The internet is crammed with articles focusing on preparing hotels for after the coronavirus. New ways of checking in guests, changing cleaning habits, and a new approach to ensure social distancing are subjects that are flying around. We don't have the knowledge to advise on these kinds of issues, but we do know a lot about connectivity! In this article, we'll give you tips for boosting your online room sales and about booking channels, so you can prepare in advance for after the coronavirus.
- The importance of being bookable 365 days in advance
- Make updating your prices easier
- The rising popularity of packages
- The Channel Manager is essential, especially now
The importance of being bookable 365 days in advance
We've said it before, but we encourage you to open all rooms at least one year ahead. Nothing's more frustrating for a booker, longing for a nice holiday for next year, to see no availability at your property. In the SmartHOTEL Channel Manager, you can open your rooms up to 1,5 years ahead, although this doesn't happen automatically. It requires a data push from the property management system, or if you don't have one, a manual action in the Channel Manager Extranet. If you're struggling to do so, please contact our support team to help you out.
Make updating your prices easier
Some hoteliers are already making use of the functionality, but we see a lot of accounts where an automatic price calculation isn't set up yet. Maybe that's a well-considered choice, but it's also possible that you don't know that managing your prices can be much easier. If that's the case, we advise you to contact the support team and ask about the possibilities of setting up automatic price calculations for your hotel. The nice thing about that is that you only have to manage a base rate, and then we’ll calculated all the dependent rates automatically. This way, when the business gets busier again, you'll have more time left for other things.
The rising popularity of packages
In our blog about travelling after the coronavirus, we've already mentioned it: packages are likely to become very popular among (local) travellers. A long weekend away becomes even more interesting with an attractive package deal, an opportunity that you as a hotelier can take advantage of. You can go for the well-known package, which resembles a version of ''2 nights + dinner''. Although there's nothing wrong with that, we encourage you to come up with more original packages, so that you stand out more. Have a look around and see if you can team up with local entrepreneurs to create a unique experience. Make sure you don't lower your prices too much, because especially in these times you want to make some money.
Booking sites such as Lastminute.com and Expedia are good places to offer your packages. But don't forget your own website! Via your booking engine, you can easily offer any package you want. But, keep the number of arrangements limited, because having too many options often leads to bookers not making a single decision at all. That's what you want to avoid, of course! Don't have a booking engine on your website yet? Then have a look at the Smart Booking Engine.
The Channel Manager is essential, especially now
Probably every hotelier noticed it in the last few months: the cancellations have flooded in. In good times the channel manager is an indispensable system, but in a time where almost no reservations are coming in, the channel manager is still very important. The availability is automatically updated with every incoming cancellation, making sure you don't have to manually update it later.
The channel manager is the link between the booking system, the booking sites, your booking engine and other connectivity systems. The hotel sector is in slumber now, but there will come a time when the business is running at full speed again. Based on your wishes, the channel manager can adjust the work pace, taking the manual tasks off your hands. It makes preparing your hotel for the time after the coronavirus much easier!
One step at a time!
A channel manager relieves your workload, and it makes it a lot easier to respond quickly to the supply and demand for hotel stays. For this reason, don't say goodbye to your channel manager system in these challenging times (if possible). With the right systems and the accompanying tips, you can prepare your hotel for after the coronavirus.
Maybe this article isn't for you yet, because you're currently focusing on keeping your business afloat due to the corona crisis. Hopefully, at a later stage, you'll be able to check this article and benefit from our tips and tricks. Take it one step at a time!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call +31 (0)182 75 11 18.