There’s no denying how the hospitality industry has boomed in recent years. This sector consists of four segments: travel and tourism, foods and beverages, lodging and accommodation, and leisure and recreation. It caters to the needs of people for these key aspects.
But as the travel and tourism industry thrives, so is the hospitality sector. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic put all these on hold. Many businesses in the hospitality sector have temporarily closed or made the necessary adjustments. On top of these businesses are the hotels and lodging services.
If you own or run a hotel, here’s what you can do to survive the pandemic:
1. Assess the impact of the pandemic on your business
The pandemic has severely disrupted various businesses in the hospitality industry. Due to the travel restrictions and shelter-in-place orders, many hotels have either closed or had a partial operation. Below are some issues the hospitality sector is facing during the pandemic:
- Low occupancy
- Property closure
- Financial repercussion
- Ongoing operational costs
- Uncertain operation timeline
If you’re running a hotel, be sure to assess the impact of the pandemic on your business. Identify which areas need your attention. From there, you can sit down and plan on what actions to take.
2. Determine the pains of your target clients
As the pandemic affects the hospitality industry, so are the clients. These clients have no choice but to comply with the pandemic protocols. Instead of traveling and seeking accommodation elsewhere, they end up staying at home instead. For this reason, many problems have arisen, such as the following:
- Home isolation: Lockdowns and quarantines can take a toll on individuals’ physical and mental health.
- Work from Home: WFH may negatively affect remote employees, especially when separating personal and professional life.
- No leisure and recreation: Having no outdoor activities can lead to all sorts of issues, from stress to anxiety down to depression.
It’s best to study and understand the pains of your target market during this pandemic. From there, consider how you can address their problems and serve their needs.
3. Provide relevant offers to clients
To thrive as a business in the hospitality industry, consider offering valuable services relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, your decision depends on what your business and target market needs. After evaluating your current business situation and client needs, you’ll be able to come up with great offers.
First, provide accommodation for clients needing a ‘staycation’ away from home. Also, set up rooms ideal for a ‘workcation’ and ensure a stable internet connection, devices, and other resources. You can even go as far as offering a meeting room for hire. Lastly, consider providing recreational vehicle (RVs) rentals for clients who want to go on road trips.
4. Set health and safety measures in place
Establishing health and safety measures is a top consideration for your hotel management. Doing so isn’t only for compliance with the pandemic protocols. The goal is to keep your rooms free of the novel coronavirus and ensure your employees and clients are always safe. Lastly, this responsible action helps your business curb the spread of the COVID-19 infection.
Common health and safety protocols include the following:
- Mask wearing
- Hand sanitizing
- Frequent hand-washing
- Social distancing
- Regular room disinfection
- No sharing of facilities, tools, and supplies.
5. Employ digital marketing strategies
A vital aspect of your hotel business is implementing digital marketing strategies. Let your clients know that you continue to operate and can provide for their leisure and recreation needs. Also, assure them that you have standard health and safety measures in place. Below are some online marketing forms to employ:
- SEO: Search engine optimization entails optimizing your hotel website, writing relevant content, and building backlinks. SEO will help your business gain online visibility and website traffic amid the pandemic.
- PPC: Pay-per-click advertising involves creating and displaying ads on search results pages, other partnered websites, and social media. However, you must pay for every click, although this will drive potential clients to your hotel website.
- Email marketing: Don’t forget to send emails to your prospects and regular clients. Let them know that your hotel continues to operate and that your rooms are all safe.
- Social media management: Consider marketing your hotel and promoting your pandemic-relevant services via social media. You’ll be surprised at how potential guests will inquire and eventually end up booking hotel rooms.
A year after the COVID-19 outbreak, the hospitality industry is gradually recovering. Many hotels have started to reopen this year. If you own one, be sure to evaluate the pandemic’s impact on your business, understand your target clients’ pains, and provide them with valuable hotel offers. Also, don’t forget to establish health and safety protocols and implement online marketing campaigns. All these will help your hotel business survive and thrive, even amidst the pandemic.