3 Things Hoteliers Should Do to Attract Local Travelers in a Post-COVID-19 World
Hoteliers globally are preparing for restrictions to ease and travelers to begin booking hotel rooms again. Few expect the industry to bounce back to full occupancy immediately, so it leaves room for questions for hoteliers regarding re-opening their hotels. The AHLA has prepared a roadmap to recovery which asks Congress for additional aid to be sent to the industry for hoteliers to rehire their furloughed employees and cover mortgage costs. With strong support ready to fight for this aid, you can focus on three other initiatives that will help maximize your online presence, setting up your hotel for the first small wave of travelers.
1. Spruce Up Your Website
In an article on HospitalityNet, Ana Leal describes the era we’re in now as a “staycation era.” This is an appropriate name – most data suggested that those that will travel first will travel by car and within 200 miles of where they live. Since most hotels are anticipating their guests to be local, it’s imperative to update your website information to welcome them. Whether it’s advertising a special deal or updating locations to visit based on closures and safe social distancing, it’s a good idea to revisit every page of content on your website.
Keeping your website updated will also help you keep on top of organic search pages. Since many big brands have relaxed ad-buying on Google, organic results appear more frequently at the top of a user’s search results. Before travelers begin searching for a place to stay, reworking your website to include top keywords will help immensely to get visitors to your website and increase the market share you hold in advertising. Our website team at Travel Media Group can help you revitalize your site with fresh, accessibly designed information that will help provide a competitive edge down the road.
2. Build Brand Awareness Through Social Media
Another step you should take to prepare your property for local travelers is through building brand awareness using social media. We have posted an in-depth blog about this in the past; however, it is imperative to consider implementing this strategy if you haven’t already started. Your new audience is local to you, and there is a chance that they haven’t seen posts about your hotel in quite some time, especially if your marketing up until the start of the pandemic had been geared toward attracting long-distance or overseas travelers. The local consumer base may not be aware that they have a beautiful getaway close to home, so building brand awareness is key to keeping yourself top of mind to guests.
Once more restrictions are eased, it is possible to gear your marketing toward the travelers with the goal of generating revenue. Advertising safe things to do in the area that are listed in more detail on your website and promoting services like delivery or take-out food from restaurants can help attract the eye and get guests thinking more seriously about booking. Additionally, you’ll have a good chance of catching the eye of guests within driving distance if you advertise your hotel as a place for those working to use as a clean space to focus away from any typical distractions of home. TMG’s dedicated social media team is focused on generating engaging content for your hotel, and you can look over our solutions page for more details.
3. Shift Marketing Language to Target a Local Audience
Changing the way that you talk about your hotel can provide immense benefit to your property. Whether it’s included throughout the webpages of your site or woven throughout each social post, you can attract the attention of the right audience – guests who are local to your area and are seeking a safe, enjoyable getaway from their everyday lives. This shift in marketing language complements the first two steps, and executing it effectively is the difference in capturing your audience’s attention. You can advertise area-specific deals to help local front line workers or health care workers. If your hotel is positioned between two larger attractions, you can use that to your advantage and market your hotel as convenient for travelers wanting to visit either one. This way, you can broaden what may feel like a more limited audience.
TMG’s Brand Ambassador Ryan Embree describes this concept in our latest webinar, tying it to a group of domestic travelers that hoteliers will begin to see: experience-seeking travelers. These guests are looking for an experience that is different from the usual view of their house and street they live on. By promoting nearby attractions that are open and safe along with local business partnerships, you can build a unique experience at your hotel. These opportunities encourage travelers eager to get away from their homes to choose your property.
There are many things a hotelier has on their list of things to complete prior to opening their doors to guests, but taking the time early to focus on your online presence will help boost your visibility and earn more bookings in the long run. Trust our experts at Travel Media Group to help you get the extra support you need so you can place your focus on your property and staff. Get in touch with us to learn more.