Finally, we have some good news for the hospitality industry! Hotels across the globe are slowly gaining their confidence and getting ready to open their doors after over 18 months of inactivity, thanks to this new rage – revenge travel. The trend has already sparked a sense of hope among the hoteliers. Another encouraging fact is that, with the threat of COVID-19 slowly ebbing and an increasing number of people getting vaccinated, around 45% of travelers plan to travel more than before the pandemic time. This piece will share some tips for hotel chains to make the most out of this opportunity while attracting more guests.
#1. Let them know that you are ready
Work with your marketing team and get as creative as possible to craft emails, social media posts, short videos to inform your target audience (existing + potential guests) that you are now open and fully functional. Clearly state that all your member properties have all the required safety measures to ensure their physical wellbeing. Tell them that you have taken every possible step so that they can relax and rejuvenate while you keep them safe. All your guest/customer-facing communication collaterals should speak about these appropriate COVID-19 protocols.
In this context, create and publish a set of FAQs related to health safety on your website. Ensure that you have somebody at the Central Reservation Office (CRO) to address travelers’ queries. You can have a chatbot installed to take care of these essential activities. All in all, you need to convince your target audience that you are sensitive about their concerns. This will also help you drive revenue.
#2. Go contactless
Again, this is another area where you can do a lot to showcase your focus on guest safety and achieve it through digital transformation. Moreover, it is not just a choice now. Instead, it is becoming essential. By heavily reducing physical touchpoints, contactless solutions don’t only lead to customer comfort/safety. They also keep your staff safe. Here are a few areas where you can implement contactless features –
- Checkin and checkout
- Room service
- AI-based chatbots for automated guest assistance
- Self-service facilities
- Keyless entry
- In-room amenities
While today’s health-conscious guests will like these contactless services, you also get to empower your staff to do more.
#3. Promote yourself as workcation
For this, you will have to do proper research to find out the right segment. Full-fledged travel is yet to happen, so you cannot expect pre-COVID level footfall at your hotel chain. A certain percentage of travelers are working while traveling, and this is where you can do something. Promote all your properties across locations as ideal destinations for those who need to work but may need a change in place. Make sure to inform them that all your hotels are perfect workcations with high-speed internet, a comfortable in-room workstation, and many other essential amenities. Be very clear in letting them know that you can help them strike the right balance between work and unwind. And yes, don’t forget to configure attractive packages with add-ons to grab their attention.
#4. Be flexible
We also need to understand that most people are just about to travel after a long gap while the risk of COVID-19 is still there. There are many uncertainties about many things around their travel plans. Sometimes, all modes of communication may get grounded due to government policies. All these affect their travel plans, and some of them might have to reach out to you for booking cancellations or modifications.
As a hotel chain owner, you need to be a little flexible and generous in such situations. Make sure to help them with flexible cancellation modification of their bookings. Train your personnel at the central reservation office to guide your guests if they are looking at alternative dates and destinations. You can do this as you have multiple properties across several locations, and this will build trust.
#5. Adopt cloud-based Hotel PMS
If you haven’t done it yet, then this is the right time to do it. Remember, you are not only planning to leverage this trend of revenge travel. Instead, you are getting ready for a better future. A cloud Hotel PMS like Hotelogix can be your partner in growth in many ways. This enterprise-grade Hotel PMS has all the required features to help you manage multi-property operations with ease by allowing you to –
- Monitor operations across multiple properties with a single sign-in
- Centrally manage TA/Corporate profiles
- Gain centralized access to guest history
- Manage room inventory for all your properties in real-time
- Empower your CRO to handle group-wide online/offline bookings
- Accept bookings for member hotels/room types for different check-in dates
The Hotel PMS comes integrated with an intelligent channel manager that assists you in efficiently updating rates and availability across online and offline sales channels. This means it ensures efficient distribution to sell more rooms. Additionally, you can also get to work with a revenue management solution to know market demand, competitor pricing, rate recommendation. Hotelogix’s rate management feature lets you create relational/multiple rates in a single day, set up/change daily/monthly rates, and implement occupancy-based dynamic pricing to make more out of room revenue.