The Hospitality Covid 19 Commercial Challenge

What to do with your hotel business in this time of Covid19 lockdown.

The priority for tourism businesses

should be on operational commitments to ensure the safety and well-being of staff and employees. A review of Operational Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) updated with Covid 19 measures to include government guidelines with training should be the no.1 operational focus to protect the business.

Financial Budgets built on customer segments

Businesses will also need to amend their financial budgets and commercial strategies to develop robust financial plans to make a success of the challenging situation. Financial budgets built up from the bottom on a customer segment basis can be easily adjusted as certain key segments will be missing for a while. Financial forecasting can then be made more accurately which is imperative to plan how a business can re-open profitably.

Commercial Reality – Limited Customer Segments

Tourism businesses will no longer have a broad range of customer segments to target (such as leisure groups, weddings and corporate meetings and events along with overseas visitors) for a while and will have to work more creatively to adapt their product offerings to develop the limited number of remaining active customer segments.

Creative marketing messaging

Creative domestic individual leisure messaging is key in this competitive market and businesses must capture the customers current needs and feelings. There is a large pent – up demand for guests to “escape” from their homes and the more rural locations and establishments which portray access to the great outdoors will benefit. Guests also want to spend quality time with their loved ones that they have been missed so longer stay packages to focus on how your location / property can accommodate this will be key with ideas to spend this times together including meals will work well.

Domestic Individual Leisure Segment Focus

Hospitality businesses will now need to focus more on the domestic individual leisure segment. This will make the domestic market far more competitive as more properties target these segments. Businesses will have to firstly focus on re-booking cancelled guests into confirmed bookings and reaching out to their cherished contacts on their databases with regular ideally exclusive preferential offers

Safety is the no.1 customer priority

However, the no. 1 priority for today’s marketeers should be communicating the safety of the guests as this is the visitors no. 1 concern. Marketing teams should work with operational colleagues and effectively and consistently communicate the newly implemented measures and processes at every customer touchpoint in their booking journey; either in the form of a safety badge, a safety charter or simple flow diagrams. This key messaging on safety is the guest’s no.1 concern, more than cost, comfort and location and businesses who communicate this effectively and consistently will be the winners.

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