Combat COVID-19: How to recover and sustain your Hotel Business?
The entire world is relentlessly battling against the current Coronavirus pandemic. This sudden outbreak has severely impacted the global tourism and hospitality industry.
As the infection rate worldwide is increasing rapidly, the government has strictly restricted even cross-regional and outbound travel- which plummeted the hotel’s occupancy rates, and the majority of them are forced to lockdown.
On the other side, enormous uncertainties are looming over the industry. It is the biggest nightmare we are experiencing. How to put an end to this current epidemic? How to recover from this downturn? Questions like this are pondering in all of our minds.
Do not fret! It is not the time for that. Rather, it is the time to build protection plans that ensure a safer environment for guests, staff, and as well as to focus on the long-term strategies that anticipate the potential business outcomes.
Your Roadmap to recover is here! Let’s see the actionable tips and efforts that help hoteliers to move forward in the most challenging times.
The first question that arises in the mind of every hotelier is- How to make effective use of this time & secure bottom line?
1. Ensure a secure environment for your guests and staff
During and after this outbreak, guests pay more attention to the hotel’s cleanliness, hygiene, and dietary measures.
Hotels need to review and incorporate various health and safety practices, that includes guest room sanitizers, frequency of cleaning and disinfecting in guest rooms, public spaces, ensuring fresh air systems, high-quality bedding, delivering hygienic food in-door, providing vehicles in clean and good condition for nearby proximities and a lot.
Delivering high service standards will help you eradicate guests' fear of staying and improve overall guest satisfaction. Also, sharing these health precautionary methods on online platforms will increase your brand visibility and improve conversions in future.
Hotels also closed its SPA and Gym facilities due to this unprecedented crisis. In such times, it becomes crucial to ensure your guests' well-being. Stay connected with your guests and support them by offering useful well-being tips and videos online.
2. Quality Staff- During these tough times, quality staff is the need of the hour. Educate your staff about your hotel's safety measures. It helps them to communicate effective measures, taken, to guests and ensure they are safe and secure.
Create a document in plain language so that anyone can understand what to do and how to act at critical times. Delegate role responsibilities properly.
3. Energy Consumption
Track your day-to-day occupancy status using Hotel Management Software. It is vital to keep informing the concerned staff about the occupancy status of your hotel. It lets them plan to make proper room arrangements and staffing.
Moreover, being aware of your occupancy status, staff can carry out energy control by turning off/closing the unoccupied rooms and floors.
4. Online Training
While the major outbreak has significantly dropped the hotel’s occupancy rates, hotels can go with a few seasonal staff.
Hotels can offer virtual training for other booming staff, thus helping them advance their existing skill sets and deliver services better than before.
5. Outstanding tasks
You can now focus on the tasks/issues pending for a long time. Clearing such issues can help you to save time, focus on more strategic activities, and deliver a frictionless experience to guests in the coming days.
6. Reduce Expenditure
As a hotelier, you might have invested in multiple technology tools that help you streamline operations. Better move into a subscription-based model that doesn’t require capital investment and offers multiple payment plans like monthly, quarterly, and yearly. It lets you reduce the cost invested in the tools.
Likewise, it is critical to keep track of your spending on hotel materials. Make sure your money is optimally used, and if needed reduce the proportion of expenses. You can also reach out to your suppliers to extend the payment cycle.
The second question is- How to sustain and move forward in times of uncertainty?
1. Room Pricing
In the wake of this outbreak, most of the hotels are trying to slash down rates to increase occupancy. Is that really a great strategy? Not at all. Hotels offering discounts and flat prices can pave the way to attract the wrong audience. Increasing rates cannot be easy after this current pandemic. Rather than reducing prices, hotels can provide flexibility in bookings and cancellations. Giving this option can help you attract more reservations.
2. Better positioning and branding of your hotel
We cannot exactly predict how the emerging market will be. But, we can consider both positive and negative aspects and be prepared for the unforeseen market. This might help you build stability and sustainability around your business. Things will be visible when you give the right thought and time.
Focus on your customer patterns. Which is your revenue-driven market? Who are your frequent visitors? Analyze your guest segments.
You can gather such information with the help of HMS. Unlock further business opportunities with the help of advancing technological tools like Hotel Management Software that help you stay ahead of the game in the better days that approaches in the near future.
Hotel Management Software offers various useful information on guests. You can segment guests based on their interests, likes & dislikes, preferences, location, purpose and source of booking. Not only it gives detailed data on guests, but it can also help you in identifying your hotel’s peak and trough seasons and channels that still work best for you in attracting guests.
With this rich data, you can keep doing your promotions properly on the right platforms that increase revenue. Improve brand positioning on these platforms and check whether your key messages are aligned or not.
Also, follow-up with your corporate clients and distribution partners. It is vital to show your concern over their well-being, but it is not the only focus. Update them with your travel and reservation updates. Events that stalled can be booked on other time periods.
Likewise, focus on your organic inbound & SEO activities that will skyrocket your hotel revenue.
As COVID-19 is still affecting the global travel community, it is time for hoteliers to take a rational approach towards their business, operations and revenue optimization. Remember, the better days are approaching fast!