News | 24th March 2020

COVID-Council for Hoteliers – Daily Revenue Updates

 

Here you can find all of our latest revenue advice for hotels during the coronavirus crisis, updated daily.

Last updated: 11:25, 30th March 2020

How can I protect my existing guests and build a database?

Keep your guest engagement going. It’s not about selling, it’s about showing that you’re there to help. Take away all restrictipons for future bookings and make sure you communicate this to your guests. Make sure your pricing is flexible, and that when your guests come back, you’re there ready and open for the bookings.

What’s the most important thing for me to do right now?

Don’t panic. Make a short-term plan of what you want to achieve. Nobody really knows what is going to happen, but it’s important to plan for the rebound. If you are offering discounts, consider a fenced discount, and make sure you are thinking carefully about the segments that you are targeting. Also make sure you are looking at the location of your audience so you can target them specifically with discounted promotions.

Can I switch off all my OTAs?

No, you certainly don’t want to switch them all off, but you do not have to give all your inventary and rates to OTAs. Make sure you have a strong book direct campaign on your website and that you’re communicating that with your audience. Whether it’s late check out, early check in, removal of restrictive cancellation policies when booking direct, there are certain things that you can do to make sure your guests come to you. OTAs are very good at communicating well with bookers, from their intuitive booking system to extensive imagery and copy, and you need to replicate this on you website. 

The majority of our bookings are corporate, how do I price for their return?

This takes us back to our fenced discount argument, and it’s important not to blanket discount your rates. However, if the majority of your corporate bookings are going to struggle for budget, make sure you have a conversation with them so you can understand who your corporate guests are, what their budget is, how much business they’re expecting to put through you, and when that business is going to come back. Your rates can be lower for your corporate guests and higher for the public. 

I haven’t really had time to look at forecasting before, where should I start?

We start with the budget, and in normal circumstances you work your budget over 12 months. A budget really is a prediction of room nights, occupancy, and rates that you hope to achieve. Then you look at the audience - leisure, commercial business, groups - and how this audience is split. Each of these audiences will behave in a unique way and will all have differing pricepoints, so tracking the business that is coming in from these segments is important. In short:

  • Compare budget
  • Set your forecast
  • Predict the business
  • Monitor this on a daily or weekly business

This way you know where your marketing spend is going, what is being produced, and where to focus your efforts. 

Updated: 16:30, 27th March 2020

  1. Don’t panic - this can lead to making bad decisions like discounting pricing or switching channels off. Revenue management exists as a co-strategy with marketing and staying focussed on this will help when things start to rebound, which they will.
  2. Have a plan - think about the actions that you would like to take to focus on during that rebound. 
  3. Discounting will be inevitable, but we advise that you look at qualified discounts where you won’t discount your public rates. Instead, consider packages, f&b credits, add ons, and making sure that you are flexible. What will make someone want to come and stay with you? How do you help your community through this?

Updated: 09:06, 25th March 2020

  • Do not cut rates too fast or too deep, hotels will be slow to recover
  • Add value, our voucher method for refunds is mentioned here equally, free transfers etc.
  • Target new segments with intuitive promotions
  • Reconsider your competitors, protect your market share
  • Reforecast your accommodation
  • Guest experience is key
  • Keep an eye on the pace of recovery
  • Business travellers may return first

Updated: 09:29, 24th March 2020

Everyone is looking forward to ‘returning’ to the new normal.

  1. Pay attention to the changes of consumer mindsets, consumption behaviour and lifestyles to enable more flexibility in your annual business plan, marketing and channel strategy, and investment plan. Put more focus on at home occasion marketing.
  2. Accelerate digital transformation and bring digital initiatives into the real business such as increase investment on online to offline channels.
  3. Strengthen brand-owned digital platforms and embrace social eCommerce.

What will travel look like after the coronavirus?

  1. International travel will fall out of favour as people stay closer to the safety of home
  2. "Staycations" and road trips will be favoured over flying or cruising
  3.  A softer economy will mean the traditional two-week summer vacation could turn into a long weekend

Updated: 10:01, 22nd March 2020

Ensure your reservations teams are briefed on cancellation terms. Offer guests a full credit (a voucher is ideal - see our Gifted platform) and NOT a date move. Demand will return and managing your revenue across your segments will be CRITICAL to your recovery.

You may choose to offer a refund, of course. This advice applies to date moves.

Right now, you are undoubtedly seeing negative demand. This will recover and it will take some time. So be prepared and ensure you are in the best place to recover your accommodation sales.