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“When we thought we had the answers, all the questions suddenly changed” – Mario Benedetti In the shoes of a Hotel Revenue Manager

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Photo by Ciel Cheng on Unsplash

 

The main players in the tourism industry, mired in uncertainty, await concrete actions from governments. We eagerly await the details of the implementation of health protocols, many changes are expected;

  • Capacity
  • Traceability
  • Temperature controls,
  • Restrictions in common spaces of hotels
  • Sanitation and cleaning standards
  • Ways of using transportation, beaches, airports, among others.

Many are already planning strategies about how to act during the first phase of recovery, but the question remains; when will they be able to open?

Daily, Hoteliers discuss how to face this crisis.

Will the summer heat help us reduce the spread of the virus? There is talk of a possible vaccine that will come soon, and a certificate to travel, will clients only be able to book my hotel when this vaccine is available?

We are making investments for when we open, we will have doctors based at the hotels 24/7, we will have alternative distancing, but how do I communicate this to my clients? How do I build the confidence that encourages people to travel back to my destination and my hotel?

Restrictions for leisure and recreation activities within hotels have been discussed, avoiding crowds as a preventive measure for contagion, and they ask themselves: “Shall we close the pools? Will we limit the spaces in my hotel to guarantee security measures? What leisure activities will my clients do? And if my spaces are limited, what activities could they do outside my hotel?

As Mario Benedetti once said, “When we thought we had the answers, all the questions suddenly changed.”

On a weekly basis Incubadora Revenue   brings together revenue managers from various locations to meet and share concerns, ideas and strategies about how they are facing and managing this crisis. Thanks to this space and my own experiences as a Startup in the Travel Industry, I am able to understand and study their concerns. Perhaps I am trying to understand our role as a startup and how can we somehow contribute to facing this crisis.

Week after week, hungry for answers, hotel revenue managers yearn for  the days when their concerns were managing price parity or questioning the best ways to deal with the commissions they must pay to OTAs.

 

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

 

Today many wonder about how to bet on customer acquisition tactics for the 2021 season. They discuss strategies for reimbursing their clients, talk about segmentation and celebrate good news together, any ray of light can give a little bit of hope.

The consensus; “We want to open operations and offer our hotel as soon as possible, but also with the responsibility of having Post Covid measures that give guarantees and security to our clients.” 

There is much concern about the segmentation and coordination that should be done with the hotels’ internal marketing areas and with the DMCs, because despite the fact that hotels take measures to manage the crisis during the confinement (and after it), the question is how can they build trust to encourage people to travel again. “This sector will have to reinvent itself to continue selling happiness, which is its business. Tourism sells culture, leisure, gastronomy, traditions,… and now we will have to also sell security.”  I agree with this statement that recently appeared in the Díario de Sevilla.

And when? Well, we don’t know. But what we do know is that we will get out of this. According to Sojern, a firm specializing in managing information from the world of tourism; “Spain is one of the best placed territories (in terms of traveler searches) to get around the situation once the danger has been completely cleared. The search for tickets to Italy for the month of January 2021 grows 148% compared to the end of this year; in France the increase is 276% and in Spain it is placed well above both countries with growth of around 500%. Last week I participated in a webinar organized by Sojern, If  you missed it,  you can watch it here.

This news fills us with hope, and as you can see from the webinar, there is hope, but we still have important questions to answer. Daily, I try to surround myself with professionals who, together with me, want to be part of the future of the travel industry . 

As Socrates said: I only know that I know nothing, but in this current situation, I would reply to him with another phrase that someone once told me, and as a Startup I repeat myself over and over again:

The best way to predict the future is to build it.

Shall we?

Let’s schedule a call and let me tell you how Soundwalkrs can help you include self guided tours with  your reservations . Schedule now here.

 

[1] MARÍA JOSÉ GUZMÁN Diario de Sevilla

https://www.diariodesevilla.es/opinion/articulos/necesitan-buenas-noticias_0_1459654132.html

 

Analucia LeCompte

Founder and CEO

Soundwalkrs