The wait is finally over, and scores of travellers have booked or are on their long-awaited summer holiday.
For you as a hotelier this is cause for excitement: business is finally picking up and guests are returning.
But are you sure you’re giving them the best stay experience possible? And what about the potential new restrictions in some areas?
Whether things are starting to look close to “normal” or you’re still dealing with the pandemic safety measures, there are plenty of ways to wow your guests.
Check out these summer deal ideas and read on for a rundown of ways you can fulfil your guests’ desires under these unique circumstances. It’s time to make this the summer holiday they dreamed of during lockdown.
The summer of revenge travel
The summer of 2021 is different from any other. After going through two or three lockdowns, people in many countries are finally getting vaccinated, and travel restrictions are loosening. Unfortunately, there’s already talk of stricter rules again in places with rising case numbers. But for now, this summer season still looks promising overall.
Consumer studies back this up. FuelTravel found that 79% of survey participants said they were planning a trip. 33% wanted to take more vacation days than they did in 2019. The Travel Technology Association’s ‘Future Travel Enthusiasm in the Age of COVID-19’ report tops this off with 33% of respondents saying they’re ready to shell out more money than usual for travel this year.
After being cooped up inside, unable to travel and explore for the better part of 18 months, many want to catch up on things they were deprived of. This creates the ideal base for revenge travel. Below, you’ll learn five things you can do to allow your guests to make the most of it.
Provide new and different experiences
Travellers today want an unforgettable experience, not a mere hotel stay. Think with Google recently released data that shows 43% of Millennial and Gen Z travellers are looking for things that are “new to me” while 38% want their trip to be “adventurous.”
Working with local partners is a great way to offer this. Collaborate with them to promote interactive, immersive experiences that engage guests in new ways. Think about hands-on experiences you could host on-site as well. That could include a cooking or mixology class or a flower arrangement tutorial. Get creative here and leverage your USPs, your location and your brand identity to set yourself apart from the competition.
Create a relaxing environment
The pandemic brought high levels of unfamiliar stress for many people, whether at work or at home. While a few days at your property won’t erase a challenging year, it can still provide a much-needed break and rest.
So, how can you help your guests relax more during their stay? Evergreen offers like a spa day, yoga and meditation sessions are especially popular these days. Even simple services like childcare are in high demand among parents who want a few precious hours to themselves.
But what about adding a little twist? A nature walk or guided hike near your property could make things more interesting. This could also open the doors to more extensive offers like a full-day lifestyle workshop in partnership with local guides and wellness coaches.
Prioritise your guest’s wellbeing
Fear of Covid will remain among travellers for the foreseeable future. Consequently, safety and hygiene will remain top priorities that impact booking decisions and how much people enjoy their stay. Maintain your new cleaning and safety procedures and inform guests about how you’re protecting their health.
Extra services centred around health are a good option as well. This could be a kit including masks, hand sanitiser and gloves or the option to have all meals in the room instead of the restaurants. Provide a contact-free experience by letting guests opt-out of housekeeping and offering online check-in/-out.
Be as flexible as possible
When the pandemic began, many travellers couldn’t get their money back because they’d booked non-cancellable rooms and flights. Today, they’re wary of this option. Think with Google found that 56% of people now want increased flexibility and control over their trip.
Adapt to this trend and offer cancellable bookings with clear terms and conditions. Sell them at a premium compared to the fixed rates if that’s possible in your market.
Embrace technology and automation
Loss of revenue and the resulting budget cuts have left many hotels with reduced teams. Paired with high demand over the summer, this can result in operational difficulties. Fortunately, you can make life easier for your team with the right tech stack.
This will have benefits for you and your guests. Your staff will have a lighter workload. Guests will get good service. And on top of that, you’ll have extra opportunities to generate ancillary revenue and personalise people’s trips.
Here are five upgrade options for your property’s tech suite:
- Internal communication platforms: do away with messy paper trails, ensure all messages reach the right staff and provide more efficient service.
- Online check-in and check-out: lighten the load on your front office and speed up check-in and check-out for your guests.
- Business intelligence solutions and an RMS: monitor your competitors, maintain your positioning in the market and seize every revenue opportunity with the help of reliable data.
- Direct guest messaging: simplify guest communication, so they receive a fast response to inquiries and requests.
- Automated upselling: use it to inform your guests about add-on services at your hotel, so they can tailor their trip prior to check-in. You’ll be rewarded with higher guest satisfaction and added revenue in all departments. Not sure which deals to offer? Check out these summer deal ideas!
Yes, that’s a long list of things to implement. You don’t have to do it all in one shot though.
Choose the option that will most strongly benefit your guest experience and your operation. The good results will give you traction for further updates. Boosted review scores and increased revenue will follow. It’s time to make this summer an unforgettable success – both for your property and your guests.