The hospitality industry has suffered many blows in the past – natural disasters, acts of terrorism, recessions – but it has always recovered. And right now, every indication is that the industry will once again recover, once the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. And when that happens, hoteliers need to be prepared.
Here are a few tasks that hotel management can do now, in order to prepare as much as possible for when the economy and the travel industry rebound.
1. Take advantage of training and development opportunities
As these are unprecedented times, it’s difficult to predict what demand will look like immediately after the pandemic has ended and when the travel restrictions have been lifted. But if the “travel floodgates” open quickly, then hoteliers will need to makes sure their teams are ready. Taking advantage of training and development opportunities during downtime is not only a great investment in the team, but it will also help the hotel be more productive and run more efficiently in the future.
This is also a great time to look at any inefficient or time-consuming processes and determine if there is a better way for them to be done. Perhaps there are some integrations or interfaces that can be added to the hotel’s PMS, or an overdue CRM cleanup to make it more organized and automated.
2. Stay connected with key contacts
What’s happening in the world right now isn’t just restricted to one state or one country: everyone in the world is feeling the effects of COVID-19. So it’s a good time to reach out and stay connected to key contacts, whether they are clients, partners or suppliers. All of our inboxes have been inundated with generic emails about Business A or Business B’s response to the pandemic, so it’s really important to make sure any phone calls or emails have a personal touch to them. Check in to see how they are doing, how their family is doing, how their business is doing. Keep those relationships strong during this period of downtime, and they’ll activate just as easily once the industry is back up and running again.
3. Prepare marketing and room rate strategy
The competition in the market is going to be stronger than ever, with every hotel vying for the first leads that resurface as the impact of COVID-19 lessens. And while it may be tempting to offer dramatic discounts or the lowest room rates to drive occupancy, this is actually the last thing hotels will want to do. If a hotel starts out by offering the biggest discounts post-pandemic, it’s going to be very difficult for them to return to their regular rates once demand has normalized. Instead, hotels should be offering some modest initial promotions, and then start slowly increasing the room rate as demand increases back up again.
Skift research is predicting that business travel will be the first to rebound, so hoteliers may want to keep this in mind for their short-term marketing efforts, while still making sure they can pivot quickly when it seems that leisure travel might be bouncing back.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 will continue to impact the hospitality and travel industry in both short-term and long-term ways until it has passed or a vaccination is found. But when that time comes, the hoteliers who have been proactive and prepared will be the most successful during the industry rebound.
RoomKeyPMS makes it easier to provide the best guest experiences, increase revenue and reduce costs, through a cloud-based, better-supported property management system. Book a demo and learn more about the RoomKeyPMS tool and its offerings.
Image Credit: Nils Nedel on Unsplash