covid19

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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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
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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
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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
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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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