Finally, industries are slowly but surely rebuilding. Despite all the negativity around headlines saying how badly the financial world is hurt, more and more industries are thriving to get back on their feet. As for the travel industry, international travel has now become a possibility again. But now, the questions shift from when to how. "How will we recover from the COVID hit?" Long story short, in this article, we're going through various strategies for reopening hotels. Let's plan for a grand reunion today!
Don't Just Stand There. Operate!
It is evident things will probably never be the same as before the pandemic. Remember our carelessness? How did we not wash our hands a hundred times a day? Well, good for you, because we will probably never go back there!
The whole point of this pre-pandemic post-pandemic juxtaposition was to prove we changed our behaviors. So, when we're reopening hotels, we can't expect the travelers not to double-check the pool before diving in or chugging the champagne before sanitizing the cork! Anyhow, we believe the safety and health protocols are so mandatory nowadays that it's not even a winner's card. Safety protocols are not a plus in your reviews. It's just a must-have.
Therefore, it's time to take action. Maybe you will need to rethink your approach to this whole reopening hotel trend altogether, so be it!
Respect the Travelers' Need
Though it's not been easy because the travel (and tourism) world had been stale for a while, we studied the traveling trends and behaviors in the post-pandemic world. A fascinating lead we've got so far is the increase in sustainability in travel. It's a new trend, really. The number of people who look to travel more responsibly is increasing day by day, and we believe it's all courtesy of COVID opening our eyes to how careless we were in the pre-pandemic world.
As a matter of fact, you'll need to respect the travelers' needs. Not only because it will attract more people to your property, but also because it increases your hotel review ratings! Studies show higher ratings on ranking websites and online magazines attract even more people to your property. Especially millennials!
Also, we strongly recommend that you take a look at our sneak peek into the travel industry trends of 2021. Rising above the competition is all about being the first. So, you can beat the competition by being the first (and the best) at fulfilling travelers' needs.
Need the Travelers' Respect
Here's a simple question. Do you know your guests? Probably not, maybe yes. The truth is, you'll never know for sure what your guests think of their experience at your property. But you definitely need their respect. Here's what we offer you to do before reopening your hotel: Learn what attracts the travelers' respect.
Studies show family-oriented packages attract Generation X and the so-called "Silent Generation" more than they attract the younger audience. While on the other hand, flexibility, usage of brand new technology, refundable accommodations, and discount packages attract the younger travelers - Gen Z and Millennials. The point here is, if you're going to invest a thousand dollars in attracting travelers, make sure you take aim before action!
Reopening Hotels is "Manageably" Costly
Imagine this; you want to lower your costs, so you recklessly fire some of your staff. And then, to fill the void, you opt for contactless check-in technology. The idea is good, but is it actually worth it from a more financial point of view? This is exactly why many hospitality properties were permanently closed after the COVID hit because they didn't simply calculate!
You may already know how costly it is to keep your property temporarily closed due to the pandemic and, ultimately, the lack of travelers. However, rushing to reopen is not the answer either. It may actually put you all in reds when you reopen your hotel once more to the customers, but the costs are more than gains!
Also, looking at the trends and the needs of travelers, travel gadgets and brand-new technologies are being searched everywhere. So here's one question only you as a property manager can answer: are you going to invest in technologies that streamline your operational efficiencies in the long term? (Like Property Management Systems or Smart Locks)
The "Reopening Hotels" Race
In conclusion, it doesn't seem like the competition is that rough. As mentioned before, some properties have already gone out of business due to the COVID hit. Bad news for them and good news for you. Fewer competitors! However, we believe it's best to watch your every step. No one is exactly sure how long it will take for the travel industry to recover fully. So, the logical thing to do is not to go all-in at once.
On another note, travel strongly depends on regional restrictions. Some countries might recover way faster, while some countries may not recover at all. So, if you're not sure, you better grab the newspaper to see what's off-limits and what's not first!