We are not even going to pretend, 2020 has been very hard for everyone in the industry. But we want to help make the end of the year just a little bit better with some support and tips, even if your hotel is closed at the moment.
1.) Check with your local hotel association what kind of aid and programs are available. They are always there to help and they definitely know the freshest news about your country’s restrictions.
2.) Re-think where you can cut costs and how could you run your hotel more efficiently. You don’t even need to invest; there are a lot of companies offering a COVID-relief program, a few months for free. New software, guest-facing platforms, check-in and upselling tools all have free trials. There is still time to implement these before the travellers start coming once more.
Think about what are the tasks that you can substitute with an automated system. You can browse websites for software that will relieve you from operational tasks. Can you implement a messaging system? Door locks or codes so you can skip on a night receptionist?
Here are our top takes:
Guestline Covid Hub
Bookassist Covid offers and advice
Hotelhero’s Covid Assistance
3.) Reassess how the Guest Expectation has changed and try to apply this to your property.
– Guests will still need to know about safety and health standards
– Possibly more of them would like to take advantage of your in-room offers
– Many of them will like to minimize contact
– Communicate pre-arrival
– Improve your mobile experience, as customers use smartphones more than ever
– Think about your booking and canceling policies, are they flexible enough?
Is there anything else we didn’t mention here? Think about what kind of people usually visited your hotel and how their needs might have changed.
4.) Reach out to ‘lost’ or previous customers. Make sure you don’t lose those vacationers who had to cancel due to the pandemic. Recover their data from your PMS and send them an invite to stay at your property. You can also send a campaign to previous customers, offering them a discount for booking direct, or a different deal.
5.) Think ahead – Easter and Mother’s day is just around the corner! By the time the vaccine “kicks in”, people will like to celebrate by travelling. You could add limited-time offers for that period. Make sure to offer bookers something special with a time-constraint so they will reserve their holidays immediately. For more on successful hotel marketing you can read The Hotels Network blog or Netaffinity’s blog.
Harness the technological advances that this year brought to the hospitality industry, because this is the new reality. There is still time to implement new software to take your hotel to the next level by automation. A fast, modern and somewhat more contactless hotel experience is definitely what the future traveller will need.
And lastly, but probably most importantly: make sure you and your employees are physically and mentally healthy. After all, we are all human and you can’t run a business without manpower!