Following the “lost year of travel,” many people are looking forward to new travel experiences in 2021. Many are hungrier than ever to leave their home, explore new destinations, and feel as if everything is finally back to normal.
The new vaccine rollout is a huge step towards making that happen. It has increased traveller confidence and caused a rise in travel demand and bookings that might help leisure travel rebound quicker than we thought.
If everything goes well, OTAs and hoteliers should have their hands full this summer, with all of us enjoying plush robes and pools in hotels and relaxing on a beach somewhere.
Before this daydreaming can turn into a reality, hoteliers should take certain steps to make the most of the growing traveller’s confidence.
Whether you’re a hotel owner or manager, the latest industry insights and tips below will help you get more high-value bookings and maximize hotel revenue. Take a look.
Understanding Traveller Behaviour and Preferences
To make the most of the rising travel demand, you need to understand today’s travellers. They did a 180-degree turn, so you’ll need to dig into the latest industry insights to understand their behaviour and preferences.
According to a global “The 2021 Upgrade” report, we’ll witness a spike in spontaneous travel this year, with 29% of respondents saying they would drop everything and leave the same day if an opportunity arises.
The research also found that 32% of travellers want to make spontaneous decisions, with 89% of US travellers saying they’ll be more impulsive in 2021 regarding their bookings.
What’s more, 28% of respondents say they want to avoid planning a trip, while 24% are looking to say “yes” to new experiences.
Another global traveller study revealed that technology would help 84% of travellers be more confident to hit the road in 2021, with 42% preferring mobile apps that reduce physical touchpoints and provide real-time COVID-19 notifications regarding their destination city.
The survey also found that 47% of baby boomers plan on taking longer trips of at least two weeks in 2021, as long as they can physically distance themselves.
If there’s anything to learn from these findings, it’s that hoteliers should make strategies for seizing last-minute booking opportunities. They should also expect longer stays and embrace technologies for providing a seamless guest experience.
Where to Promote Available Rooms to Get Higher-Value Bookings
There are many ways to promote your hotel rooms and get more bookings. Your website is an obvious choice, but you should look beyond it as well.
Promote your hotel on social media, but market the location, too. For instance, if there’s a popular festival in the city, use it as an incentive and showcase why your hotel is the best choice for festival adventures.
Make marketing strategies with your OTA partners to promote available rooms on their blogs and social channels. Build relationships with travel bloggers and influencers who will also tell the world about the benefits of staying at your hotel.
One of the best ways to get high-value bookings is to partner with local businesses to co-promote one another. You can also join forces in organizing contests to give travellers a free city tour, for example, if they book a room at your hotel. Another option is to use Instagram to build stories. You can also collaborate with influencers to spread these stories further, as they usually have a substantial following.
How to Offer Maximum Value for Traveller Money
Offering maximum value comes down to providing a seamless guest experience.
What does that mean?
On the one hand, it means ensuring your staff and guests’ health and safety, that is, regularly sanitizing the rooms and physical touchpoints. It also means embracing contactless tech to reduce or eliminate physical touchpoints and offer a safe hotel guest experience.
On the other hand, it’s all about personalization and customer service.
Offer incentives (e.g., discounts) for first-time guests and customer loyalty programs for returning guests. You can capture last-minute bookings with incentives like discounts, upgrades, and value-added items, such as event tickets or restaurant vouchers.
Go above and beyond in customer service to meet every guest’s needs. Utilizing hotel management software can help you achieve that.
With reliable software for hotels, you can provide excellent service before, during, and after their stay. You can reduce or eliminate physical touchpoints, boost staff efficiency, improve guest satisfaction, increase occupancy rates, and maximize revenue.
Don’t just sell rooms! Rather, build packages that provide a safe and exclusive experience to your guests. People want some alone time, and hotels need to ensure that they offer some relaxing services, site seeing options, as well as destination-based packages. They need to offer an exclusive cultural experience.
Strategies for making the most of the growing traveller confidence aren’t much different than what you’ve already been doing before the pandemic. The only difference is meeting the new needs and preferences of travel-hungry consumers and ensuring their safe and comfortable stay. You need to have as many services as possible (mentioned above) if you want to stand out.