How do you put your hotel on track for success and capitalize on the new opportunities opened up by the travel rebound?
As the person responsible for managing the day-to-day operations and financial performance of your hotel, you are likely facing a number of challenges right now. Ongoing staff shortages put pressure on time and resources. The rapid pace of change also makes it difficult to know which direction the market is going and what you should be doing to attract customers and fill rooms.
But none of that should stop you from taking your hotel to new heights – with the right tools and guidance, you’ll feel confident making decisions that drive bookings and revenue while freeing up time to so you can focus on the things that only you can do.
That’s why we’ve put together some key market insights and customer trends you can act on today to ensure your hotel’s success as we enter a new era of the travel diamond. Read our tips to help you identify key opportunities for your hotel and create relevant experiences that attract the right guests in these rapidly changing times.
1. Prepare for new customer behaviors
The pandemic has spawned new breeds of travelers with very different expectations. Being able to meet their needs is critical if you want to capitalize on bookings and ensure your customers’ needs continue to be met. Two important new travelers to know about are the “hybrid traveler” and the “outdoor enthusiast”.
Global business travel is seeing some early signs of recovery, but the shape it is taking is diversifying. Hybrid and remote working practices are now the norm in many parts of the world, with “leisure travel” (a combination of business and leisure) likely to become a mainstay of hospitality.
Likewise, recent years have taught many hotels the importance of maximizing outdoor space. Air quality, socializing outdoors and connecting to nature will continue to be a priority for guests.
When it comes to travel bleisure, be sure to optimize remote working facilities in rooms – this includes free and reliable Wi-Fi and more desk space. Consider investing in specialty packages like “Workspaces by Hilton,” which includes spacious desks, ergonomic chairs, and enhanced Wi-Fi. You’ll also want to make the most of your hotel’s outdoor spaces by investing in fixtures.
Be sure to highlight these facilities in your online marketing to ensure hybrid travelers and outdoor enthusiasts can easily find you. Target guests on paid search with relevant keywords and invest in personalized website experiences that convert using targeted messaging (as shown in the image above). Partnering with the right vendor can automate all of this for you, freeing up valuable time that can be better spent elsewhere.
2. Get ready to upsell! The “revenge trip” has arrived
Customers are ready to splurge on their trips to make up for a period of closures, restrictions and general unpredictability. A recent study by Expedia found that more than two-thirds of Americans (68%) plan to go far on their next trip. It’s been dubbed the “GOAT” mindset – the “greatest of all travels”.
Travelers have a new appetite for excitement, elation and a sense of having made the most of their stay. At Triptease, we’re seeing a clear trend of high booking values on channels like metasearch, which means customers are generally willing to spend more.
Be sure to invest in opportunities to maximize upsell potential and generate additional revenue. Wondering what experiences to invest in? Think room upgrade options, premium airport transfer, and luxury extras like spa treatments, champagne, dinner, and live entertainment. Customers want to think big, so be prepared to satisfy them.
Targeted Triptease posts advertising luxury accessories
Now is not the time to lower your prices. Rather than luring guests in with price reductions, hotels are in a unique position to capture guests’ attention through incremental spending opportunities.
Use non-branded keywords in paid search that attract customers looking for high-end, more luxurious travel. Reinforce that with targeted messaging on your website featuring luxury deals your customers won’t be able to resist.
3. Go big or go home – leverage your unique experiences as a guest
22% of Americans in Expedia’s Travel Trends Report say they want to step out of their comfort zone and 19% seek to immerse themselves in destinations, cultures and experiences different from their own. This is your chance to get creative with what you offer your guests.
Think about what you can offer at your hotel, but also about local businesses you could partner with to create truly memorable packages. From hosting pop-up events at your restaurant to offering discounted admission to local attractions and festivals, provide your guests with the kind of “locals only” knowledge and experiences that only you can provide.
If you are a city hotel, consider becoming an “urban resort”. This is a new kind of hotel that has the facilities and the escape of a resort stay, but in an urban setting. Think about the facilities you already have and how you could bundle them together to create resort-style experience packages at your hotel. Some examples include hosting cooking workshops at your restaurant, cocktail-making masterclasses, yoga, pilates, and even “sleep alchemy.”
Be sure to leverage these new experiences as much as possible with website personalization tools to help drive bookings. Use targeted messages to personalize your onsite customer experience and features like Triptease’s Save the Search messages and dynamic retargeting ads to ensure that customers who leave your website can easily return. To funnel high-value traffic to your website, you’ll want to invest in paid search and metasearch to ensure your hotel and direct price is visible to viewers online.
4. And don’t forget… automate time-consuming tasks to focus on the essentials
Limited time and resources can often push marketing to the bottom of your agenda. But don’t let staffing shortages cost you the huge opportunity offered by the rebound in travel. Choose a partner who can automate this part of your job so you can focus on the things only you can do.
Want to learn more about the latest travel trends and opportunities? Download our comprehensive guide to the future reservations landscape for more in-depth insights and actions you can take to capture demand in 2022.
Triptease is a SaaS startup that creates cutting-edge software for the hospitality industry. The company was co-founded in 2015 by Charlie Osmond, Alasdair Snow and Alexandra Zubko and has offices in London, New York, Barcelona and Singapore. Triptease’s most recent funding was led by British Growth Fund alongside Notion Capital and Episode 1.
The Triptease platform is designed to help hotels regain control of their distribution and increase direct revenue. The platform identifies a hotel’s most valuable guests, then works across the entire customer journey – from acquisition to conversion – to ensure they book directly at the hotel.