Coronavirus: How hoteliers should change their strategy.
A decrease in intercontinental tourism, less bookings, more cancellations, ...The fear of the Coronavirus has an impact on the hotel industry. Limit the damage and change your strategy. Some useful tips below!
#Tip 1: Metasearch, focus on high-intent customers
Do you often welcome Asian or other international guests in your hotel? At this time, you might notice a decrease in the number of bookings. By the fear of further spread of the coronavirus, a lot of people are less inclined to travel. Unnecessary and costly to target this group. You're better of investing your energy and budget in those people who do want to make a trip and are looking for an accommodation. But how to reach them?
Metasearch! Being present on different booking channels with your own hotel website (and thus lowest price) is crucial. We recommend to always have the lowest price visible on your website. Potential customers who are using metasearch are comparing prices and have a high intent to travel. Make sure your online visibility is on point and try to capture this target group.
#Tip 2: Direct bookings, your strenghts in the spotlight
When potential guests find your website via metasearch, put all your unique selling points in the spotlight. For instance:
- Use a price widget on your website that immediatly shows the benefits of direct booking, namely the lowest price!
- Free parking? Pets are allowed? Let customers know.
- Do you offer a glass of cava on arrival? The details make the difference.
A good hotel website includes a clear call to action (book now) and has a simple & short booking process.
In 2020, meta will be the most important part of a hotel’s online marketing planTriptease
#Tip 3: Retargeting, focus on existing customers.
Another useful target group consists of your own customers! Include this group in your marketing strategy and try to "reactivate" these guests. You could send out promotional emails to your existing client base. It might also be a good idea to target your website visitors who didn't complete the booking. Via social media you can use targeted advertising to reach people who have visited your website in order to convince them to complete the booking.
#Tip 4: Reassure your guests & avoid cancellations.
A positive and clear communication is worth a lot. Show your guests that you take some actions to keep them safe.
- Reassure guests using different channels: your website, email, social media and mention it even by phone.
- To convince more clients to complete the booking, you can offer a refund when they decide to cancel the trip.
Do clients cancel anyway? Allow them to book later this year. Make your "rebooking period" extensive enough: until 2021 for instance.
You might get better results by showing some flexibility instead of just lowering your prices. In crisis situations you need to think this through, because you might just leave a lot of money on the table. Keep an eye on the competition and lower your prices only if necessary.
#Tip 5: Domestic market, focus on local tourism.
Not all regions are affected by the Coronavirus. Is your hotel or B&B located in a less dangerous area? Invest in local tourism! You can partner up with local tour operators or create special services, attractive to locals. Adapt your communication on social media or paid advertising to this target group.
Do you have any questions on this topic related to our software? Contact us!