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.
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.
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.
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