Hotel commercial teams that analyze the new normal, identify the target group's updated needs, and craft new offerings that will attract the returning guest will be winners during the recovery.
Many hotels outside large cities have seen a substantial recovery of domestic leisure travel. As a result, the summer of 2021 will even be better than the summer of 2019. However, the media is still full of articles about different virus variants and talking about a fourth wave in the fall. The media will never give up scaring us because these tactics bring in the most revenue by increasing clicks and more advertising. Vaccinated people will start to live an everyday life when they return from the summer holidays.
Convenience will be the new normal
Daily life will mostly be the same as before the pandemic, but everything will not go back to how it was before. So a good starting point to understand the new normal is to think about everything that has become easier. For example, many meetings will continue to be virtual because it saves time, costs and minimizes climate impact. Therefore, business travel will take longer to recover. These changes will stick and are now habits that will be hard to change. Next, the commercial team needs to analyze the impact of all these changes on the hotel business. When the hotel has done this, it is time to plan and align the team towards the same goals for 2022.
The first part of goal setting is to have a clear vision of the target audience that the hotel wants to attract. Next, the commercial team must answer the usual questions:
- What is the reason for travel to the destination?
- Whom will the destination attract?
- What are the needs of these target groups?
- How can the hotel meet these needs?
- What offerings at what price will win the guests?
Hotels might need more than one target audience to optimize the available capacity for higher revenue.
For every target group, the commercial team needs to plan what to offer, at what rate, and how to market the offer to capture guests. More thorough planning means that the commercial team needs to focus the resources on 3-5 target groups to yield the best return on the time and money spent.
The marketing plan for each target group should include:
- A description of the target group
- The reason why they come to the destination
- When in time they come to the destination (seasons, day of week)
- Their needs while at the destination (broad to better understand)
- How well the hotel can satisfy the needs
- A well crafted offering to capture the audience better than the competition
- Distribution channels to make the offering available
- Marketing activities to promote the offering
Track and adjust
The final step is to track the pick-up. If the pick-up is slow, adjust the offering. Likely, the content of the offering is not attractive enough. Work on the content before you change the rate. A too fast pick-up indicates a great value. Increase the price carefully but do not destroy the deal. Keep learning when it is time to craft a new offering and a new rate.
For more ideas, download the white paper "Create a High-Performance Commercial Team."