For approximately 10 years leading up to the recent pandemic era, budgets were increased each year, divvied up, and turned into individual sales goals that were then tied to bonuses. With the seemingly endless string of years of an up market, sales bonuses became an expected part of the compensation. Were these sales bonuses truly justified based on performance? Or were they achieved mostly due to good fortune?
For probably a decade now, I have almost daily been reading articles and blog posts about how todays hotel guests prefer to interact with technology rather than humans. Of course, it is not by coincidence that most of these are authored by executives who are peddling the latest essential guest technology. Often these articles and blogs are accompanied by survey results to supposedly support the theme. Yet when I look for details on sample size and methodology, I usually find there is no mention of these, or I find that the survey was conducted online with a very small, self-selected sample size.
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and TrustYou present Do You Know Your Guests?, a new white paper that discusses how the pandemic changed guest behavior, including how they travel and what they expect from hotels; best practices for responding to guest feedback; and how automated solutions can help.
Ni hao? Namasté! Mingalabar! Kamusta! Hola! Ciao! Hospitality is everything about making someone feel welcome and nothing does that better than greeting them in their own language. Not only does it immediately put one at ease, it goes beyond the whistles and bells of gorgeous interior decor and fancy fittings. It is the very fundamental spirit and soul of what hospitality is all about. An audacious claim?
Based on the conversations Im having with clients and contacts it seems that demand for groups and events is coming quicker than expected. At most hotels, salespeople have either been recalled from furlough or from helping to cover hotel operations. As they return to their old chairs, this is a great time for leaders to set new goals and/or for self-motivated sales supernovas to create new habits for themselves.
The implementation of three vaccines, earlier than previously expected, has positively impacted the recovery timeline. We currently expect annual occupancy for US hotels this year to increase to 57.2%, and average daily room rates to increase 8.0%, with resultant RevPAR up 40.1% from last year. RevPAR is expected to finish 2021 at approximately 74% of pre-pandemic levels.
Covid has utterly changed the travel and tourism landscape perhaps permanently. It may be true that 50% of people are very keen to travel right now, but the other 50% will need reassurance. Meanwhile, tastes and expectations may have altered subtly in the long, long year since the pandemic started. For example, Brazilian, Chinese and Mexican travellers are looking at international travel in 2021, whereas Canadian, Japanese, Italian, German and British are more uncertain.
Vaccinations = Vacations for Many Americans but Travel Providers Will Miss Out if they Dont Tailor Marketing and Communications Appropriately
For all the challenges that Covid has created in the travel industry, it has also taught us some important lessons. First among these is that survival and growth depend on pivots, innovation, evolution new approaches and new ways of thinking. Were reaching a point when its time to start thinking about marketing again and that raises an important question. Where do you turn for the expert marketing thats going to help deliver your recovery and growth in 2021?
For years now, hotels have been fighting desperately to win back market share from third parties such as Online Travel Agencies and thus reduce the cost of customer acquisition. Huge sums are spent on strategic initiatives such as ad campaigns, updating guest loyalty programs, improving organic and paid SEO, making sure the website tells the hotels story and ensuring a smooth journey from looking-to-booking.