The travel industry is worth about $1.6 trillion worldwide and accounts for one-tenth of its GDP, making it a large and important industry. Not only does it provide a lot of employment, but it is also the place to rest, hold events or host meetings and conventions. Like all markets, the hotel industry has encountered some challenges in 2021. Time to minimize and solve them!
1. Customer Experience
Customers have increasingly high expectations of hotels and want more and more value for money. The Corona crisis has made people afraid to travel.
Solution: make sure you optimize the customer experience and show them that your hotel is safe and Corona proof – of course, if you can travel in this country – In addition, a virtual tour can also help because everyone can easily discover your entire hotel in detail. Thanks to labels, you can easily add information about the hotel, and the chat function ensures that your (potential) customers can ask questions in a low-threshold manner.
2. Uncertainties for events due to Corona
The Corona measures change pretty quickly, so as a hotel owner, you also must be able to move very soon. When people and businesses are finally allowed to organize events again, they quickly must find a location and visit several venues. Because different people have to participate in the decision-making process and agendas do not always correspond, the process takes quite some time.
Solution: since virtual tours are so detailed, everyone can view the entire virtual tour from their computer, tablet or smartphone and share it with the others who are also involved in the decision-making process. In this way, not all decision-makers need to be physically present for the event to take place at your venue.
The Corona crisis in 2021 caused several smaller hotel owners to close their businesses, yet there always remain many competitors. For example, there are more than 700,000 hotels worldwide, according to Condorferries.
Solution: in a market where there is so much competition, it is important to stand out and focus on the things you can make a difference in. For example, on the one hand, you must start digitizing and automating as many tasks as possible but also to personalize the experience of your business. A virtual tour can help you with this because you optimize the customer experience in a personal way and ensure that you as a customer can view everything without having to move around physically. In addition, through the Google maps integration, you can also boost your online visibility, and your SEO will also be optimized because your website visitors will stay longer on your website.
4. Reviews & Word of mouth
Reviews and word-of-mouth advertising can make a difference in the awareness and consideration phases. Regardless of whether the hotel guest had a positive or negative experience, they will communicate it to their intimate circle. A negative review is not immediately posted online, but according to Market Connections Inc, on average, it is shared verbally with 9-15 people. When someone is considering a hotel at the consideration stage, they will also look at online reviews. 85% indicated that they changed their minds after reading a negative review, making it essential to have positive reviews online.
Solution: Word of mouth is determined by the hotel’s experience and the expectations that are created. If, as a hotel guest, you expect an elevator, but no elevator is present in the hotel, you will most likely be frustrated. It is important to communicate transparently with your hotel guest to avoid this. Make sure the guest knows what to expect, for example, by making a virtual tour of your hotel. This way, the guest can see that there is no elevator in the hotel or that breakfast is not included in the price. By using labels, you can add information about the hotel and thanks to call-to-actions or pop-up ads; you can also communicate certain activities in your hotel and have them pre-booked.
Solution: although, as a hotel owner, it may seem that there is nothing you can do about the Coronavirus, nothing could be further from the truth. It is your opportunity to invest in digital and online communication and visibility and distinguish yourself from your competitors. So, on the one hand, you must increase your online visibility as a hotel. But on the other hand, it is also important to make your hotel guests feel secure and keep communicating. Therefore, make sure you communicate actively on social media and create a personal connection.
6. Staff recruitment and retention
The annual staff turnover rate is 73.8%. That means you have to find, hire and train staff every time.
Solution: make sure your staff knows in advance what to expect and help them make their job easier. Instead of giving several tours for an event planner, you can also give them a preview using a virtual tour and thus ensure that only the really interesting leads visit. In addition, they can also measure things in the virtual tour so that they no longer have to move around physically. Finally, you can also use this during onboarding to hire the right staff, and for the handyman, it can be helpful to make a first price offer already or check during the works where they exactly have to be.