Impact of the coronavirus on hotels and recovery plan – Hotel-Online


GCommerce Solutions | March 23, 2020

What is the current digital marketing landscape for the hospitality industry? First, let’s summarize the wider impact of COVID-19 on the industry.

Current impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry

According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), the hospitality industry has lost 1.5 billion turnover per room and is set to lose $ 1.4 billion a week due to COVID-19. Over the past few days, we’ve learned that many hotels have already closed their doors or are considering doing so in the immediate future, all due to the impact of COVID-19.

While these numbers are staggering, let’s take a look at what our digital hotel marketing data is telling us:

· Advertising dollars fell 23% between February and March 2020. This is directly due to the decrease in search volume and market demand for each hotel.

The average cost per click (CPC) has increased since January 1, week after week:

The average number of transactions decreased by 46% compared to the same period last year with the same sample size

That said, another set of statistics tell us that there is light at the end of this dark tunnel:

· Transactions still take place in almost all hotels. GCommerce has averaged a ROAS of 130X across our entire portfolio for the month of March so far.

· The average time between booking a reservation and the arrival date is 90 days. Travelers dream, plan and look forward to their summer vacation, especially after being quarantined.

Here’s how to help your hotel now during the COVID-19 crisis

Even if your property is one of those that has had to shut down for a few weeks or a month, be prepared to start broadcasting travel messages in late spring and summer. Here are ten hotel marketing tactics to start right now to prepare your hotel:

1. If you haven’t done so already, waive your cancellation fee policies for now. Travelers are looking to plan ahead and book their trip, but if they’re unsure about doing so, they want to know that they will be able to cancel without penalty.

2. If your property is closing, notify your hotel’s digital marketing agency or the person who manages your Google My Business listing so you can update your “Open” status to “Temporarily Closed”.

3. If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time when your hotel isn’t full to schedule a photo or video shoot, now is a great time to start thinking about doing it in early summer.

4. Be prepared with Drive Market and staycation messaging. Think about it, how long will it take before you are ready to fly?

5. If you’re in a destination where the outdoors plays a part in the overall experience, find a way to creatively take advantage of it. After being stuck at home for so long, travelers will want to connect with nature. (If you’re still open now and looking for ways to get people to book for a trip in April, this is a great way to market your property.)

6. Talk to your guests and be honest with them. They no longer need to hear what you are doing on the property to make it clean and safe. Send them an email communication to let them know that you are expecting better days and can’t wait to see them soon. Better yet, ask them what they want to see from the hotel to make them feel comfortable traveling. Co-creation is pure gold.

7. On a related note, use social media to reach your audience by acknowledging the situation while staying true to your brand. For a good example of this, check out Marquis at sunset“Social channels.

8. Promote gift card purchases as a way for loyal fans to support your hotel’s activities during this time.

9. Focus on updating your hotel’s website content and messaging to not only inform visitors of the current state, but also to help capitalize on any existing demand for direct bookings. Platforms like Triptease are a great way

to help personalize messaging for segments that still show interest in your hotel.

10. At GCommerce, we are using this time to deepen our search engine optimization efforts while paid media is lower than usual. If you are managing this in-house or are using a subcontractor, ask them what can be done to develop your content and increase your rankings for relevant keywords and topics.

If you’re looking for help getting your hotel marketing ready for life after COVID-19, contact GCommerce. We are ready to begin.

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