The pandemic shook everyone around the world. No one expected it and no one could prepare for it. But, as it progressed, people learned, overcame problems and moved ahead.
The travel industry is no exception in this regard. Travel may be one of the hardest-hit sectors, but the industry can overcome these ominous circumstances. But to do that, you have to be vigilant, careful and move with absolute precision. It may be difficult, but it will teach you valuable things that will stay with you for a lifetime. So, how do you go about navigating these troubled waters?
Push into the digital world
Understand that the pandemic was perhaps the strongest impetus for embracing the digital era. Everything has now moved online. It is time that your hotel does too. There are multiple ways to do that, such as using social media, OTA platforms and email marketing. But, at the core of it all, find a channel that works effectively for you. For example, if you are a niche boutique hotel, social media may offer a greater advantage than listing on every OTA. But if you are a versatile family hotel, OTA platforms would prove to be beneficial. So, find your channel and use it to its highest potential.
Build a brand
Coronavirus showed us the need for trust. When you have earned your guests’ trust, you are more likely to make loyal clients. And these clients will be there for you through good times and bad. And the best way to go about doing that is by building a brand. Build a brand that remains reliable, consistent and looks like an asset to customers. It provides something they can fall back on, something they can assuredly rely on, and something they would recommend to their friends. Building such a brand need not be difficult. You must first understand your core value propositions, determine how they align with your customers’ needs and then build on that.
Develop adequate SOPs
Let’s face it, consumers enjoy security. They like feeling confident that their safety and interests are being looked after. Expect customers to continue to feel this way even in a post-pandemic era. So, you must take all the necessary steps to ensure that your guests feel safe and secure at all times. If you can, go for a few more safety measures other than the government-mandated SOPs. For example, get a contact-free sanitizer that works on a sensor or foot pedal. Or keep a 12- to 24-hour gap between each booking. Such steps may seem simple, but will go a long way in helping your guests feel comfortable.
Develop alternative revenue streams
The pandemic has affected the travel industry and hotels are bearing the brunt of it. That is why you must play it smart. Develop alternative revenue streams that go beyond your regular offerings. For example, look into meal delivery from in-house restaurants. Plenty of hotels have taken up this revenue model quite seriously during the lockdown. Also, think about offering families great deals. Guests feel far more secure when they are staying with their own family. Through it all, constantly monitor safety and hygiene measures.
Recover and rejuvenate
Sometimes you need to take a step back to be able to take two steps forward. And more often than not, it does pay off. So, look into taking some time off. During this time, you can train your staff and build a stronger relationship with your team. You can also get all the necessary repair works done and look into all the tasks that have been piling up. Plus, you could also look into enhancing your current facilities. For all you know, that could make the difference. Guests are more likely to feel encouraged to visit your hotel when they have something new and exciting awaiting them.
Most importantly, remember to stay with the times. The world is constantly changing and new trends keep emerging. What may work today may not work tomorrow. So, it is crucial to maintain discretion and keep track of global occurrences. Stay updated on current trends, adapt to new challenges and remember to stay on top of things.