The pandemic caught us off guard as it hit our hospitality and tourism industry so hard that international tourist arrivals dropped to -72.2% in 2020 and many talented employees had to lose their jobs. And in 2023 as we are nearing the end of the year we see how in the aftermath of COVID-19, our industry is adjusting to the new normal.
As tourists are flocking to new destinations, some of you must be planning on new SOPs, and some of you might be using technology as a contingency plan – it all works! You have to have rules and strategies in place for long-term planning.
And if you are reading, “Want to Improve your Hotel Business in the ‘New Normal’? We have Solutions.” you are looking for strategies and ideas for the same.
Besides this, we will also help you understand the vital roles of digital transformation, team empowerment and sustainability in guiding your hotel business. So, let’s do it.
To fully grasp the solutions we have for you it is important to first understand the impact of the pandemic.
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Hotel Business
The impact of the pandemic was felt deeply in India and the world. A paper published in the International Journal of Management the effect on Indian Hotel Business by Dr Jasveen Kaur and Jobanjeet Kaur – Assessing the Impact of Corona Virus (COVID-19) on Tourism and Hospitality Industry in India- a Perspective Study stated that the occupancy rates and employee jobs were lost in drastically.
Employees losing their jobs in the Hotel Business
According to a report in Economic times, a whopping 21.5 million people lost employment in the hospitality and tourism industry leading to uncertainty and fear among all stakeholders.
Drop in the hotel occupancy rates
Hotel occupancy rates fell 20-40% while revenue per room for four-star hotels went down 65-70 %. The revenue for two-star hotels was also down by 50-60%. This negative impact on the hotel industry made us all think!
According to Smith Travel Research (STR) and Oxford Economics, hotel revenue around the world dropped to half of what it was. The operating profit per available room dropped for the United States (down 122.8%), Asia-Pacific (down 124.1%), Europe (down 131.9%), and the Middle East (down 124.1%).
But the situation has changed for the better in 2023. Revenues are rising as people are traveling again. Though the danger of a lockdown has not completely faded these three years have given us a lot to learn.
The pandemic sure taught us how to survive and how to build from zero which no college or classroom taught us. Hotel management is continuously planning and implementing innovative ideas acclimating to the ‘new normal’.
Let us look at some sure strategies that will help you sail smoothly through this time and will help you achieve success in the form of revenue.
Strategies for Hotel Business to Overcome Emergencies and Achieve Success in New Normal
Management- Improve your hotel business in the new normal
The hotel business has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are things that hotel managers can do to adapt to the new normal and achieve success.
First and foremost devise an emergency management plan. This plan should cover all scenarios related to emergencies including natural disasters, pandemics, and security threats.
Create a safe and healthy environment for your guests and staff. The cleaning and sanitizing procedures must be followed strictly. Also, maintain a healthy supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff.
Establish a connection with travel agents as they are a valuable source of bookings for hotels. Even during the off-season travel agents can increase your visibility to potential guests and generate more reservations.
Monitor your guest’s travel history to ensure their safety. It will help you to properly sanitize the rooms and take preventive measures if needed.
Implement low-season strategies. It is often very difficult to maintain a steady occupancy rate during low season, so come up with strategies for the same. Even during the off-season, there are things you can do to increase hotel occupancy and generate revenue. Like,
– Offer competitive rates and discounts to attract budget-minded travelers.
– Offer package deals that include accommodation, meals, activities, or other amenities that your hotel can provide.
– Run promotions for large groups of families or business travelers.
– Host events such as conferences, expos, weddings, holiday parties, flea markets or music festivals.
– You can also target specific markets such as business travelers, families or couples.
Staff Training for Improved Hotel Business
As any hotel owner would agree, our staff is the face of the hotel. Their interactions with a guest can make or break experiences. That is why training the staff is crucial.
– Provide ample training to the staff in safety and security procedures.
– Teach the staff to interact and inform them how to handle guests in case of threats.
– Train the staff how to use new technology like a mobile app or check-in systems.
– Empower staff to make decisions and actions. This will build the trust and faith of customers in your service.
Technology for improved hotel business
Post-pandemic era is all about good technology. Being in the industry we are seeing a steady rise in new technological implementations.
A few of them are:
– Mobile App for Booking and Tracking
– Mobile App for Food Delivery
– Software for training and work-from-home
– Robots for Cleaning and Guest’s Services
– Sensors for contactless services
– Resource Management apps
Apart from these, a few more technological changes are required:
– Using emails for email marketing
Email marketing is one of the best ways to market. You have to prepare an email list of your past guests and potential guests. Send them emails about your offers, coupons and other important dates.
– Build an online reputation
Focus on your reviews and ratings. Make sure the brand identity is maintained. It builds trust and reputation. This has long-term benefits as well. Reviews and ratings help bring new guests. So answer any questions or respond to queries online.
– Get registered on meta-search engines like Trivago and TripAdvisor. This will boost your visibility and reputation. This will also increase your reach to potential guests.
– Start a social media page
The pandemic has drastically increased social media users. So, make use of it. Social media posts by guests will also increase your brand’s exposure. Facebook and Instagram are good operations. You can also try Pinterest.
– SEO Optimize your hotel’s website
It will help to gain visibility on search engines like Google and Yahoo. The results are long-term and if executed properly will skyrocket your revenue in a few months.
After reading the technological strategies you might ask,
Why is it important for hotels to go digital, especially in this era?
Going digital is the new way to reach your past guests as well as potential guests. Though there are many reasons why you should go digital here we are providing 3 of the most important ones:
- Customers/guests are increasingly using digital channels to research and book hotels. According to the research data of Statista, Booking.com was the most globally visited travel and tourism website in May 2022. It had received 564 million visits in that month only.
- Digital technology can help your hotel improve its operations. You can provide a better guest experience. You can even offer mobile check-in and check-out, contactless payments, and much more.
- Digital marketing can help your hotel to reach a wider audience and generate more bookings. SEO and (pay-per-click) PPC advertising as well as social media marketing can help you create a buzz and bring more guests from all over the world.
Marketing for improved hotel business
The hotel and tourism industry has bounced back and make sure your hotel is prepared. Market your hotel effectively is poised to capitalize during this boom. But you might wonder if your marketing strategy is up to the mark.
– Develop a month-to-month marketing plan. A marketing plan will allow you to adjust your strategy with changes in travel demands changes and you will be able to learn from your marketing insights.
– Focus on lower funnel initiatives. As travel demand strengthens, you will want to focus on targeting potential guests who are already interested in booking a stay with you.
– Target local travellers. Local travellers or domestic travellers can help you maintain your hotel occupancy rate. You can attract these travellers with discounts and offers.
– Tap into new markets by offering unique packages and attracting new guests with a marketing plan.
– Join the current trends popular among travellers and make the most of them. For example, you can start catering to travellers who use voice-activated search to plan their trips.
Food & Beverages for your hotel business
Food and beverage is a key component of any hotel experience, and it can play a major role in improving your hotel’s bottom line. Offer your guests a variety of delicious and convenient dining options which will encourage them to spend more time and money at your property.
In addition to this,
promote your food and beverage offerings using advertisements on various social media channels.
Hospitality for Hotel Business
Hospitality is at the heart of the hotel business. Provide guests with a warm and welcoming experience and you can create a lasting impression and encourage them to return. Offer them a personalized service and be proactive while attending them.
Other Flexible Measures for Improved Business
- No hassle cancellations: Offer free cancellations for unexpected events like cancellations.
- Flexible upgrade: Upgrade guests to larger rooms for better work-from-home restrictions or in case of unexpected quarantines.
- Flexible check-in/check-out: Allow guests to check in and check out at times that are convenient for them, to avoid crowds and unnecessary contact.
Above all marketing and revenue management teams must work together to develop and adjust strategies regularly, based on demand.
These above strategies will help you overcome issues post-pandemic. But to gain complete favourable results you will have to see what works for you. Leverage your strength and come up with a plan. Monitor your progress and make changes for better results.
Above all, the marketing and revenue management teams must work together to develop and adjust strategies regularly, based on demand.
But if you feel it is difficult to let us give you an example of a legendary player in the Indian hotel industry – the Taj Hotels
Taj Hotels – What is their improved hotel plan
Taj Hotels, India’s leading luxury hotel chain, is revamping its age-old business model to achieve sustainable growth. The company is moving away from being a largely owner-driven company to one that is swiftly expanding via management contracts.
In FY23, 54% of Taj Hotels properties were owned/leased, while 46% were under management contracts. The company aims to achieve a 50-50 balance between the two by 2025. This shift in business model has helped to improve Taj Hotel’s EBITDA margins significantly.
In addition to expanding via management contracts, Taj Hotels is also focussing on developing new brands and segments. The company recently launched its new brands and segments.
The company recently launched its new brand, SeleQtions. SeleQtions is a collection of unique properties that offer a more authentic Indian experience. Taj Hotels is also expanding its budget hotel brand called Ginger. Ginger will cater to the growing demand for affordable accommodation in India.
Taj Hotels has revamped its business model and expanded into new brands and segments. It is well-positioned to achieve sustainable growth in the years to come.
The new normal presents new challenges for hotel businesses, but it also offers new opportunities. By implementing the solutions discussed in this blog, hotels can improve their operations, attract more guests, and increase revenue.
Market Your Hotel with Fielmente Business Advisors LLP
For professional help with marketing your hotel, contact Fielmente Advisors. We provide a client-focused, customized plan to attract more clients and bookings. Give us a call at “or mail us at ”. Book a FREE consultation!
Focus on digital transformation while offering flexible policies and procedures.
Also, focus on guest safety and well-being which can be achieved with new and innovative products and services.
Online booking, contactless check-in/check-out, free cancellations and enhanced cleaning/sanitation protocols are new normals in the hotel industry.
Excellent customer service, high-quality accommodations and amenities, affordable/competitive pricing and marketing will help you thrive.
Investing in staff training, implementing technologies and conducting regular surveys will help you improve.
A dedicated team, high-quality accommodations and amenities and a commitment to improvement and innovation will make you successful.