- 8 April 2020
- Posted by: Martina Baldo
- Category: Destinations
The hotel industry is certainly coming to terms with the global health emergency. Whether you are in the areas most affected by the problem or not, in order to better address the situation, hospitality.net reports that accommodation facilities should develop an emergency management strategy, equipping themselves with a crisis management plan, devising revenue management and digital communication strategies that are effective in the medium to long term, and that can promote a rapid recovery after the emergency is over.
The strategy should include a thorough communication with clients, internal staff and local stakeholders, and should focus on two main aspects: the prevention plan and the digital strategy.
Develop and communicate a prevention plan
For structures that are not in a semi-closed scenario, as for example in Italy, it is essential to draw up and share a prevention plan that focuses on their staff and guests. In this way, potential customers can be reassured by a positive and safe climate, putting them at ease. At the same time, the employees of the facility must be informed and aligned on the measures to be implemented. The message communicated by the brand should be unified and consistent, offline and online (social media, website) – on B2B and B2C channels.
Measures are welcome that can stimulate potential customers to book, or in any case that can generate a climate of trust, such as the cancellation of cancellation fees or proposing, to those who are forced to cancel their trip, a discount on a future stay. It will then be necessary to manage, in addition to possible cancellations, also new bookings (in less affected areas), providing information on the prevention plan and useful advice on the stay.
Preparing the digital strategy
You need to start with an assessment of the impact that the emergency has generated on your business. Key factors such as the occupancy rate over the different years or the average length of stay can be useful for the analysis, as well as a careful observation of tourism trends towards your destination or the impact of the emergency on activities in your area, also taking similar historical macro-trends (e.g. SARS).
To acquire reservations, it is recommended to focus on the channels with the best cost-benefit ratio, such as direct booking: the advantages for the customer in booking on these channels should be at the centre of communication.
A valid strategy can also be to promote oneself to different targets: for example, if one’s structure is related to air transport and a decline in the sector is expected, it is advisable to focus communication on those who travel by other means. This can mean focusing on the locals: targets of tourists geographically close by who will be able to dedicate themselves to staycation (out-of-town trips) because they are unable to go elsewhere.
Maximising revenue seems more important than ever: every single sale can be exploited, proposing for example to business travellers to extend their stay for leisure purposes, discounting additional nights. Revenue can also benefit customers who are members of a loyalty program: offering them benefits such as room upgrades, gadgets and discounts on ancillary services can increase their confidence in the structure.
Finally, hospitality.net recommends to focus on customisation. If you already use a technology that allows you to customize the communication according to the user, it is advisable to direct a different message depending on the target: the locals will be promoted staycation packages, the markets most affected by the consequences of the emergency will be communicated the absence of cancellation fees, the less affected targets will be communicated the prevention plan aimed at reassuring guests.
At Twissen we observed that communication is one of the most important levers in dealing with the consequences of the current health emergency. Targetising the communication, after analysis of the targets and the internal situation in your market, can be useful to shorten the recovery time when the emergency starts to return.
She graduated in Intercultural Development of Tourism Systems and she has a passion for foreign languages and cultures. Since 2016 she works as administration and tourism project manager at Twissen.