By Kathleen A. Cullen, Senior Vice President, PHG Consulting
Leisure travelers are expected to be among the first people to begin traveling again, but as with corporate travelers, they will look for hotels that are well prepared and put health and cleanliness at the top of their priority list. The days of luxury hotels magically making things happen behind the scenes will have to change when it comes to sanitation. Visuals will be key — and expected.
The following are some tips on how your hotel can remain engaged with travel management companies (TMCs), so you are top of mind once travelers are ready to make their next journey:
- Consider using your technology to support virtual events.
- Stay engaged with travel advisers and keep them informed. They are very interested in staying up-to-date in their hotel knowledge.
- Work with your global sales offices or representatives to have the best chance of getting your hotel in front of travel advisers.
- Agents will continue to use a global distribution system (GDS) but will have more questions about safety and health. Provide them with an email to ensure they have a way to ask those questions and keep a written trail of what is said. They will want to retain this information.
- Consider doing a video of your cleaning process and share the video with booking agents.
- Pay commissions in a timely manner — agents have been severely impacted. Consider offering bonus commission promotions.
Realistically, many things will not go back to “normal.” Service industry professionals may end up wearing masks and gloves indefinitely. You need to start thinking about how to showcase your hotel differently. Evolve and be creative when looking to engage, and keep things more intimate initially.
Excerpted from New Rules to Be Market Ready, by Kathleen A. Cullen, a new white paper available from HSMAI and PHG Consulting. For additional information, insights, and tools, visit HSMAI’s Global Coronavirus Recovery Resources page.