How to Accelerate Hotel Industry Recovery

Covid19 has changed the world — and everyone’s travel plans. For the hotel industry, the smiles and warm greetings are now hidden behind the muzzle of a thermometer gun. To manage this crisis, we hoteliers need to understand the steps we all can take to implement the new normal in hospitality services and make our guests feel safe and secure as well as comfortable.

Easy cancellation policies

New flare-ups and aborted reopening plans create an atmosphere of uncertainty. Flexibility is now paramount. Guests are aware that they might be denied to travel without notice, and so want to be sure that they can cancel or reschedule at any time -- even on the scheduled arrival day. But there is an upside to this situation. Since OTA cannot seem to decide on a fixed policy regarding last-minute cancellations, guests will be encouraged to book directly with hotels who offer clear and consistent policies.

Revised and enhanced cleaning protocols

Attention to detail is the hallmark of professional-grade hospitality. Recent events have demonstrated that the fight to contain this global pandemic succeeds or fails on details, and so hotel professionals must rise to the challenge of revising or enhancing deep-cleaning protocols.

A few essential measures are:

  • Install hand-sanitizer stations in most public spaces and in areas with a high degree of physical contact.
  • Make the invisible visible. People can notice if you miss a few spots but seldom detect a thorough cleaning. “I have been cleaned” notes attached to surfaces such as toilet seats and items such as remote controls tell guests that the room is safe. And don’t forget under the bed. Some guests do check!
  • For decades, most hotels have placed a seal over a newly cleaned toilet to ensure that no one has used it before the guest arrives. In this crisis, the room entrance itself can be sealed after cleaning to make guests feel more secure about their room’s of level of hygiene.
  • Raise awareness of and compliance with standard operational procedures (SOP).
  • Keep guests updated on the actions you take to ensure their safety, cleanliness, and comfort. List your SOP in a prominent place in the lobby and on your website and other promotional materials.
Sell staying/package discount voucher

Encourage bookings by selling discounted coupons or vouchers with an expiration date. This generates cash flow while allowing the guest the greatest flexibility in booking and cancellation. To increase guest appeal and promote cross marketing, your vouchers can be exchanged among related service providers such as restaurants, cafes, theme parks, and shops.

Start with the domestic market

The first guests in your lobby will be domestic tourists, as only they will be allowed to travel during the initial stages of the new normal. The first wave will consist of business travellers, followed by weekenders, and then frequent or loyal guests. Therefore, you should direct initial promotional campaigns to these market segments.

This is a tough period for the hotel industry, and reducing costs will only get us so far. We must now implement innovative strategies to boost reservations as we enter the new normal. At Pelican, we provide features that let you create flexible rates for each rate tier -- all with customizable cancellation policies. The entire Pelican team wishes you good luck and encouragement as the industry starts to welcome back guests. We’ll get through this together!

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