Back To Business: Guide For Hospitality Industry In Post Covid World

The global pandemic has disrupted lifestyles and the way people do business, but the impact is especially severe when it comes to the hospitality industry. With lockdowns all over the world and severe restrictions on people’s movements, tourism and travel stopped completely. And this meant that businesses dependent on travel and hospitality were the hardest hit.

Research on the effect on the hotel industry suggests that the recovery to pre-COVID-19 levels could take up to 2023. Reports indicate that occupancy is down by 96% in Italy, 68% in China, and 59% in the United States, and may continue in nations that still have restrictions on traveling. But while the unlocks are beginning, how can hotels and the hospitality industry build trust with its customers?

As we go back to living life in the new normal, hotels and hospitality, need to make systematic changes to win back trust. So here is a guide to help you create a reliable and strong strategy to get back to business in a post-COVID-19 world:

Embrace touchless services

With social distancing norms in play, are there any processes that can be automated or transformed into touchless services? From in-app menu cards, online orders to touchless payment options, embrace the benefits of advanced technology to make services seamless and touch-free. This will help you cater to your customers better and also ensure you are following safety norms.

Implement online bookings and payments

Travel restrictions and the general uncertainties around the world may result in a lot of customers preferring to travel later. Innumerable travelers are planning their dream holidays and waiting for the right moment. Help them plan their holidays with you by enabling online booking and accepting bookings.

If you want to make sure you have only the serious customers book rooms, accept online payment for bookings with free cancellation options for a limited time.

Update your website and deals

In the new normal, people are waiting to restart their life as it was before the pandemic. And these people are already looking for holiday destinations and plans. So create a website that has resources and content that will help the user trust your brand.

Leverage the power of digital marketing and tourism marketing to combine the best of both worlds. It is a great time to start an online blog, update your website to be flawless in terms of user experience, and give the user a flavor of your hotel even without them ever visiting you. 

Focus on sanitation

The post-COVID-19 world is all about safety and ensuring that sanitation is the primary focus of every hotel. From sanitizing the premises, properly cleaning each room to creating a sense of trust, make sure you are putting your primary focus on clean habits and sanitation. 

Given the contagious nature of the virus, make sure you are implementing all the health and safety measures, and keep not just the customers but also the staff away from any harm. Consider updating the protocols and refer to the health policies that are suggested by the local authorities. And don’t think about the added operational costs, for it is a lot better to be safe than to lose the trust of your customers! 

Use to downtime for maintenance and renovation.

The business may not go back to usual, given the present circumstances, but that doesn’t mean you should shut your hotel altogether. Have you meant to give your premises a fresh new look or revamp a few aspects of the hotel to be livelier? If the answer is yes, now is the best time to take up any maintenance and renovation work.

To begin with, create a plan of all the improvements that you wish to make and start coordination to ensure it happens before the unlocks begin. In addition to a complete renovation, you may even do a full sanity check of your premises to ensure everything is functioning correctly. This can be any AC, lights, safety checks, or faulty equipment at your premise that needs repairs.

Enable loyalty promotions for your customers

Do you have any promotions or special offers for your loyal patrons and returning customers? If not, now is the best time to think of a strategy to entice the repeat customer to come back to your business.

Whether it is a special weekend offer, food and beverage discount, or special services offered inclusively with the stay, think of ways to make the experience a lot more rewarding for your customers.

Offer services that are the need of the hour

Tourism is facing issues primarily due to the restrictions and uncertainties at various places. But while hotels may still be allowed to function, can they staycation be customized to suit the needs of today? While work from home is the new normal, how about offering services for the business class?

Offer special packages for weekdays for the working professional, to get them the peaceful stay of a resort while also doing their day-to-day activities. Ensure high-speed internet connectivity, easy access for conducting meetings, and refreshments to help your patrons combine work and leisure. What’s more, customers may even stay longer and enjoy some time away from doing the household chores to relax and unwind.

Start meal delivery services.

Almost all the top hotels have buffets, restaurants, and in-house bars that are now entirely shut down. But while getting customers back to the restaurant may not be an option, it doesn’t mean your customers can get any of your services right now! 

Start a meal delivery service to ensure your customers can order their favorite dishes and enjoy them at home. Food delivery is an essential service and will help you stay operational while generating steady revenue as customers have limited choices in current times. Tie up with local delivery outlets and ensure maximum safety to remain functional in the on-going pandemic! 

Target millennial travelers through video marketing

Though there is a temporary halt to tourism, the emotion of wanderlust is sure to pick up once things start going back to normal. In these times, the hotels that catch the eye of millennials and new-age travelers will be in demand. Millennial and Gen-Z travelers use social media and online mediums to make their travel decisions, and you should be in their list of go-to destinations.

Think of ways to make your property enticing to this audience. From breathtaking views of your property to facilities like holistic living services, infinity pool, luxurious rooms, and a lot more, the new age traveler needs to feel the pull to come to your hotel.

Create an inspiring video and give your customers travel-goals or nostalgia with incredible content. Shoot a video and get it edited like a pro using an online video maker to ensure you are at the top of your game!

Fabrizio VanMarcino