Hotels are on a path to recovery.
According to Amadeus' Demand360 data, hotel occupancy is up over 2020, and global hotel occupancy peaked at 60 percent in July 2021, nearly doubling 2020's performance for the same month.
These may not be 2019 numbers, but they are a big improvement on 2020.
The summer travel season seems to have blended into fall with Europe and China seeing increased demand in September.
After looking at the data, Amadeus compiled actionable ways for hospitality professionals to build and execute recovery plans across four key areas-sales, marketing, revenue management, and operations.
Adapting marketing plans and taking a longer view is one suggestion.
Amadeus says "by regularly evaluating key market indicators (like the booking lead time and preferred channels), hoteliers will be able to understand when and how to communicate to guests in a way that drives long-term loyalty."
Hoteliers should monitor local market conditions and have a wide range of strategies to cope with a dynamic situation.
Amadeus' research also showed that bookings are switching back from more direct bookings during the pandemic to travelers shifting back to OTAs and GDS channels.
Amadeus recommends keeping a close eye on the competition for shifts in their distribution strategies.
"Pairing proactive email marketing campaigns with tailored advertising and promotions on paid search, display, social, SEO, metasearch and GDS will keep a hotel highly visible on the channels where travelers and travel agents are looking and booking," said Paul Barron-Amadeus Hospitality.
Automation and contactless technology are going to be key as guest expectations have changed.
According to Amadeus, 20 percent of global hoteliers that have implemented daily opt-out cleanings and say they plan to keep it in place long-term. Thirty percent of hoteliers in its global survey are most excited about the acceleration of new contactless tech to enhance the guest experience.
These offer convenience and confidence for guests traveling during the pandemic and beyond.
While traditional business travel has not returned in a meaningful way, there are a few strategies hoteliers can look to.
Sales teams can target trends such as bleisure or look to position their properties as a preferred location to host meetups for remote teams or for local businesses that have closed office space.
Hoteliers should also highlight their Covid-19 protocols to ensure guests feel safe.
While challenges remain in the hotel space, data suggests a positive trends for the future. Fifty-three percent of survey respondents expect pre-pandemic levels of occupancy to return in 2022.
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