Due to the rapid spread of the Covid19 virus and the declaration of a pandemic by the WHO, almost all countries in the world have introduced some kind of restriction on movement and travel. Many of these countries additionally recommend their citizens to be extra careful in the coming months when deciding on travel and choosing a destination.
Owners and managers of hotels, hostels, and private accommodation are in uncertainty, while new decisions are made from day to day and often change on a weekly basis. Those who have made the decision to continue doing business have a difficult task ahead of them to stabilize their business.
It is evident that external assistance with more favorable credit conditions is much needed by many in order to thoroughly disinfect the accommodation, to provide all the necessary equipment for work, and to ensure that the payment of salaries is stable. In addition, flexibility is an added advantage. Thus, we see that many hotels in the world are further improving and adapting their concepts. Certain hotels rent their rooms and suites on a monthly basis, to those who want to isolate themselves temporarily from others to those who are vulnerable to the situation or to people who need a temporary place to work until the office’s start to work.
Should accomodations lower their prices?
Low demand – price reduction, a decision like a book, but it’s not that simple. This reduction decision is more accessible to apartment owners, smaller hotels, and lower category hotels. This temptation needs to be addressed, because if lower prices further affect the quality of service, then there is a danger of a long-term problem. When a long-term problem manifests itself, guests may have doubts about the quality, ask for additional discounts and, in the end, temporarily increase income, bring additional complications.
Managers and owners must approach the creation of a pricing strategy carefully. Discounts and benefits are desirable but prefer to attract long-term stays and non-refundable bookings.
Follow the competition and current news from around the world! It is very important to keep up to date with the latest information. Whether it is actions that accommodations from your surroundings activate or the opening of the airport, you should be ready and form your offers on time. If a 4 * hotel lowers its price, then it becomes a competition to 3 * hotels and apartments, such a situation additionally changes the image on the market.
Get in touch with regular guests! Guests who frequent your stay or have expressed a desire to return again are likely to follow the news themselves to organize their potential trips. Free breakfast, discount for multiple nights, free transfer from or to the airport, spa package, can be just some of the options you can offer your guests again.
Don’t cancel trips, move dates – an action that many agencies and accommodations around the world practice. If you still have canceled reservations in the next period, inform your guests that they can only change their date of stay. Offer them potential alternatives or benefits in case they decide to keep their date or just change their stay.
Focus on individual bookings! Group bookings, GDS, travel arrangements, and business trips will take longer to recover. Individual bookings will return faster and success can be achieved more easily.
Your website and booking engine! Travel agencies and those who have contacted you through distribution systems are likely to want additional space for direct cooperation. You can create promo codes for these agencies in your booking engine system so that they have additional benefits for their reservations. This reduces dependence on distribution systems, and the question is how many of them will overcome this crisis and in what form they will be available later.
Local tourism – Design additional benefits for citizens. Accommodation outside urban areas, where they are less crowded, has special potential.
Everything we knew in previous years and what we predicted for this year must now be put aside. A new sheet opens and we enter completely new rules and adapt to them. The goal is to ensure that there is no new wave of the epidemic, to protect ourselves, our employees, our guests, and all potential guests and fellow citizens. During the holidays, greed should not be expressed and prices should rise drastically because guests remember and can easily bypass you next time. Plan your short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals, form a strategy that you and your employees will follow in accordance with the advice of experts and the current situation in tourism.