SmartHOTEL COVID-19 virus update
The current situation regarding the COVID-19 virus demands a lot from everyone. Not only as a professional within an industry that is entirely dependent on hospitality and tourism, but also as an individual, family member and friend. It requires each of us to continually treat this situation and each other with precaution and seriousness, but at the same time remaining rational and calm and think about the future.
Of course, we also see a painful trend happening at SmartHOTEL when it comes to the number of bookings versus cancellations. As a key system for sending booking information and managing prices, we find it important to say that we are in this together with you and your hotel business. We stand beside you and also want to pro-actively think towards the future, to offer a helping hand where you need it.
Advice to minimize the impact on hotel revenue
Maybe you've already seen some of the advice below (perhaps not), but we'd like to mention them again as they are important. Do you have any questions or uncertainties we haven't covered? Contact our Support & Consultancy team! We won't pretend to have all the answers regarding this situation, unfortunately, no one has. However, it can be helpful and comforting to have a chat or exchange ideas with us.
Communicate your measures to potential bookers
Of course, your current guests are aware of the extra precautions you have taken in terms of hygiene, facilities or desired social behaviour. Make sure you don't forget to communicate this to your potential guests as well. Especially during this period, bookers want to know what actions your hotel is taking to guarantee their health and safety. Mention it clearly on your website and booking channels (if possible) and in your (automated) emails. It would be a shame to miss out on new bookings because of missing information!
Be mindful of your pricing
You may be tempted to drastically reduce hotel room prices because you can’t offer as many amenities as usual or want to fill empty rooms. Please do not do this, or at least do it as little as possible. It does a lot of unnecessary damage to your revenue in the long run. Many of our partners have also mentioned this, and that's because it's of grave importance. Instead of lowering your prices, consider adding complementary products and services like a bottle of wine or a picnic basket.
Be critical of your online distribution mix
When we say: 'take a critical look at your distribution channels', we are not saying that you must disconnect all channels that attract fewer reservations. But if you haven't been actively reviewing your connections recently, now is the time to do so. In this blog, you'll find more tips on evaluating your distribution channels.
Focus on the local market
With so many travel restrictions, people are staying local. So, focus on your domestic market and open your doors to your neighbours. You can talk to the account manager of your local booking sites for advice. Side note: please do stay critical in these conversations (see points one & two). They are also feeling the effects of the crisis and may be inclined to give advice that only focuses on short-term turnover.
Stay focused on the long term
Continue with revenue management and focus on long-term goals. It may not look like it now, but lead times are increasing, and guests are still looking to book for later in the year! If you're not actively engaged in revenue management or marketing yet, now might be a good time to get more insight into it. On SmartHOTEL's blog environment, you can find many articles that provide more tips and explanations about revenue management, metasearch advertising, online distribution and many other topics.
Talk to us!
It's a bit quieter in our home-office at the moment, which means we have some spare time to reach out to you actively. The consultancy team will contact hoteliers to lend a helping hand on (for example) your current set-up and long-term strategies. If you urgently want to consult with us, don't wait until we connect with you, just contact us right away!
We also want to state that we fully adhere to the actions taken by our government. The SmartHOTEL team are working remotely from home and we have set up everything to ensure that support and consultancy services are just as accessible as usual. Also, as usual, open cases are dealt with quickly by our development team.
For more than 16 years, SmartHOTEL has been helping hoteliers navigate the exciting world of online distribution. From our office based in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, our team serves independent hotels, hostels and chains worldwide by providing channel management and tailored online distribution solutions. A lot has changed over the last years, but our goal remains the same: simply connect hotels to the world. For any questions regarding our services, please contact us at email@example.com or call +31 (0)182 75 11 18.