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Best Ideas for Hotels Post COVID 19

One of the most disrupted industries due to the COVID pandemic has been travel. Hotels, homestays, and vacation rentals have found it difficult to adapt and have longed for the answers. While the threat of another COVID wave looms, there is also hope that the current vaccination drive will help the industry bounce back.

The lifting of restrictions in certain places has caused a spike in tourist inflow. Often the surge is seen immediately after the lifting of restrictions. We realize there is an opportunity for hoteliers to attract customers to their property. This would not only drive up occupancy rates but also leave your customers happy with your efforts post-COVID 19. 

How Do I Get Customers To My Hotel Post-COVID?

Marketing ideas for my hotel or accommodation post-COVID has been one of the most common queries we have received. While there are a lot of potential answers to this question, we are focusing our energies on small and medium accommodation types. Of course, larger organizations can learn a thing or two from this article and if you are reading this then I promise it will be worth your while reading our ideas.

It is important to understand that while your customers are keen to travel and explore, they are also very aware of the risks posed. If you can address their fears and apprehensions, then you have found a potential lead for your business.

Let us have a look at some ideas for hotels and homestays post COVID.

Reassure Your Customers

Hotels and homestays should prioritize reassuring their potential customers. Stay away from spending a lot of money marketing your hotel with discounts and offers. Your competition will already be doing this. What will make you stand out is talking about your preparations post COVID. Use your social media to showcase things like the following

  • Showcase sanitization efforts in your hotel. A few pictures and maybe a short video should be enough. Mention the same on your booking pages and website.
  • Staff Testing and Vaccination Status. We believe this is a big incentive for customers. They would prefer locations where they are aware of who is interacting with them. Things like who carries their bags or prepares their food or the driver who drives them around among many others. Sharing details about your staff testing and vaccination will play a big part in reassuring your customers.
  • Proper signage. Maintaining a good social distancing protocol can be easier with proper signage. From queues at your front desk, pre-booking restaurant timings, or limiting access to the hotel’s services like spa and swimming pools. Directions for self-parking instead of a valet service. Designate staff areas and ensure signs limiting customers’ access to maintain social distancing protocols.

Do read guidelines for hospitality sector by Govt. Of India.

You can also read about CDC guidance for businesses and employers for more information.

Offer Your Assistance

Traveling to a strange new destination can be daunting for your potential customers. They will research online to understand the situation and determine if it is safe for them and their families and friends. Lending your expertise as a local can help build trust with your customers.

Have a look at several scenarios below to get you started.

  • Things to do that are COVID safe. You can update your potential customers with details about things of interest near your hotel or homestay. This could be treks, restaurants, shopping areas, and entertainment venues. Collect details about what customers prefer to do and build quick references for your front desk or concierge. 
  • Expand your assistance working with local guides. They will be grateful for the referrals. This will also help you delegate responsibility. Arranging for rental cars can also be a great option. 
  • Best timings compilation. Checkpoints and curfew timings get updated frequently depending on the situation in your area. Share details with your potential customers to avoid long queues and help them plan their transport to avoid late arrivals for flights, trains, and buses.
  • Testing center assistance for traveling clients. With changing restrictions for travel. Permits, vaccination certificates, or a negative test for COVID may often be required by customers. Offer assistance in such scenarios can help boost your image and gain points for hospitality.

About You

An often overlooked action that most hoteliers seem to ignore is that; Hospitality is also about you. What we mean to say is customers would love to hear your stories. Make them feel a part of your business as more than just a customer by sharing things about you. Use social media or blogs on your website so customers get to know you more. Below are a few topics you can start with.

  • Hotel History. Keep it simple. Share details about your hotel or homestay. People love history and engaging people about how you started can be intriguing.
  • Hotel during the lockdown. Staying relevant during these times can also be something you can explore. While hotels and homestays are brick and mortar. It is the people there that give it life. Talk about how the lockdown has shaped your hotel. Your customers would love to hear inspiring stories from the lockdown.
  • Tell stories. Engage your potential customers with stories. Inspire hope and feel-good stories. Have your staff write stories for you to share on your social media. Engage questions from customers and let them think of you as more than just an accommodation.
  • How you supported your staff. Guests will often appreciate businesses that take care of their employees. Talk about what you did for your staff during the lockdown. Highlight your good side and let people see a human connection.

Engage Your Customers

Improve your customer engagement to drive consistent results. An engaged customer is a loyal customer. Great engagement also drives word of mouth and helps bring in new customers looking for a memorable experience.

Improve your customer engagement to drive consistent results. An engaged customer is a loyal customer. Great engagement also drives word of mouth and helps bring in new customers looking for a memorable experience.

Use the following for great results

  • Contests on social media using popular tags and mentions. Have guests post their meal or a tour arranged by you on their social media. All they have to do is tag your hotel in their post. Offer the winner of the most popular post a gift of appreciation, or offers for their next booking. 
  • Collect feedback- Use customer testimonials to encourage new customers. Ask guests for feedback and see what they like. Ask them to leave you a review on Google. Drive results by offering them deals on their next visit.  
  • Events for clients who prefer staying in. Some of your guests may be elderly or have kids and may prefer activities on the premises. Especially look into activities for kids.
  • Engage with client reviews on Google My Business and social media. Now is a great time for you to reply to older messages, reviews, and feedback. Potential customers often go to reviews and images on Google My Business before making bookings. 
    • Ensure your contact details are up to date.
    • Images are of high quality.
    • Location on Google Maps is accurate.

Drive Revenue

While you are trying to get more customers, do have a look at retaining customers or reward referrals for future bookings. Enrich your guests’ experience with opportunities within your hotel or homestay.

You can try the following

  • Highlight your signature dish and drinks for room service or dine-in.
  • Offer discounts for repeat customers or referrals
  • Stay in touch with previous guests via email. Showcase new additions to your hotel and invite them to come again.

While some see travel restrictions and industry slowdown as difficulties, we believe it also gives you the time and opportunity to think outside the box. Sometimes great ideas are found looking inward then outwards

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