covid19

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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empty hotel corridor

As predicted by world’s leading virogists , after the initial covid-19 outbreak, a second pandemic wave has followed in autumn 2020. Today we’re right in the middle of this wave, we can’t predict when it will end and experts say it might be followed by a third one.

Governments and health organizations have taken new measures in an effort to flatten the contagion curve. These measures have inevitably put the world economy in difficulty for a second time and, as during the first pandemic wave, one of the most affected by the covid-19 industries was again the hospitality industry.

Travel restrictions, national anti-contagion measures and the fear of being infected have practically eliminated all flows of leisure or business travelers. As a consequence, hotel bookings, as during the first pandemic wave, have collapsed again and hotel companies all over the world have gone into crisis.

However, in every crisis there are hidden opportunities and during this second pandemic wave, the biggest opportunity that emerged for hoteliers was that of covid hotels.

What is a covid hotel?

Covid hotels are accommodation facilities where covid-19 infected people, who do not need hospitalization or are asymptomatic, can quarantine until they until they get over the infection. These people cannot be hospitalized, as they would occupy precious hospital beds needed by severe covid-19 patients, and cannot either return to their homes, as they would risk infecting their cohabiters and loved ones.

man in quarantine for covid 19
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

This is why local health organizations and governments have requisitioned hotels in order to transform them in quarantine facilities that can help hospitals optimize their bed capacity and covid-19 infected citizens transition into normal life without the risk of infecting their peers.

A new business opportunity for hoteliers

Covid hotels represent a new big business opportunity for hoteliers affected by the recent pandemic crisis.

Hoteliers who decide to transform their hotels into covid-hotels can keep generating revenue until the pandemic crisisi has ended and tourism starts recovering again. However, managing a covid-hotel is not as simple and straightforward as managing a leisure or business oriented hotel.

Image by Markus Distelrath from Pixabay

Covid hotel clients are people who cannot leave their rooms, cannot come into physical contact with other people or with hotel employees and therefore they need food&beverage delivered to them daily as well as good phone and internet connectivity in order to communicate with their loved ones and work remotely.

It’s easy to imagine that, today, there are no hotels built keepin a covid-19 crisis in mind. That’s why most hotels are not organised to meet covid-19 safety measures and quarantined people needs.

For example, today most hotels will find really hard providing their clients with a 24.7 fast internet connection as well as with an efficient real-time food&beverage ordering&delivery system. Imagine how much a hotel’s internet connection can slow down when all its guests perform videoconferencing or movie streaming at the same time throughout all the day.

Imagine also how difficult can be for reception employees to receive and dispatch room service orders for breakfast, lunch and dinner for all their rooms at the same time.

Therefore the question arises spontaneously: how can hoteliers overcome the above mentioned difficulties and transform their hotel into a covid hotel in order to adapt their business to the new market scenario and manage to get over the current crisis?

The answer to this question is quite complex. However it can be summed up in 4 words: thanks to Manet technology!

Let’s discover more about this technology in the following paragraphs.

How can Manet technology help covid hotels meet staff and guest needs?

What is Manet?

Manet is an advanced mobile assistant and concierge packed in a smartphone and designed to replace traditional hotel room telephones. Among its features there are unlimited internet connectivity, unlimited worldwide calling, public health and safety tools, 24.7 voice and text communication with hotel reception and advanced service ordering and booking tools allowing on, one hand, hotel guests to have their hotel’s services at their fingertips and, on the other, hoteliers to satisfy guest needs and manage hotel facilities at best.

Manet Mobile Smart Travel Assistant
Manet smart mobile assistant and digital concierge

So let’s see how these features can provide fine solutions to covid hotel needs.

Digital communication and entertainment

Each Manet device works as a very fast wifi internet hot spot. Therefore, covid hotels equipped with Manet can provide each one of their guests with an individual fast and efficient internet connection allowing them to surf the web, perform videoconferencing, work remotely and stream movies or music without experiencing internet connectivity lags and drops.

Food order and delivery

People who quarantine for covid-19 in covid hotels need food delivered directly to their rooms more times per day. With Manet devices, menu and order management become easy and straightforward both for guest and hotel staff as the Manet platform includes a smart food order management system that enhances the guest food ordering experience and facilitates order dispatch on the hotel staff side.

room service delivery
Image by Franck ROCHETEAU from Pixabay

Guest-reception communication

Manet devices include smart voice, video and text communication channels aimed at enhancing guest–reception communications. Guests can choose either to call, videocall or text the reception and receptionists can also send one-to-one or one-to-many push messages to their guests. All these options make communication easy and safe for guests and hotel staff as they can choose the communication channel that best fits their needs and their mood without any physical contact that could increase covid-19 infection spreading.

Easy and constant communication with health professionals and authorities.

Last but not least, Manet devices provide their users with real-time public health notifications, issued by local health authorities, as well as with public safety numbers that can be reached with a simple screen tap. Thanks to Manet devices it is also very easy to find and communicate with hospitals and pharmacies located near every Manet-equipped covid hotel.
Moreover, Manet devices have a built-in function allowing their users to request an in-house doctor visit, book an appointment at the doctor’s studio or even schedule a doctor-video-consultation at their convenience. This way they can have continuous medical assistance and feel safe during quarantine.

To sum up, the second covid-19 wave is a reality we must all deal with. A reality that has created lots of problems to solve as well as new business opportunities for hoteliers, hospitality professionals and covid-19 patients who need to quarantine away from hospitals and from their homes.

Once again, the most important problem solving factor, in this new tough scenario mankind is facing, is the same one that has helped humanity overcome the biggest obstacles encountered in the last decades. This miraculous factor is simply technology!


Article by Athanassios Karaiannis, Digital Marketing Specialist

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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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