The acquisition of hotel bookings in times of COVID-19

The acquisition of hotel bookings in times of COVID-19

16 March 2020PROFITROOM SA

In recent days, we are all facing the implications of the Coronavirus in one way or another. As your technology partner, we follow the news and constantly monitor changes in market demand in order to be able to offer particularly strong support in this turbulent time.

Status: 12:00 CET, March 16, 2020

Decrease of bookings

The Profitroom database grants us access to reliable information on the current situation in the hotel industry. This data comes from thousands of hotels that use the Profitroom Suite platform. Due to the virus, the situation is developing very dynamically and obviously has a negative impact on the demand for accommodation services. Bookings decrease daily, and we are currently seeing a -68% decrease in the number of individual direct bookings in most facilities (number of bookings on Thursday, March 12th compared to the previous year, Profitroom Suite data).

Dynamic of direct bookings YoY

Dynamic of direct bookings compared to the previous year with a sample of all Profitroom customers (taking into account a shift of the weekday by 2 days).

Free consultancy for hoteliers

We are determined to help your company overcome the crisis and return to the indispensable room occupancy. If you have any questions regarding bookings, promotions, or sales issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
We have now increased our availability for you: you can make use of our live chat in the Profitroom Suite from Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m CET. Our experts monitor the situation regularly, which means that you benefit from our best and most current recommendations.

A few pointers

We understand the number of questions and doubts you are currently facing. Our experts have compiled advice for hoteliers, who target individual guests.

  1. Think strategically. Every crisis comes to an end – this one will too. Your hotel must still be ready to receive guests. Try to invest this time in projects that you may need in the future, such as renovations, a photo shoot, or updates on your website.
  2. Ensure full flexibility of the offers. This is the only way to ensure readiness to book in this difficult time. Offer your guests a full refund of the prepayment without having to provide reasons for the cancellation.
  3. Offer vouchers that can be used at a more convenient time, rather than guests having to cancel reservations which have been already made, and as an incentive to visit the facility later.
  4. Use pre-payments, not pre-authorizations – these down payments generate the cash you need for distant future bookings.
  5. Prepare summer vacation deals. There is a possibility that the virus will continue to spread in the coming months and ‘staycations’ will be the favored option.
  6. Offer attractive prices, but don’t cut them too much. Attain the minimum occupancy rate (break-even) and increase the prices for subsequent sales caps. You will probably get the highest sales before and during the holidays.
  7. Use the database of guests you already have. Direct marketing to these guests is inexpensive and continues to be an effective form of communication.
  8. Be proactive in times when demand is low. Understandably, you are looking for savings, but do not give up your marketing budget entirely. It is worth continuing to carry out image campaigns that are cheaper for you but have positive long-term effects.
  9. Find new ways to attract non-residents. Think about increasing your day-time dining offers and spa packages if you are in an area where isolation isn’t mandatory.

Profitroom is here for you and for your business. We are aware that each hotel has different characteristics and unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that the above tips will work, however, we believe that these ideas and suggestions are worth considering.

We at Profitroom are constantly working on finding the best solutions. We encourage you to check back regularly on our blog to get the most up-to- date information.