The hotel business is becoming more competitive by the day, driven by the rising need for accommodation at popular travel destinations, but also prompted by the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic in particular has brought a lot of uncertainty to the hospitality industry as a whole, which is why business leaders and decision-makers need to adapt to the changing trends and prepare for the road ahead. Otherwise, you may find yourself gradually losing guests and falling behind the competition.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can improve your standing in the industry. From riding the green wave that’s sweeping the sector, to implementing digital transformation practices and to using alternative financing options, you can start building a more stable future for your brand.
Here are some of the best ways you can adapt to a post-pandemic world and take your hotel forward in the face of adversity.
Understanding the post-pandemic guest
First things first, business leaders in the hotel industry need to keep in mind that the consumer trends are constantly evolving and that the guest living in the new normal is different than they were before the pandemic. For one, the post-pandemic guest nowadays emphasizes greater hygiene and cleanliness in hotel establishments, which is why leaders need to invest in new solutions that will bring some much-needed peace of mind.
These solutions include more frequent sanitation and hygiene inspections, but also some innovative solutions like disinfecting stations for personal belongings, room keys, footwear, hands, and more. But cleanliness is not the only thing that modern guests are interested in.
Nowadays, travelers put a big emphasis on sustainability and green transformation as well, choosing to stay with brands that support the right causes as well as the local economy. After all, the modern traveler doesn’t want to associate their name and personal brand with a wasteful hotel that doesn’t invest in preservation and conservation.
Focus on digital transformation and digital channels
Digital transformation is one of the most important trends in the hospitality industry, and one of the most powerful ways to future-proof your business. It’s important to have a digital transformation playbook at your side to implement the software and hardware solutions that will make your guests happy, elevate their experience, and simplify your entire operation.
From cloud computing to free Wi-Fi in every room, and from ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems that centralize your entire operation to IoT devices your guests will love, there’s a lot of techs that can help your hotel business thrive in a digital age. That said, it’s not just about choosing the right tech, as you also need to educate and train your employees to leverage these technologies and bring more valuable experiences to your guests. What’s more, using the backed technology to its maximum potential will allow you to run a more efficient business as a whole.
Ensure financial stability without relying on your guests
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainties to the modern hospitality sector, one of which is cash flow instability and a lack of consistent financing. In these unpredictable times, you can no longer rely just on your guests as a viable source of revenue, and you need to explore other options to solidify your financial standing.
When people take too long to pay your invoices, the last thing you want is to wait around until the money lands in your account. This could set your operation back considerably, as you need a steady cash flow to run a hotel. That’s why it’s a good idea to use debtor finance services that can get your outstanding invoices settled quickly and gain access to funds that you can use for operational expenses, but also innovation and growth.
Diversify your booking and engagement channels
In the digital world, people want to be able to interact with their favorite brands across several different channels. Also called customer touchpoints, these channels allow your brand to engage with potential guests in real time and on the platforms they like using the most. Creating these omnichannel experiences is a powerful way to boost brand engagement and recognition, but also diversify your digital marketing.
You can use various online channels to grow your hospitality brand with content marketing, by delivering relevant stories and messages directly to your audience. You can also use email, SMS, and DM marketing to engage with them in meaningful conversation. What’s more, it’s important to build a presence on all relevant booking websites to boost your conversion rates.
Monitor the trends and forecast with accuracy
Lastly, always remember that the key to long-term success is to keep monitoring the relevant trends. The more industry data you can compile, the more accurate your forecasts and predictions will be, allowing you to prepare for the next crisis or capitalize early on a new opportunity. Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution here, instead, you need to monitor the trends in your niche and location to generate reports that matter to you.
Over to you
The hotel industry is always changing, especially during a time of crisis. Make sure to future-proof your business and continue attracting new guests by investing in these solutions.
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Related article: The Ultimate Digital Transformation Plan That Will Rescue Any Hotel
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About Are Morch
Hi, I am Are Morch. Your Digital Transformation Coach helping hotels create unique and unexpected experiences by freeing up resources to focus on new ideas through value innovation and a growth mindset.