To address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, officials have enacted countless orders requiring individuals to stay in their homes as best as possible. Different hotels and geographies are experiencing varying effects. While some of the rules have required hotels to shut down, others are accepting first responders, healthcare, and emergency workers as guests.
Whether your hotel is permitted to remain fully operational or is only accepting essential guests, as a hotelier, there are a handful of things you can do to limit the damage during the next several weeks that will also help you prepare for recovery.
Flexible Cancellation Policies: Consider loosening the rules around your cancellation fees. As an example, one major resort brand introduced a stress-free cancellation policy that only charges guests who wait to cancel within 24 hours of their stay.
Creative Staycations: People get itchy feet and want to travel. Once they are ready to get away from it all, they may look to local destinations as a safer option. This is an opportunity to capture demand from within your market. Create staycation packages for those who live in your geographic areas. Leverage the data within your PMS to target a list of guests who are good candidates for a local deal.
Direct Booking Programs: Now is an excellent time to evaluate your website and find ways to make it easy for visitors to book a stay without the costs associated with OTAs. Think about adding, if you do not already have, book now buttons and other direct reservations links from your website.
In preparation for re-opening, thoroughly evaluate your current processes to determine what adjustments will best protect your properties from infectious disease, including COVID-19. As a starting point, this means regular deep cleaning. Disinfecting common area surfaces frequently – some businesses have implemented as often as an hourly cleaning schedule. Minimize the staff sharing of any items and ensure your properties are adequately ventilated.