News from last week show that some countries in Asia are already recovering their direct bookings. What you do now will make a big difference when your Business goes back to normal. An article by Rodrigo Mendonça Mergulhão (Digital Marketing Professional) and columnist for Jornal de Negócios.
"Hoteliers are working seamlessly with daily cancellations and with new bookings dropping dramatically. In times of crisis, it is good to remain calm and look at the history that teaches us tremendously. We realized that, when it comes to crisis management, nothing else matters, and here are 3 examples that history has taught us.
One of those many teachings and hard times is undoubtedly World War II. At this point the whole economy stopped, there was a lack of products and services, rationing and pessimism in everything. One of the things that smart brands did was to continue advertising, even without selling the product or service. The message was to demonstrate optimism and announce everything that was being prepared and that would be made available in a post-war period. In the US, the state supported advertisers by giving incentives for the amount they invested. The brands were seen as patriots and gained a good reputation in the market. All these brands had good results in the post-war and ended up gaining market share to the competition that didn’t followed this approach.
More recently, a study by Cornell during the 2009 crisis, showed that hotels that invested in marketing had superior performances in the main indicators, revenue per available room (REVPAR), occupancy and profitability. See Cornell study ("Winners and Losers during the Great Recession: The Positive Impact of Marketing Expenditures ").
Considering the catastrophic impact of the COVID-19 by all industries, mainly in the Tourism industry, there are some measures that should be implemented as soon as possible by hoteliers:
The best attitude is to always stay calm! Ensure that the prevention and control measures indicated by the Health Authorities are implemented. Treat employees and guests with the maximum attention and care.
Then, don't react by drastically cutting down rates or marketing efforts. Historical data show that hotels that have not cut marketing efforts in previous crises but selected carefully what marketing investment to do and focused on them, performed better than others. Conclusion: don't slow down, but don't ignore. Adapt and focus your investments and on your message. For example, "See what we have in store for you, post-covid!"
3 – Capture the local market
News from last week show that some countries in Asia are already recovering their direct bookings. Hong Kong for example had a significative increase in their bookings by capturing the local market. What you do now will make a big difference when your Business goes back to normality. After reaching a low in early February, in 30 days direct bookings increased by 270%, according to a Triptease report.
Therefore, if you are careful with what you do today, you will harvest all the benefits in the future, don't doubt that!"