The effects, actual and projected, of the Coronavirus are becoming evident across the globe and the climate in which we are operating is changing in real time. Although these times are tough, the travel and hospitality business will come back. It might take some time but hoteliers are the most entrepreneurial, active and resilient business owners. The industry has the spirit, the digital tools, the locations and the staff to make the recovery happen. But it is not going to be easy and will take just about every smart mind we have.
If you own a hotel, run a management company or are an operator you are facing a challenging time and rest assured that you are not alone. We all are in the same difficult situation so we must rally together. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation and each property requires discerning minds to determine the best course of action. With care and talking closely to our hotel clients, we present 7 operational and practical actions hotels can carry out during these times.
1 Small properties can micro-focus on their past customer base
In moments of indecision or fear, people will naturally revert back to the familiar. As people emerge from isolation, their first step after a pleasant return to their favourite local restaurant, maybe to the comfort of your property. It may take some time before people become more adventurous with something new or untested and reasonably travel longer distances.
2 Target geographic origin markets within short drive distances
Those that are using a loyalty program in their hotel could target geographic origin markets that are located within short drive distances. These are the ‘rubber tire’ markets that are less than a day away, without the need for entering an airport. Offer community-focused promotions through your loyalty program or set a social media campaign on Facebook for the domestic market.
3 Specialized properties can concentrate on their local trading area
Specialized properties such as spa resorts can concentrate on their specialty in their local trading area. Think small, such as a one-day package of two spa treatments and a lunch. A day pass, subscription or a savings program to include and help guests save on the long-term for multi-day benefits with an overnight stay or extra nights.
4 Focus on your Summer business
Try to focus on your summer business if you can with interesting offerings such as packages. Include your local catering in these packages or entertainment such as restaurants or other business owners that can be interesting for your guest.
5 All properties can reinforce their commitment to hygiene practices
If you think that housekeeping was important before COVID-19, be prepared for a heightened awareness of anything that smacks of even a minor failure by your cleaning staff. Follow any of the in-depth recommendations and consider some sort of declaration that can be posted in every guestroom and public area.
6 Mobile hospitality
Importantly, all of us must start paying more attention to mobile hospitality. Today there are solutions for mobile check-in, check-out with payment services and digital keys available to allow you to save time and reduce human contact. You can still have good guest relations with online tools and digitalization. In addition, this new way of working can contribute to your guest and staff feeling save and secure.
7 Flexible booking & cancellation conditions
Last but not least, provide flexible booking and cancellation conditions. Guests will appreciate and demand flexibility now and after uncertain situations. For the cancellations that hotels are facing on the short-term, a voucher program can help you and your guest to come back after COVID-19 and still enjoy their stay at your hotel.
We understand the personal effects and challenges our hotels face and hope to assist you with the support, information, data and trainings you need. Please contact us for more information.