFocus from Pixabay 

The future of the hospitality industry leans heavily on technology. Mobile will continue its influence on how guests book and experience their stays. A growing subset in the digital space is the use of personalized hotel smartphones available for all guests. These allow hoteliers to have a stronger connection to their guests during their visit. 

Takeaway

Yes, guests have their own phones, but allowing them the use of hotel smartphones allows you to:

  • Promote ancillary services and commercial offers
  • Collect statistical data about user behaviors
  • Reach guests inside and outside your hotel
  • Send personalized geolocated communications

An added bonus for foreign travelers is free calling and data. Some smartphones can be used at hotspots.

Trend #3 Travelers Will Want a Culturally Immersive Experience

Travelers are shifting from amenities to experiences. High-income travelers are saying they would rather spend their money on happenings than on upgraded rooms. Boutique hotels are uniquely positioned to capitalize on this trend because of their proximity to cultural hotspots and local attractions.

Takeaway

Partner with cultural centers and other local guides or experts and create experience packages. Or better yet, merge travelers’ love of cultural immersion with your digital offerings and use hotel smartphones to load your city’s best local experiences and attractions.

Geolocated points of interest allow users to be guided easily from attraction to attraction and back home to you. This allows you to be the hotel offering a culturally immersive experience, with the mobility and autonomy people desire. 

Trend #4 There Will Be a Bigger Focus on Direct Bookings

There will be a growing focus on well-designed websites with a high-quality booking engine. Ensure your visitors have a smooth experience and highlight your brand to increase visitors’ recall. 

Takeaway

Revisit your site to make sure the experience is seamless. Become fluent in SEO placement, email marketing, and social media campaigns to increase your brand’s awareness. Offer rewards to loyal customers, so they will be attracted to booking only through your site. 

Boutique hotels need to be listed on metasearch engines (search aggregators) to increase their visibility and online footprint. 

Trend #5 Boutique Hotels Should Become Insta-Worthy

Instaworthy picture
Imageby Tanja-Denise Schantz from Pixabay 

Consumers will continue their photo and hashtag craze. Hoteliers are recognizing how these influencers can attract business organically through clever and posed photos.

Takeaway

You don’t need an overhaul or remodel. A few creative touches will up your hashtag prominence. Unusual elements outside like local plants or an artist’s mural can do the trick. Inside, focus on original food and drink items or different textures and colors in common spaces. 

Customers are always evolving, and the most successful hoteliers stay ahead of trends. Make the most of them in 2020!

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travel technology

Technology continues to influence every part of our lives, from communication and commerce through to navigation and networking. No aspect of modern life has been impacted more than travel, with technology affecting every single aspect of the travel experience. Whether it’s booking accommodation, getting around a new city, or organizing work as a travel professional, let’s take a look at how travelers benefit from technology every single day.

airplane on globe

Instant global communication

Many of the benefits ascribed to technology come under the banner of communication. Never before in human evolution have we had the ability to communicate with anyone at any time. This is especially useful for travelers, who often need to talk with multiple people across continents and time zones. The combination of global networks and mobile devices has made communication easier than ever before, which means you can book a flight, reserve a hotel room, or manage your work emails on the go.

Smart mobile travel assistants make communication easier than ever before, with free calls and internet services allowing travelers to contact nearby businesses and move around like a local. These tools offer a tailored and personal approach to modern travel, as guests are able to communicate, access useful guides, and book tickets for local attractions. Smart mobile travel assistants are equally great for accommodation providers and travel professionals, because they can add value through improved revenue streams and analytics while enhancing the customer experience. 

Information and advice

The internet is a fountain of knowledge and advice, sometimes to its own detriment. Every regular traveler understands the importance of accurate and up-to-date information, with online forums and social platforms often used for travel inspiration and research. Smart mobile travel assistants are a great way to access relevant information in a customized and trustworthy package.

Dedicated travel apps have been tailor-made to solve common travel problems and provide a great user experience. By providing your guests with a free and accessible source of communication, they can access great deals and relevant tourist content. These apps work across the city and within your own hotel, with deep room integration enabling things like room service and automation.

traveler with travel tools

Comparison and contrast

Despite its free-wheeling reputation, travel typically involves lots of research and screen time. With more products and services out there than ever before, it’s important to compare and contrast services in order to find the perfect fit. Comparison websites provide travelers with an easy way to research accommodation, tours, insurance, and anything else that’s integral to the travel experience.

While comparison websites are incredibly useful, sometimes too many options can lead to confusion and paralysis. Travelers now demand a more tailored and streamlined approach, with some comparison services able to learn from past choices and provide valuable recommendations. Smart narrow-cast advertising provides a similar approach, with businesses able to reach out to customers on their own terms. When these services are integrated with travel apps, hotels and other businesses can benefit from improved business opportunities.

Navigation and time management

Travelers need integrated maps and navigation services every single day. Gone are the days of large paper maps. Now we can fit an accurate map of the entire globe in the pocket of our jeans. Whether it’s navigating public transport in a new city, finding the fastest way to the airport, or working out if you’ve really got time for lunch, technology makes navigation and time management easier than ever before.

Smart mobile travel assistants provide personalized help wherever you go, with travelers able to take advantage of browsers, integrated content, and geolocalization features. While Google Maps and other navigation tools are available to everyone, a dedicated operating system designed especially for travelers provides a much richer and more comprehensive travel experience.

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