How Hotels Can Survive Covid-19
While it would be difficult to find any industry not affected by Covid-19, undoubtedly, some are feeling the pain more so than others and have been for months.
One industry, in particular, is hospitality and within that, hotels. Research from McKinsey suggests for hotels, recovery to pre-COVID levels could take until at least 2023. From small hotels to large chains, it’s likely to be a rough patch for all of them, but at the same time, there are steps hotels can take to mitigate the damage.
The following are tips for hotels as they deal with the extreme headwinds of a global pandemic and a significant decline in travel.
Stay Organized and Focused
First and foremost, don’t give up or be defeated to the point that you let the quality of what you provide in your hotel slide.
If you aren’t already, now might be the time to use a hotel management system.
There are a few reasons for this.
First, it will help keep your level of service high for the people who are willing to travel and stay in a hotel. That’s important because even though vacancies may be higher than normal, you want to build those good reviews from guests anyway.
Having a good hotel management system in place can also help you better keep up with training for employees, particularly when it comes to new protocols like enhanced cleaning.
You’ll have guest data available more readily, which may help you provide the best possible experience to everyone who comes in your doors.
You can also use technology as a way to reduce how many staff interactions a guest has to have, to help them feel better about your social distancing practices.
Now is not the time to let things slide in the hotel industry—if anything, do the opposite and raise your standards right now.
Evaluate Your Marketing Strategy
If you haven’t already done so, evaluate your current marketing strategy and see where you need to adjust it.
For example, you want to focus primarily on health and wellness right now. You want to be clear on what you’re doing to keep customers safe in your marketing, but you also don’t want to focus so much on this that people become overwhelmed.
You want to let them know you take the pandemic seriously, and you’re doing what it takes, but also that your hotel can be an escape during a stressful time.
You might want to brand your policies going forward that promote health and safety. You can give it a short title and detail your program for anyone interested in reading what you’re doing.
It’s really up to you in your marketing push over the coming months to let guests know that it’s safe to stay in your hotel and to convince them of that fully.
Your marketing also needs to shift away from business travel for the foreseeable future. People are working from home, and conventions and large-scale meetings probably aren’t coming back anytime soon. Instead, think more about people who want to take shorter family vacations or getaways and what they might be looking for in lodging.
Treat Your Employees Well
Your employees are critical to the success or failure of your hotel, and you need to be cognizant that while your guests may be feeling uncertain right now, so are your employees.
You want your employees to be brand ambassadors, so let them know you also care about their health and safety.
Provide them with personal protective equipment when necessary and help them figure out ways to avoid public transportation on their way to work if possible.
Show them you appreciate their hard work during a difficult time with options like catered meals or other perks.
Think About the Upsell
Finally, it’s almost inevitable that you’re not going to be able to fill your hotel right now like you did before COVID. This isn’t just because people are traveling less, but also because you don’t want a space that appears to be crowded and to be disregarding social distancing.
With that in mind, you can push more for upsells to make up for some of the lost revenue.
Your goal during a challenging time when bookings are low is to get as much revenue from each reservation as you can.
If you have a spa or restaurant onsite start there. You might also offer free nights for booking a certain stay or promoting your higher-end and more expensive rooms.