News | 20th May 2020

Preparing for Recovery post Covid 19

5 steps to consider when re-opening your hotel

We know that the global coronavirus outbreak has had an unprecedented impact not only on the travel and hospitality industries, but our day-to-day lives. As the world begins to recover, and we start thinking ahead to what life will look like post-covid-19, we have put together a simple 5 step plan of key considerations to help hoteliers plan for recovery.

Step 1 : Identify who your key markets are and what there expectations will be

Attitudes and behaviours have undoubtedly changed, and it is paramount that you understand and listen to what your guests now expect in order to fully prepare for the reopening of our industry.

Understand your audience by identifying which customer segments will be comfortable travelling to your hotel and using your facilities. We anticipate that the primary focus will be on your local leisure market, followed by continental leisure, groups and MICE business. Later down the line, we’ll expect to see a rise in intercontinental travel.

The expectations and messaging of each of these audiences will differ and it's important to adopt the right messaging for each phase.  Plan ideas around what you can offer these target groups to encourage them to stay. How can you appeal to them and  what incentives can you offer them? 

Step 2 Identify how you want to communicate with your audience

Like most other things, as we emerge from this, the way we talk to our guests will change. Over the past month, brands have turned to engagement strategies via social media and email marketing to maintain relationships with their consumers. 

These have been heavily focused on community, health, and wellbeing, and this messaging has been full of goodwill and empathy - caring is the new currency! Your strategy moving forward will need to maintain this focus. Don’t go straight back in with the hard-sell. 

Step 3 Plan your revenue strategy

Marketing and revenue strategies need to go hand-in-hand. It’s important to be organised and plan your budget for the next 12 months so you can work backwards to your budget line. Understanding the needs of your guests is essential for determining how you can incentivise them to stay, and will help you to plan elements such as packages, add-ons, and your OTA strategy. 

Step 4 Reward and incentivise loyalty

With the outbreak having a significant impact on trust, guests will be more likely to stick to what they know. This is why it’s so important to nurture your loyal audiences first and reward them appropriately.

Step 5 Prepare your campaign messaging, channels and marketing budgets 

When it comes to planning your campaigns, we recommend breaking your activity down into three clear strategies: short term (0-3 months), medium term (3-6 months), and the longer term (6-12 months). Having a clear strategy will help focus you and your team, whilst encouraging you to be reactive and adapt to the changing market conditions.

While it may seem like a lot to consider, being as prepared as possible will only strengthen your hotel’s position when your reopening date arrives. This pandemic has affected the travel industry more than anyone could have imagined, however, this doesn’t mean that we can’t emerge from the other side ready to face the new opportunities that are presented to us. 

The full report is available online   Journey_Preparing for recovery post COVID and if you would like more information on how we can  help you create a tailor made marketing strategy for your property, please contact a member of our team at hello@journey.travel