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“Opportunity and Availability are Often the mother of invention” (David Byrne, American Musician). COVID Crisis management & the Hotel revenue question

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Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

 

These are uncertain times, nevertheless the travel industry will transform, and as David Byrne says, Opportunity and Availability are often the mother of invention, the industry will indeed reinvent itself.

As the tourism industry counts its losses one can only admire the capacity for collaboration the sector has shown in these difficult times. We have noted that travel professionals are reaching out to each other, even reaching out to their competitors to somehow see a little bit of light in this very dark COVID crisis tunnel.

Incubadora Revenue (IR) is a case in point, a collective initiative and hotel revenue managers movement, led by Marian Ruiz. IR has brought together revenue managers from the industry to discuss and share best practices It has become an important discussion platform for hotel revenue managers to find ways and strategies to generate revenue (however and whenever possible) during the COVID crisis.

IR has done a poll among hotel revenue managers, most of whom are located in Spain. The poll reveals the main tactics revenue managers are implementing to generate as much revenue and as early as possible. The results show the initiatives related to stimulating sales such as:

  • opening up to new distributors
  • optimizing distribution channels with the same tariff
  • providing privileges with dynamic tariffs to capture last minute reservations
  • allowing refundable cancellations
  • extending the summer traveling season to November
  • beginning to negotiate the 2021 season

(See the results of the poll here)

 

Photo by “My Life Through A Lens” on Unsplash

 

Whether it is leisure or business travel, luxury or budget, domestic or international, big changes are coming to the industry,  and at least the ones that we are able to anticipate, will oblige us to re-evaluate our sales strategies.

Some experts mention the importance of paying close attention to foreseeing the source markets. In the case of Spain this is particularly challenging, given it’s high dependency on international travellers. The fear that domestic market consumption will not be enough to replace international demand is the elephant in the room (in the webinar room in this case), but it seems that the travel industry in Spain has understood that the summer holiday season will be very different this year, and locals that live in destinations that suffer from over tourism, will look back with nostalgia to the days they complained about having tourists overcrowding their cities.

 As an industry we are all forced to predict and understand the type of traveler that, under the current circumstances, will proceed to reserving your hotel. For example, if the first ones to travel will be millenials, hotels will be forced to rethink their marketing strategies, channels, pricing and overall product value proposition.

What kind of strategy can they implement to sell hotel rooms and nurture new market segments? This question is even more important if you may have products that have been traditionally sold to baby boomers, or families, for example.

And last but not least, how can they diversify their revenue streams?

They will have to think about how they can get the most out of the travelers that will be willing to travel in the early Post Covid period.

Until operations are back, and room revenues climb back up hotels must  think outside the box and look to diversify their revenue streams and as such look at upsell opportunities that can match the demands of this new market segment.

Thinking outside the box is certainly one of the main skills we will need to draw on to recover from this crisis, and with uncertainty being the status quo, one thing is for sure: there will be winners after the pandemic passes, will you be one of them?

Hotels may be available for early Post COVID travelers, but hotels today must ask themselves, are they available for innovation?

Lockdown gives us one thing: time on our hands. Time to revise and catch up with new technologies that are here to help us. To all hotel revenue managers that want to think outside the box: we are here for you! Let us talk about how we can integrate self-guided (physical distancing) tours for the Post Covid early traveler on your upsell strategies.

Lets talk! here.

 

Analucia LeCompte

Founder and CEO

Soundwalkrs