While many hotels are being forced to close their doors – some with no knowledge of when they might open again – some others are seeing small wins through engaging with their customers in innovative ways.
NB: This is an article from Triptease
In this blog, we’ll be sharing some examples from hotels that are finding ways to use website messaging to drive engagement and bookings during this challenging time.
Every hotel is different and what is working for some may simply be impossible for others in the immediate future. But whether you’re still operational, or closed and focusing on how to prepare for the future, we hope that sharing some ideas we’ve seen from real hotels might help to speed your progress towards recovery.
In markets where domestic travel has not been restricted, we’re seeing some hotels achieve encouraging results by promoting staycations to people travelling internally. The example below is based on a promotion run by a hotel in Singapore, which has an excellent conversion rate. In fact, we’ve seen some hotels achieving staycation message conversion rates of more than 8%. As soon as it is safe and possible for your hotel, start thinking about what kind of deals would appeal to domestic travellers.
Longer lead time targeting
Seasonal and resort hotels understand better than anyone that you can drive bookings during low season to fill your rooms up for the season ahead. Hotels in Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong – regions that were hit early on by the coronavirus outbreak – are now beginning to see some early signs of recovery, so hotels elsewhere in the world should feel encouraged that this can and will happen for them too. That being the case, now could be a prime time to focus on driving bookings for dates in the future, when you aim to be open and able to welcome guests once again.
Gift cards, vouchers and credit
Similarly to targeting customers looking to stay in the future, you can also target potential guests right now with the option to buy gift credit or vouchers for your hotel, restaurant or spa which they can use at a later date. Offering a gift card with a value of $100 for only $80 is a great way to encourage customers to make a purchase now for a trip they can take in the future.
Self isolation accommodation offers
The increasing need for quarantine facilities across Asia is offering an unexpected lifeline for some hotels struggling with low occupancy. Hotels such as Naumi Hotels in New Zealand, Thailand’s A-One Hotels Group and Park Hotel Group in Singapore are opening up their properties to provide accommodation options for people needing to self isolate away from their families. Again, this is an option that may not be something all hotels can offer in the immediate future – but for those that can it provides a way to drive some revenue and keep members of staff working over the coming weeks.
Making clear that you can provide room service meals that meet a range of dietary requirements, regular laundry and cleaning services, smart TVs with entertainment packages and desks with Wifi for those needing to work remotely will give customers looking to self isolate reassurance that they can do so safely at your hotel.
According to a recent Skift report, Park Hotel Group has already seen an increase in enquiries from residents returning to Singapore and needing to undergo the mandatory 14-day isolation period that was introduced on March 20. Hotels elsewhere in the world may not be in a position to offer this yet, but this could be a key consideration for the future.
In many parts of the world right now, recovery still feels a long way off. But we’re monitoring our data closely to keep you up to date on when that time will come for your hotel. Maybe engaging customers isn’t your priority right now, but hopefully these examples of little successes from other hotels will help you to think positively about the next steps you can take for the future.