Some businesses have actually thrived and grown during the pandemic. That is obviously not the norm. If you sell laptops, the pandemic has been very good for you. If you sell webcams, then there has never been a better time to be you. There was a time near the beginning of the pandemic when the hottest-selling product was toilet paper. Let’s hope we never see a repeat of that moment.
Not all industries were so lucky. The travel industry has taken it on the chin. Every part of that industry is on the ropes. Restaurants are suffering to the point of being on the edge of collapse. There can be no travel without food. Airlines are constantly hit with restrictions limiting where they can fly. When travel takes a hit, so does the rental car industry. There are also no entertainment venues, which used to be one of the big drivers of travel. Finally, the hotel business will go the way of restaurants if things don’t pick up.
Despite this dire reality, there is great hope amid the disparity for the travel industry. Some experts believe we are at the door of a dramatic rebound. It is not hard to understand this optimism. All those canceled weddings, graduations, and vacations will not stay canceled forever. Multiple, highly-effective vaccines are fueling this optimism. Beyond optimism, you need a marketing plan. Here is what that plan should include in 2021:
Attention to Cleanliness
Hotels in Los Angeles have many of the same challenges as companies promoting co-living Los Angeles style. People will be wary to rent living spaces occupied by others if they don’t have the assurance that every effort has been taken to deep clean the space for maximum safety. Successful marketing will mention the frequency and quality of the cleaning.
It is all about reassurance. Even after the COVID scare has passed, people will still be wary about the things they can’t control. You have to let them know that you are watching out for them and that you are going the extra mile to make sure the customer and their loved ones are safe. It is not enough that you clean at the highest level. Your marketing has to reflect that as well.
One of the big changes in travel habits is lack of certainty. Some percentage of travel plans are going to always be in doubt because life is complicated and things happen. You always have to make room for the unexpected. That said, things are very different from the usual. There is a lot more uncertainty about the future. People get sick. Events get cancelled.
If you want to get people to feel comfortable about making travel plans with you, some sort of free travel insurance is a must. It doesn’t have to cover everything to be a good deal. And it also doesn’t have to be free as in beer. It might be that you have to charge a little more for your rooms so that the insurance is built into the price. But that will be seen as a good tradeoff. If you want to increase bookings to your hotel, make travel insurance a big part of your messaging.
Extra Mile Service
This is no time to offer the usual level of service. People are coming to you with more than the usual level of stress. Service with a smile is no longer enough. Your guests need to feel like royalty. It is not enough to tell them that their room will be safe. You know what is safer than your room? Their home. They need to know they will be safe. But that is not why they are considering a stay at your hotel. Everyone will be offering safe rooms and travel insurance. You need to offer them the time of their lives. Make that your message and they will make your hotel their destination.
The travel industry is not dead. There are good reasons to be hopeful. A lot of people are about to resume traveling all at once. Give them a reason to choose your hotel over the competition. Let them know they will be safe, insured, and in for the time of their lives.