10 practical tips for hoteliers during Coronavirus crisis
It is a difficult time for everyone and Coronavirus is undoubtedly putting a strain on the hospitality sector all over the world. People’s health and safety come first and we have hope that this crisis will end. For this reason, we thought of the 10 most useful tips for all hoteliers who look to the future in search of solutions and answers.
Obviously, each property has a unique situation, with different problems and needs. We will try to give guidelines that each hotelier can adapt to his needs.
1. Be flexible and helpful with guests
Showing empathy and understanding with a customer who calls to cancel his booking will encourage him not to give up his vacation in your facility. You can then propose to postpone his stay by orienting it on other dates or offer him a voucher to use in the future.
2. Don’t sell off your rooms
Lowering room prices can be a great temptation. In fact, it is the wrong choice for several reasons. First of all, a lower price would not bring more bookings. At the moment all travellers are stuck in their houses, regardless of prices. Second, it would devalue the image of your hotel or apartment. Finally, with lower prices, the economic recovery would be even longer and more tiring.
3. Do not close the possibility of bookings in the coming months
We don’t know when this total blockage will end, but we do know that when it happens, people will want to travel. We, therefore, advise you to have your Channel Manager ready to receive reservations from all the portals on which you sell your rooms.
4. Find out about government aid
Keeping up with decrees and bureaucracy can be complicated. However, it is essential to stay up to date on developments regarding aid provided by governments. Each country has a specific procedure to manage the Coronavirus crisis, the important thing is not to miss the opportunity to receive extra support.
5. Focus on the domestic market
Several experts are speculating that, at least in the first few months, travellers will prefer their homeland. It will, therefore, be necessary to create geo-targeted promotions and campaigns aimed at your compatriots. It may be helpful to dedicate a page on your site to promote your city or region. In this way, you will attract local visitors by showing the strengths of your area.
6. Refresh your site and Booking Engine
Now more than ever it’s time to refresh your website and especially your Booking Engine. Travellers will be looking for offers and promotions and your site will be your best business card. Ask for a personalized quote to update your Booking Engine and your website.
7. Invest in social media
In this moment of forced stop, people have more free time and many will spend it on social networks. Maybe thinking about next holiday! It is, therefore, the time to invest in promotional campaigns. Of course, eye-catching, high-quality photos and videos are needed.
8. Explore new online booking channels
When tourism will start recovering, you will need to be able to receive reservations from as many channels as possible. To avoid being too dependent on the main OTAs (and their commissions), an excellent alternative are metasearch portals. RoomCloud is an official partner for Google Hotel Ads, Trivago and TripAdvisor campaigns.
9. Think out of the box
Several hoteliers are adopting creative solutions to secure some profit in this difficult period. For example, some hotels have made their restaurant available for home delivery. A hotel offers its rooms for a relaxing quarantine! When the restrictions subside, it may be interesting to promote your spa or gym to people in your city.
10. Use the forced stop for maintenance and updating activities
Staying indoors is best now. Why not use the time with updating courses? It could be the right time to have a training of the software you use, evaluate the internal processes of your structure and maybe review the things that are not going well. For example these.