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Most Effective Ways Hotels Can Generate Revenue During the Pandemic

Wanny Mei
BY
Wanny Mei
March 1, 2021
hotel swimming pool photo during daytime
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, the hospitality industry continues to struggle. Occupancy is inevitably lower than usual levels, as people avoid non-essential travel as much as possible. Over the past year, the hospitality industry has adapted new procedures and technologies to facilitate safe hotel stays. Updated cleaning protocols and contactless solutions have become more and more common. Now that most hotels have the infrastructure for providing safe service during the pandemic, here are a couple of strategies to generate more hotel revenue.


three people having a toast using three clear crystal wine glasses



Upsell to Guests


While there won’t be as many guests staying at your hotel nowadays, you can still offer those guests special deals they can’t say no to. You can leverage your various hotel facilities and services to upsell to your guests. While you might not be able to employ every service at the moment, there are a few contactless services that you can offer no matter what, such as room upgrades, early check-ins, and additional amenities.


Since hotel occupancy is lower than pre-pandemic times, there are probably several of your more select rooms available at any given time. Offer your guests an upgrade to one of these rooms for a more comfortable and pleasant stay at a discounted rate.


To make the deal more attractive, highlight the bonus benefits of the upgraded room, and use a percentage off discount rather than a whole value off (e.g. 10% off of a $250 original price sounds better than $25 off, even though they are the same).


Another way to upsell guests is to capture estimated arrival times and upsell early-check in when applicable. No matter where guests are coming from, they want to get to their rooms as soon as they can and relax after traveling. Allow your guests to check in early for a small added fee.


You can also upsell additional amenities, such as a bottle of wine or a breakfast delivery. Take note of any services you can safely facilitate, and promote them to your guests to generate additional revenue.




Invite Past Guests Back

       

In general, it’s easier to convince past guests to stay at your hotel again if they had a good experience the first time. Past guests have already built an expectation around your quality of service. Even if they stayed at your hotel in pre-pandemic times, they already have a certain level of trust for your hotel, so it can be easier to invite them back to stay with you again.


By creating loyalty programs, you can offer attractive deals that repeat guests can’t ignore. Loyalty programs can help to build stronger relationships with guests, and you can rely on strong relationships to help keep your business afloat during difficult times. If guests have had several great experiences at your hotel, they are likely to be more invested in supporting your business.


Your hotel can use remarketing strategies to invite past guests back directly. By effectively targeting previous guests with charming and personalized messaging, you can get more direct bookings.


Learn about how 1906 Lodge drives direct bookings with Akia.



fruit salad on gray bowls


Facilitate Contactless Dining Options


If your hotel has a restaurant, you can still use that to your benefit by managing a contactless dining service. Guests may not be able to safely dine within your restaurant, but you can deliver food orders to guests’ rooms instead.


By setting up a contactless dining service, guests can simply send in their orders to hotel staff via text message, and the staff can process the order and payment. Aside from maintaining social distancing guidelines, contactless dining also offers convenience and comfort for guests, even after the pandemic passes.


Many people are accustomed to other delivery services nowadays and are willing to spend a little extra to have that convenience. Considering this trend, hotels with restaurants have the opportunity to run their own dining service that delivers food to guests’ rooms.


Akia sample SMS marketing campaign for locals


Promote to Local and Domestic Travelers


Staying at home all the time can get boring and make people feel restless. Although there are limited entertainment options open and available, sometimes people just need the experience of being in a new and different environment. Even if people don’t leave the hotel much during their trip, it can still feel like a vacation.


To appeal to locals, you can position your hotel as a “staycation”, where guests can relax, not too far from where they live. Or, you can invite them to a special event dedicated to locals.


Your hotel can also promote to more distant domestic travelers. Studies have shown that 72% of Americans are still willing to travel during the pandemic, and 91% of Americans are more willing to travel domestically.


Road trips have been a popular way for Americans to travel as a safer alternative to other modes of travel. Americans have been exploring and frequenting many outdoor attractions, like national parks, beaches, and forests. If your hotel is located near an interesting outdoor attraction, you can highlight those places in your marketing messaging.



laptop and water bottle on a desk next to a plant


Enable Work From Home Set-Ups


Another way hotels can attract more guests is to highlight features that enable a suitable work from home set-up, but from your hotel. People may want to work from a different location for a number of reasons. Maybe there are too many distractions at home, or some people just need to be in a different environment to feel productive. No matter what the reason is, hotels can position themselves as ideal locations for people looking to work from home, from outside of their home.


While maintaining cleanliness and having desks available in hotel rooms are a no-brainer, high-speed internet connections and strong cybersecurity systems are important for a more seamless work-from-hotel experience. Slow internet speeds can be frustrating, and it can decrease overall productivity. Weak cybersecurity systems can also make your guests subject to cyber attacks, and sensitive work documents could be at risk in that situation. Not only is that a terrible scenario for your guests, but it also decreases trust for your hotel.


In your messaging, highlight the availability of desks, high-speed internet connection, and cybersecurity systems in place. If your hotel doesn’t have these features, consider investing in them. Even in a post-pandemic world, these are very beneficial to the overall guest experience.


In Conclusion


The pandemic has cut down business for the hotel industry, but the industry has demonstrated their resilience in these difficult times. Many hotels have adapted their operations to function safely, and they can continue to adapt to the new normal by finding innovative ways to generate more revenue.

Step-by-step hotel marketing plan 2021 by Akia

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