Coronavirus has had an undeniable impact on international travel and the hospitality industry. Industry analysts have attempted to predict the effect upon the global hotel industry for 2020, estimating a profit decline of 11-29% year-on-year. However, they note that the scenario includes “a near complete bounce back in 2021”, once again showing the resilience of the industry.
In this blog, we will examine the key recommendations for hotels to bounce back strongly in 2021 when the hotel sector should eventually be returning to normality.
Focus on domestic markets
Ensure maximum domestic market exposure by concentrating more budget and targeting on local advertising to focus on those already here, countering the impact of international travel restrictions and reduced flight timetables.
Maintain international advertising campaigns
However, anticipate lower demand which will in turn reduce the spend.
Be where the market is
Focus on advertising campaigns where there’s still an established audience with a strong intent to book.
Promote a flexible / book with confidence rate
Look at the practicalities of allowing guests to move a booking to a new date should they wish to (reassuring new bookers as well). Evaluate your booking engine rates and descriptions to ensure that your cancellation policies, especially for flexible rates, are easily viewable. Use ‘flexibility’ as one of your primary marketing messages.
Try to maintain your rates
Provided you have market parity, try to avoid reducing your rates as we all know how challenging it can be to recover this rate degradation when demand returns. Instead, look to promote added-value offers or the flexibility of your booking terms.
Reassure your guests
Highlight wherever you are going above and beyond to ensure guest safety, e.g. deep cleaning rooms etc. It’s also worth reiterating that you’re following local Government guidelines and best practices to minimise risk.
Prepare for the bounce back
The travel industry is resilient and we would anticipate that once the situation improves, demand should return. The fact that most of us will be accumulating holidays when not travelling, would suggest that returning demand is an inevitability.