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10 tips for hoteliers to be ready for the rebound

Published on June 01 2020

As shown in our Hospitality Recovery Tracker, the hotel’s activity is starting to get off to a good start in several countries.
It’s time to follow this dynamic and move towards a cruising speed, while taking into account the in-depth changes that the COVID-19 epidemic has had on the sector.

To accompany you in this challenge and best prepare for your reopening, we’ve gathered the top-10 actions to implement for your online distribution:

Show travellers you are ready for them

1. Communicate on the sanitary measures you’ve taken
It is proven, you need to reassure your customers on the sanitary measures and protocols you have set up to welcome them safely! For example, you can guarantee your guest a 72-hour buffer between room occupancy. This information should be visible on all your distribution channels: on OTAs, on your website and booking engine, on GDS… At the time of booking, trusting in the security of your hotel will make the travellers take the plunge.

2. Time to exploit your guest data base
When the COVID-19 outbreak just started, there were travellers who wanted to come to your hotel but did not get the chance. It’s time to make up for that! Target them with a special “come-back” offer for example. Don’t forget also to get in touch with customers who had made their reservation months ago to reassure them of your hotel reopening and of the sanitary measures you’ve taken, etc.

And at the same time, don’t neglect to engage with guests who have already stayed with you. A good hotel CRM will help you segment your communications to send the right message to the right person.

Rethink your offers

3. Foster bookings with flexible sales conditions
Even though they want to, travellers are still uncertain whether they will be able to get to your hotel or not. They can’t necessarily foresee what they will be able to do in a few weeks, or days! Adjust your rates accordingly to make sure they can change plans if the situation requires it, even if it’s not directly COVID-related (inability to take some holiday for instance). If you are targeting international clientele, a good move might be to set up an early-booking rate with D-15 cancellation policy.

4. Generate some cash, now!
For sure, travellers are in limbo. But so are you. To help you recover and generate immediate income, one idea is to create attractive offers payable at booking time, but modifiable for a long amount of time, such as 18 months and refundable 24 hours before arrival. This will allow you to get cash right away, while providing your guests with the flexibility and visibility they expect today…and the satisfaction of having made a good deal!

5. Develop new, COVID-19 adapted offers
There are many ways to rethink your offers in order to cope with the new sanitary rules. You can for instance:

• Offer guests a room-service breakfast to reassure them about physical distancing
• Make your rooms available for remote work during office hours, for those who are not able to go to the office but cannot work from home.

6. Be ready for an increase in last-minute demands
Health regulations are changing rapidly, and people’s desire to travel will increase. So don’t miss any window of opportunity and get ready to set up last-minute offers.
Therefore, be prepared for last-minute bookings.

Invest in tactical Digital Marketing

7. Prioritise your Domestic market for marketing campaigns
As international travel will take more time to recover, the most reliable strategy for the upcoming months is to focus on your domestic market. Adjust your marketing expenses accordingly: don’t spend your SEA budget on foreign markets, and concentrate your efforts on local travellers that will be more likely to book for now.

Do not neglect corporate travel, and inform the businesses around your hotel that you are reopening.

8. Activate Digital Media campaigns
We found that the first bookings made since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis were rather made directly via the hotels’ websites to the detriment of OTAs. We recommend to activate your Digital Media campaigns (SEA, pre- and retargeting, display and social ads) as soon as demand picks up to maintain momentum, give maximum visibility to your official website and protect your brand from OTAs. To reinforce this strategy, make sure you stand in price parity on all your distribution channels. You can do this with the help of our price monitoring tools.

9. Favour CPA model
As its name suggests, the Cost Per Acquisition model allows you to market your hotel’s website and pay only when a reservation is made, and even when consumed for CPA models at D-EDGE. This way, you take no risk and incur no unnecessary costs while making your hotel more visible online.

10. Be agile with your pricing
Pricing will be more important than ever: adjust your rates according to the market’s moves. You can have a look at our Hospitality Recovery Tracker to help you monitor the hotel demand’s evolution in your area.  In addition, you need to animate your marketing with adequate offers and special promotions – whether public, dedicated to your customers through your loyalty program, or with promo codes for instance.

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