The travel and hospitality industries are some of the hardest hit since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Around the world, leaders have been forced to protect their citizens by taking measures that included implementing traveling restrictions and insisting that people remain in their homes. With everyone sheltered in place and fearful of contracting the coronavirus, all travel plans, large gatherings, and other activities have been put on the back burner.
Unfortunately, these changes have caused a serious decline in revenue for hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals. Though some brands were able to secure financial assistance to remain afloat, many report that the assistance provided by the government is barely enough to scratch the surface of their deficits. If resolutions aren’t developed soon, many hotel and vacation rental owners fear they’ll have no choice but to close their doors for good.
If you’re a hotel or vacation rental owner who’s suffering financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a little revamping could help you generate the business you need to weather the storm. Here are some ideas listed below:
Implement Measures to Keep Guests Safe
Research has shown that the coronavirus can easily spread from one person to another. The virus can also live on surfaces for hours at a time. A hotel accommodates several people at a time. Though rooms are supposed to be cleaned after each visit, there’s also the fear that the virus could be left on surfaces in the rooms and be transmitted from one visitor to the next.
Understanding this information makes it clear to see why people would be leery about booking a hotel or reserving a vacation rental during the pandemic. Now that you know this, you can think of creative ways to ensure the health and safety of your guests.
You can decrease the number of rooms you have available, ensure that all staff have personal protection equipment, up the cleaning schedules to twice a day, and practice social distancing in common areas (lobby, cafeteria, pool, restaurants, bars, etc). Another great gesture would be to have disinfectant and cleaning supplies in each room for guests to clean their own spaces if necessary. You can also add personal protection equipment to welcome baskets.
Revamp Your Marketing
While people may not be interested in traveling far during the pandemic, many are looking for a change of pace after being stuck in the house for the past few months. Not to mention, there are a lot of essential workers and business professionals in the area that needs a place to stay. You can increase your chances of booking guests during the pandemic by advertising locally.
Do some research to discern things to do in the area. Maybe you’re near a casino in Southern California, a state park, a shopping mall, a beach, or some other landmarks that would attract locals to the area. Then, revamp your marketing strategies to incorporate your findings. Post staycation tips on your blog or give advice on things to do in the area and mention your hotel for accommodations on social media platforms.
You can also gear your marketing towards essential workers who may be coming in from out of town to pitch in during the pandemic or local essential workers who’d prefer to stay away from their loved ones to keep them safe. The idea is to see the needs of your target audiences right now and try to fill them.
Utilize Other Hotel Services
If you’re having a hard time getting guests to reserve a room in your hotel during the pandemic, you can utilize other services to stay afloat. For example, if your hotel also has a restaurant, you could start takeout services or open up your outdoor space for dining. You can make use of the internet as well. Your chefs can teach online cooking or wine pairing classes. If your hotel is a popular wedding venue you might give out wedding planning tips for couples. The possibilities are really endless to how you can generate revenue and/or maintain relevancy during the pandemic.
Even as parts of the world begin to reopen and try to get back to “normal”, the economic impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on industries like travel and hospitality will take years to overcome. Be that as it may, there are creative concepts that hotels can implement to let their target audiences know they’re still here and fully prepared to provide quality services while keeping their health and safety first. Those brands who are successful in mastering this will find it much easier to continue generating revenue during these uncertain times.