Does Your Hotel Tick These Boxes for Returning Travellers?
The ways we interact socially have changed and expectations have also been reshaped, especially for returning travellers who are beginning to book their first few trips after lockdown.
If you own a hotel, motel or resort, it’s crucial now to make sure you’re doing everything you can to meet current expectations, provide guest confidence and outshine the local competition.
From us at eTourism, here are five boxes your hotel should be ticking for returning travellers.
It’s safe to say our expectations have changed when it comes to cleanliness.
Clean rooms and facilities should always be a top priority for hotels, but now returning travellers are expecting a little more: higher standards of cleanliness and sanitation and the reassurance and proof that this is being carried out.
Are you still maintaining your hotel as you did last year? Something as small as not having sanitiser (or even an empty sanitiser) on the reception desk can still be a red flag for guests that your hotel has become lax or is not taking things seriously.
One of the ways the hospitality industry has had to adapt is that everything within practicality is done contactless - between staff and customer and between customers.
It goes without saying that hotels are not exempt, and if your hotel isn’t carrying out contactless operation where possible you could be lagging behind local competition.
This includes contactless check-in and self-check-in, contactless restaurant service, contactless manoeuvrability throughout your hotel and ultimately limiting the number of staff personnel handling guest items such as keycards and drinks.
The pandemic has emphasised several life lessons and one of them is that life is unpredictable, no matter how much we plan for the unexpected.
So with that said, if your hotel hasn’t yet updated its policy to allow for more flexible cancellation, you could be scaring off potential guests.
It might be an adjustment you don’t want to make, but it's one of the ways that the hotel industry has had to adapt to a time when plans can be cancelled, often out of our power, at the last minute.
Travellers and pent-up holidaymakers are looking for things to do and reasons to escape, so your hotel should be actively marketing its location to both new and returning customers.
What is there to do near your hotel? What is safe to do? And what is in high demand now that restrictions have been eased?
These are things you should be thinking about, then promoting via your blog and social media pages. In addition, this demonstrates online activity and the willingness for customer engagement, which can result in more guest bookings.
For most travellers, the pandemic has changed things financially. And for hotels, many have altered their rates to entice guests and make up for losses over lockdown.
As a result, it’s important to be watching the current market and regularly considering your rates against the local competition.
This doesn’t mean having to undersell your hotel. And as an alternative, you can even offer flash discounted rates and special offers - such as cheap weekday rates or guest freebies - that will drive demand and make your hotel stand out.
Does your hotel tick all five boxes? Let us know in the comments below!