The Corona shutdown hits tourism businesses particularly hard. It is likely that it will take until 2021 to return to a halfway “normal” way of travel.
Therefore, it is not only a matter of financially coping with the weeks of the complete shutdown. It is just as important to adapt offers and services to the new conditions in time.
Usually guests book hotel rooms for overnight stays because they are on a business or holiday trip. Or attend a conference or trade fair. The Corona shutdown has made all this impossible.
But city hotels, for example, can offer their rooms as home offices during the day. Because there are many companies, whose employees do not have a suitable workplace at home. Or become too distracted by the turbulent family life.
In such cases, a “private”, quiet office in a hotel is ideal.
There is W-LAN, a desk and your own bathroom/WC! This is an important advantage over “shared office spaces”.
And of course, in a hotel, food and drinks can be delivered to the room.
Many Best Western Hotels in Germany already have such offers, for example
the Best Western Premier Hotel Rebstock in Würzburg.
Cruises, long-distance and group travel will probably not be the first trips that will be allowed again after the Corona shutdown.
Rather, only domestic travel will be possible initially.
Therefore: Discover your home country – Marketing 2020 for the domestic market!
German guests can now do scuba diving on the island of Rügen instead of the Caribbean. Or hike in Bavaria instead of South Tyrol. Austrians can cycle along the Danube instead of through the Provence. True to the motto: Discover your homeland!
Aim especially at families with children and active holidaymakers instead of the still endangered group of the generation 65+.
Position your small town as an insiders’ tip for those interested in culture. Because here a city walk is possible without crowds. Or even a “private visit” to the town museum.
Prepare the appropriate campaigns now. Work out contents, prices, media plan and budget. Then study the relevant reports and websites for booking development. You can then choose the ideal time to launch your campaign.
All offers must of course take into account the effects of the corona crisis. But not only with regard to legal requirements. Think also of the uncertainty of the guests. Because the fear of a second wave of infection and quarantine at the holiday destination is great.
Just think about what offers are feasible with as little contact with strangers as possible. For example, instead of the 100-person gondola, you can take the 2-4-person chairlift up the mountain.
Instead of a guided group hike, there is a video available for download with costs, in which everything is explained and told. Then the guests can do this tour only as a family.
Rely on innovative technologies that are accessible without contact (i.e. also without brochures from the tourist information office), such as a speaking guidance system as an audio guide. Such offers are sustainable, as they will be well received by all guests even after Corona.
Corona specials could be free parking or meals to the room at no extra charge.
So no pictures of crowded guest gardens, viewing terraces, parties or concerts. Better a family alone on the hiking trail, two mountain bikers or hang-gliders, children splashing around in the sparsely visited bathing lake, or simply beautiful nature shots.
The corona shutdown has enormously accelerated the need for digitization. Therefore, a good, and above all, up-to-date online presence is more important than ever.
Many of these measures will not only be useful in the coming months. They will also permanently improve and simplify communication with guests.
If you want to implement these tips, you have a lot to do – despite the Corona shutdown!
But fortunately you have employees on reduced hours. They can do a lot of the preparatory work from home. There are so many things that there was never time for due to the operative business! But now, even with work time reduced to 10%, four hours per week are available per employee!
In order to make good use of this time from as many employees as possible, precise planning and clear communication are required. Divide the tasks into manageable projects, that are described as precisely as possible: goals, time frame, costs, etc. Form small teams in such a way, that all employees can participate and support each other. Organise video conferences, feedback loops and next steps.