November kicked off with some very good news on three different vaccines that have shown over 90% efficacy in fighting against COVID 19. STR released their latest statistics this week, reporting more confidence in the average traveler and also noted that United States travel recovery is estimated by Q4 of 2021 including long haul international travel. Our industry can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and we can all be on the path to recovery.
It is now become essential that hotels strengthen their core and are prepared to embrace the POST COVID world!
As rightly said by Marriott CEO - Arne Sorenson “Our industry must prepare for a roaring demand as a number of life events - vacations, anniversaries and marriages have been postponed and there is no virtual replacement for any of these. I am optimistic that when travel returns, it will be stronger than ever”. And the key is to be prepared.
Digital Transformation holds this key. This has been a hot topic with a wide audience in all industries and hospitality is no exception. Our industry has been a slow mover with new technology in the past but time has now come to re-invent and adopt technology that will significantly reduce operating costs and increase ROI. This will begin by having a clear strategy right from digitization of all paper documents in the hotels including registration cards, folios, spa health declaration forms etc. all the way to providing your guests with “self-service” or complete “mobile” technology to engage with your property.
To come up with a clear strategy, we must note the following:
- Map the journey of you guest – Mapping this journey and understanding all the touch points is essential. With mobile in the forefront, you now have the advantage of knowing your customer and engaging with them even before they have stepped into your property. With this knowledge, you can tailor your upgrade and upsell options to them keeping their individual preferences in mind and help drive up your RevPAR. Based on the data that you have now collected; you can also market the right promotions to them at the right time once they are on your property. Keep in touch with your guests post stay and have them answer surveys on how you can improve. Make it easy for them to book their future experiences with you and enhance your loyal customer base. Click here to find out how we can help you.
- Making Hotels Hassle free and Crowd free – Self-service kiosks are no longer an experience that hotels can ignore. In today’s world where we need to constantly do “more work with less resources and time”self-service fits the bill perfectly. Click here to view more details about Samsotech easyKIOSK.
According to a report released this September by Skift research in partnership with Mckinsey and Company, Millennials will shape the future of the travel industry. Although, boomers will travel and they do have a big spending potential, millennials will definitely become majority of hotel clients. Millennials being technology savvy will demand the use of self-service kiosks so that their experience is hassle free and crowd free as they will not have to wait in long queues at the hotel lobby.
A number of surveys and statistics in the beginning of the pandemic pointed towards leisure travel returning post pandemic levels but the same could not be said about business travelers. This does not hold true anymore as we have all noticed that the same business relationships cannot be nurtured and connections cannot be made over zoom. Business travel for events and conferences where you get to meet several customers face to face is bound to be back. This is another market segment that will have high expectations from the hospitality industry to be fast, mobile and hassle free. Keeping all of the above in mind, it would be very wise for hoteliers to invest in hi-tech and self-service technology to give an exceptional experience to all their guests.
- Heath & Wellness – Health has become a big focus in the past few months and vacationers are looking for places that can take them away from the daily stress and help them rejuvenate. Every traveler's idea of rejuvenation is different – for some, this could mean the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas and for others in could be a quite country-side sanctuary. No matter who your guest is – hotels must make sure that their properties, event spaces, employees and guests are safe and COVID free. Cleanliness is certainly one aspect of this but so is ensuring that all your guests test COVID 19 negative on the day of your events, guaranteeing a safe and healthy space for everyone. This can be done via easy and accurate tests that provide results right to the guest’s mobile within an 1hr of conducting the test. Would like to know more details? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As it is rightly said “Fall in love with the problem before reaching for the solution” - COVID 19 has certainly been a turbulent love affair but the end is in sight, right solutions are available and recovery is eminent.
As we approach the Thanksgiving Weekend and as the end to this incredible year is just around the corner, I would like to express my gratitude to our industry for its invaluable support towards its employees in truly what has been an unprecedented and tough year. This speaks volumes on the resilience of the travel and hospitality industry and its ability to bounce back phenomenally. Cheers to an excellent 2021!
By Sonali Deshpande – Bio Below
Sonali holds a BE from McGill University and MBA from INSEAD Business School in France. She has spent over 10 years in the hospitality industry and has worked directly with hotels in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Qatar, France, Austria, UK and USA. She is a tech enthusiast and not only believes creating the best-in-class products but also in working with partners to achieve a unified solution to help hoteliers accomplish their goals of better efficiency, increased guest satisfaction and incremental revenue.