While travel is on pause, hotels around the world have temporarily shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some hotels are still accommodating guests and essential workers on the front lines.
As the pandemic progresses, it is important for hotels to have an action plan in place. This action plan must address the current state as well as the future when travel demand starts to rise.
Below are 6 digital strategies that your hotel can implement while travel is on pause.
1. Develop a COVID-19 policy
If you haven’t already done so, develop a policy that ensures your guests you are taking every health and safety precaution. This helps put your current guests and potential guests at ease. Is your hotel implementing the 6 feet of social distancing rule? What is your elevator policy with the new social distancing practices? How often do you disinfect the lobby? These are key things to consider. Include this policy on your website, social media, and email newsletter.
2. Communicate with your guests
Include a letter from your hotel’s General Manager on your website. This letter should show empathy and understanding of your guests’ potential worries during this difficult time. Let them know you are taking every precaution to ensure their stay will be safe, comfortable, and enjoyable.
3. Update your FAQ page
Your current FAQ page probably includes check-in time, check-out time, if you’re pet-friendly, whether you have parking, etc. We are living in very different times, which is why you must update the FAQ page with questions you think your guests would want to know. Some questions include a new cancellation policy, your elevator policy, your lobby policy, and of course, whether or not you are open.
4. Implement a flexible cancellation policy
Foster loyalty and future bookings by implementing a flexible cancellation policy. Times are uncertain, especially for the future, and your guests will want the flexibility to cancel a reservation if need be. This policy should be included in existing and future reservations. By implementing a stress-free cancellation policy, your guests will feel more confident to rebook.
5. Give back to healthcare workers on the front lines
Healthcare workers and first responders are on the front lines each day, risking their lives to flatten the curve and save those inflicted by this disease. Now is the time to give back by offering discounted or free rooms to healthcare workers that need to self-isolate from their families.
6. Get creative on social media
Many hotels across the world are taking advantage of the new normal that is virtual living. Some hotels have found innovative ways to bring luxury travel to their guests, virtually. This is a great way to lift the spirits of your guests who had to cancel their travel plans. Share recipes, bed-making tips, fun activities for families, or a DIY spa treatment!
Whether or not your hotel is open or closed, it’s important to have an action plan for the future. Implement these practices to put your guests at ease, and to let them know we are all in this together.