It’s been a turbulent two years for the hotel industry, but there’s signs of recovery. The PwC Hotels Forecast predicts that revenues for hotels across the UK during 2022 will increase to between 64% and 100% of pre-pandemic levels.
Despite this welcome news, hotels are still struggling with the challenges of a pandemic which has decimated the hotels and hospitality industry. The first quarter of the year is traditionally a lean time, with no public holidays, reduced tourism, and March tax returns to deal with.
Hoteliers must prepare to innovate, in order to ride out the difficult winter months, and maximise whatever modest streams of revenue they can generate. Exceptional business intelligence is a must. Here’s three of the main ways the industry has changed during the last two years, along with our suggestions about how hoteliers can adapt their practices.
Booking lead time
In order to avoid cancellation and disappointment, customers have chosen to book the majority of hotel stays at the last moment, with most bookings worldwide now purchased less than seven days before arrival. This provides a much smaller window for hotels to engage with customers. Consequently, marketers need more high-quality data about customer behaviour, to understand when and how to communicate with their customers.
Using a call tracking and analytics platform like Call360 will give you detailed insights into where your inquiries are coming from, as well as providing conversation intelligence reports that identify any common customer pain points that may need to be addressed.
Changes in booking channel
Unpredictable travel and accommodation conditions created problems for third party booking sites and travel agents, as guests sought reassurance from direct bookings. This direct contact allowed customers to access the latest and most accurate information regarding local restrictions, additional procedures and availability of onsite services and facilities.
Successful hoteliers used call tracking to identify which booking channels were still being used by customers as a reference point, as well as highlighting booking channels which were currently underperforming. This data allowed them to concentrate their ad spend on the channels that provided the best return on investment.
Although third-party sites are also experiencing an upswing in leads and revenue as the industry recovers, this ability to respond to public confidence is still likely to boost the financial performance of any operation with access to this kind of data.
Changes in business and overseas travel
Business travel is also experiencing a recovery. Business travel consultants report that revenue levels are expected to reach two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.
Again, this is a revenue area that has undergone massive changes during the pandemic, due to remote working and other factors. Hotels which previously enjoyed success as industry conference venues may well find they need to embrace and facilitate hybrid delivery models, in order to continue attracting conference clients.
Conversation intelligence and call tracking will also be an asset when attempting to identify and respond to the needs of this client group. For example, conversation intelligence can identify which customers are booking stays from Sunday to Thursday (the most common booking for business purposes) and then segment that data to provide more detailed insight into the behaviours and booking channels used by these customers.
If you’re interested in finding out how Call360 features can help you bounce back and understand your analytics and attribution, get in touch. We offer a free 14-day trial, so you can experience our solutions in action.