The spread of COVID-19 has hit hotels especially hard, as travel has decreased during the typically busy spring and summer months with customers staying home this year in order to minimize risk.
But hotels have stepped up to ensure cleanliness and safety measures for those who would like to take a few days to relax and recharge after spending months in their home. Here are some tips you can apply to your hotel business to drive more revenue post-lockdown.
1. Emphasize safety
One of the most important things your hotel should do to drive business is to be vocal and transparent about the steps you’ve taken to maintain a clean and safe environment for guests. Caesars Entertainment’s marketing talks about the steps they’ve taken at their properties to make guests feel comfortable. They’ve also created a page on their website that outlines all health and safety precautions for Caesars locations.
2. Introduce contactless technology
Contactless technology trends have been around but not widely adapted until the coronavirus pandemic. Hotel Zetta in San Francisco has added multiple contactless technologies to its amenities: a voice-based guest engagement solution, a mobile check-in/mobile key program, and QR code technology for ordering and paying for room service and in-house dining.
Some hotels in the United States have gone the robot route for contactless technologies. These social distancing robot ambassadors are loaded with requested items at the front desk, send a signal to the elevator to take it to its destination floor, and then call the hotel guest when they have arrived at their door. The robots are cleaned and sanitized after every delivery.
3. Appeal to corporate guests
Corporate employees have been working from home for the better part of the last four or five months, dealing with disruptions from family and pets, less-than-ideal home offices, and no opportunities to meet with coworkers or clients face to face.
This is a niche that hotels can easily solve. Offer your rooms as office or meeting space for the day for small socially-distanced groups or as an opportunity for solo workers to step out of their homes for a change of scenery. If you have corporate clients who have booked or are considering booking for meetings and events in the future, consider putting terms like no cancellation or attrition fees on room and food and beverage revenue into their contracts as an incentive to get their events on the books.
4. Offer a discount
Pandemic or not, travelers are always looking for a hotel discount. A little savings might just be the thing that brings in guests. Diamond Mills Hotel & Tavern in Saugerties, N.Y., has come up with multiple offers and discounts to appeal to customers, including lower rates for midweek bookings, shorter minimum night stays, and long-term discounts, and discounts and vouchers for their restaurant.
5. Promote staycations
Consumers are hesitant to travel by plane right now, so many people who are eager to take a vacation are opting for “staycations,” which means traveling safely in their car, close to home. Hotels like The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas have created marketing campaigns to customers that make a staycation sound just as fun as traveling a long distance.
The Cosmopolitan regularly promotes offers via Facebook ads and social media posts that highlight their location as a place to take a quick getaway. Guests can get discounts for rooms, food and beverages, and the pool. Plus, they can watch “Dive-In” movies from the pool, get swag from PupJoy if they bring their dog on vacation, have a socially-distanced pool day in a private cabana, enjoy of the hotel’s amenities like the spa and restaurants, and of course check out the casino and everything else Las Vegas has to offer.
6. Take advantage of takeout
Dining rooms at many hotels have reduced capacity or are only offering room service or takeout. If your hotel has a restaurant, work with the staff to provide takeout meals for hotel guests or anyone who needs to pick up a quick meal. Hotels have introduced grab-and-go markets, curbside pickup, meal kits, and partnerships with delivery apps to bring in some dining revenue. These new options can be easily managed using Tripleseat’s takeout and delivery lead form.
Get creative, then spread the word
Once you’ve settled on some ideas to help your hotel move forward through the pandemic, don’t forget to use your marketing tools to tell prospects and customers about these offerings. Make sure to send out special email announcements and include this news in your regular email newsletters. Share posts on social media — with attention-grabbing photos or videos if possible — and create ads targeted to customers in your area in order to get in front of the audience that’s most likely to spend their money with you. The combination of a great revenue-driving idea and smart marketing will help your hotel drive sales through the rest of 2020.
Take the next step to book and manage better events
Schedule a demo to learn more about Tripleseat. Our event management features can help you increase and manage the group sales that are essential for filling hotel guest rooms, booking event function spaces, growing banquet revenues, and increasing your overall revenue.