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In the current situation, it is important for Hospitality marketing leaders to study the environment and see which guest segments can move and which will need to wait till travel restrictions are lifted. The sales team needs to devise strategies to tackle segments, which have possibilities for traveling in order to sell hotels post pandemic.
Following Segments may not move for quite some time and hence sales and marketing departments of hotels may not want to put too much effort into developing these segments. However, that being said, hotels should not be ignoring them completely and continue to nurture the relationships and engage the brand followers:
• Foreign tourist groups
• Foreign business travelers
• MICE Travel
1. Mid-segment domestic travelers consisting mainly of small and medium entrepreneurs. They need to revive their business so have no option but to travel.
2. People wanting to take a break as they have been locked up for a long time. This will be short distance travel where people can use their own transport for safety’s sake. They will still not travel long distances for a holiday.
• A potential segment are the people who used to travel abroad for holidays. They are high spenders and are unable to travel abroad due to restrictions. They can be targeted for high-end luxury hotels at good locations.
• Small Marriages and Social Functions– taking advantage of restrictions people are happy to organize weddings with a limited number of guests. It's easy to explain to those not invited.
• Community based small travel agents - Target community-based travel agents to make safe packages and local experiences to give guests unique opportunities to explore domestic travel.
• Mailing to loyalty program members - Many hotels keep the database of old hotels and it's time to use the mailer programs to attract and invite those guests again. However, hotels that did not participate in loyalty programs will feel like losers and would learn the concept of marketing foresight.
• Strategic tie-ups with other external loyalty programs like airlines, credit cards, etc. Tie up with related products like cruise liners and airlines. The hotel would need to ramp up the tie-ups to get marketing exposure and also give guests higher value while using the products and services of other companies.
• Digital Marketing Hotels would need to spend time and resources on creating a digital experience. Put financial resources in Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing for their website. Put efforts in organic social media marketing such as Videos/images/ live classes, sessions etc.
It’s important to study the needs of the travelers to the location where the hotel is. Every element of the package should be of value to the traveler. Often hotels pack the deal with offers that a traveler is not interested in simply because the facility is available.
A good idea that has worked is to give a list of facilities and ask the traveler to choose a limited number. Example: Offer 9-10 facilities and ask the traveler to choose any 3.
These are just a few pieces of advice and tips. Hotels would need to study the market and craft unique strategies depending on local conditions. You can contact us if you would like to learn more.