COVID-19 has taken a toll on nearly every industry, but few have been impacted as heavily as the hospitality sector. The hotel industry post-COVID-19 is a very different landscape than the pre-COVID scene. So how can a hotel adapt and increase bookings in a post-COVID world? There are many ways hotels are changing because of COVID, and some of these changes can provide a promising path towards revenue and recovery. Hoteliers should consider the following four tips for attracting guests and establishing a thriving business even in spite of COVID.
Assess the Competition
One of the biggest threats to the hospitality industry — even before the onset of COVID — is the emergence of the home share economy. Sites such as Airbnb often offer cheaper accommodations, but in the post-COVID landscape, many customers are more concerned with safety than with savings. This is a major weak spot in the home share economy. Because these accommodations are often managed by individuals, they rarely match the hygiene standards maintained by a professionally managed hotel. The hospitality industry can capitalize on this and attract guests back from the competition by emphasizing the safety of a hotel stay.
Understand Guest Behavior
Understanding the competition is important, but understanding guests are even more important. For many hotels, business travelers previously comprised a significant portion of guest revenue, but since COVID, many of these professionals are working from home. This shift has created a significant drop in revenue, but it can be recovered if hotels take the time to understand what guests need. While business traveler guests may not return, hotels can create new clientele by shifting marketing efforts to new demographics of travelers.
Streamline and Digitize
One of the biggest effects of COVID was the transition towards digital interactions that it forced. Most major companies began offering products and services contact-free so that customers could order online and never interact with a staff member. Hotels can learn from this and capitalize on it by streamlining and digitizing their processes. Rather than rely on face-to-face guest interactions, hotels should give guests the autonomy to choose the level of contact they’re comfortable with. This includes offering contactless booking and check-in that can be digitally managed.
Invest in Online Marketing
Investing in online marketing is the final step in regaining revenue post-COVID. Guests are spending more time online than ever before, and there’s no better way to attract them than to organically share content that draws them in. Social media platforms are a great way to do this, and social media also allows direct engagement with an audience that can further serve online marketing campaigns. Online marking is an investment, and so is hospitality insurance. Remind your clients that a policy can cover losses from natural disasters as well as other common liabilities facing hotels.
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