Since late February 2020 the hotel industry has been facing unexpected and unprecedented challenges due to Coronavirus.
These include a dramatic reduction in bookings with a corresponding increase in cancellations; and as travelers’ plans are subject to constant change web searches and traffic for luxury hotel websites is at times almost non-existent.
With the advent of COVID-19, the ultimate objective for all hospitality providers has been to keep guests safe and healthy. However, as vaccines start to become available, there is an end in sight to travel restrictions. Now is a good time to start mixing in some more optimistic messaging to your website content.
1. Talk About Coronavirus
Share your opinions and feelings about Coronavirus and the changes it has made in your hotel. This will connect with your audiences on an emotional level and promote the feeling that we have all shared this experience together.
Talk about current events, repost news on what’s been happening in your local area and share stories about what your staff have been doing during lockdown.
Although hotels have been hit hard by the virus, so have many areas of society and it’s important to engender a feeling of empathy. It also starts to draw a line under this unprecedented period and give a sense of moving on.
2. Share Your Hotel Reviews & Stories
As restrictions start to slowly ease, people will be eager to start travelling again, as they did in July, August and September. COVID-19 will still be top of mind for many people and it is important to assure them.
Simply telling your target market that their health is your top priority will not always resonate. Use social proof by sharing images, reviews and stories from other guests who have stayed and found their break to be both enjoyable and safe.
If prospective guests see this type of content, it shortcuts their decision making process with a ‘others are doing it, so we can too’ message.
3. Use Tips for Surviving the Pandemic
As well as important messaging about hygiene, try to mix in some more lighthearted articles about lessons learnt or what your team have been up to in the last 9 months. Maybe the cleaning staff could share their thoughts on returning to normality and the reception staff on looking forward to greeting guests again.
Hotel chefs can teach your guests how to prepare popular dishes at home with a view to testing them against ‘the real thing’ once they visit.
Short videos or posts about such a range of topics will engage both your blog readers and social media audiences and keep your luxury hotel top of mind.
4. Talk About Your Local Area
As visitors prepare to travel again, pique their interest with articles about your location. Although your luxury hotel maybe the focal point of a guest’s stay, this is a great opportunity to showcase your hotel as part of a wider community.
Blog posts about surrounding attractions, shopping opportunities, parks and local history create a buzz of interest and also showcase your property as having a beneficial impact for the whole area. This type of content is also great for local SEO as we discussed in this article
5. Don't Forget Welcome Back Packages
Using welcome back packages and special offers to drive room bookings should be high on your priority list. Welcome back packages could include:
- Extend your staycation in our hotel with a free extra night
- Special offers such as free dinner or spa treatment
- Upgrade upon availability at check-in
- One free extra bed for kids under 12
Your key consideration should be to try and preserve your rate as it’s extremely difficult to reverse cuts once a crisis has passed. Value adds are a great way of giving more without cutting prices.
Flexibility with your reservation and cancellation policies will be hugely appreciated by bookers. Once you have a booker’s details you have the option of offering the same rate for a future stay or converting to a voucher with a 10% uplift.