As for the hotel industry, the coronavirus outbreak has had a massive impact as travel and crowds are generally avoided, major events are cancelled, self-isolation is encouraged and lockdown is, or is gradually becoming, implemented in countries across the globe.
As a hotelier, how you’re currently responding is crucial, and will have a significant effect on shortfalls as well as the impetus of your business’s recovery later on.
Amid the ongoing widespread uncertainty, the most important thing you can provide your guests is reassurance. And as communities and countries pull together, now is also the time to actively display your brand values.
Show You’re Serious
Refraining from panicking is the universal message concerning the coronavirus pandemic, and taking it seriously is equally important.
For currently booked guests as well as potential future guests, it’s now game-changing to assure that your hotel is taking all the right precautions in health, safety and hygiene, administering extra attention to cleaning, observing staff distance, suspending facilities and supplying complimentary sanitation and cleaning agents.
Openly showing customers you’re serious in your reaction to Covid-19, is something both you and they will benefit from.
Be Flexible Where Possible
Naturally, travellers at the moment are nothing but uncertain and cautious, regarding both current reservations and whether to book altogether. This is where good communication, consistent marketing and embracing flexibility is crucial, making sure to let all your guests know your policies on booking amendments as well as cancellations as required.
Opt for rebooking instead of the lose a confirmed reservation - perhaps free (no amendment fee) with future dates to be decided on - hold their deposit to allow them to decide on dates down the track. Again, this is a highly busy time as you receive more than your usual number of enquiries, but providing this flexibility and confidence will help you establish and improve good customer relations.
Keep Your Rates
Try to stay firm in maintaining your rates where you can, however if you need to reduce you rates, perhaps just consider taking the special offer route instead? Providing your guests discounted multi-night rates along with benefits such as free Wifi, late check outs or early check in’s, daily room cleaning, complimentary sanitisers and dedicated room service may be the best first option.
Focus on Domestic Travellers
With international travel currently at a halt, take this opportunity to focus on domestic travel or your Drive Market. Additionally, don’t axe your marketing strategy or budget - instead, opt to fine-tune it solely for your domestic audience.
While travel and accommodation may be the last thing on many people’s minds, for some it’s still essential - such as business travellers, people visiting hospitals and essential workers. There are also many potential guests requiring isolation accomodation so they can self isolate for 14 days or more if returning from overseas.
Worldwide, almost all major events have been cancelled, meaning it’s also worth tailoring your social media posts and blogs towards hikes, natural attractions and private tours - typically local things to do for guests that do not involve crowds or much social interaction.
Provide Your Brand Message
Coronavirus, specifically Covid-19, has affected us all in unfortunate ways, however it’s seen a positive turnaround of people coming together, helping one another and providing comfort both within communities and to loved ones across the unifying internet.
As a business owner, it’s a good time to promote your brand message, whether it’s of support, calmness, staying positive, or simply announcing your best possible customer service in light of current and developing events.
Communicate this via your website, email service and social media platforms, along with how you’re actively adapting so that you provide your customers with the reassurance they need.
From us at eTourism, stay safe and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
RELATED PAGES AND BLOG POSTS:
- How to Market Your Hotel with Social Media User-Generated Content
- Hotel & Resort Marketing on Instagram - Tips Hoteliers Need to Know
- Win Over Millennial Travellers with These Useful Hotel Marketing Tips