3 Tips for Surviving the Travel Drought
Let’s talk about the Coronavirus.
Stings right? It punches the hospitality industry square in the jaw.
Turns out, with a pandemic and social-distancing, people are postponing or canceling getaways, anniversary trips, and weddings (honeymoons too, go figure). Now, instead of booking a room with you, they are staying home and counting their rolls of toilet paper.
Here are some tips to keep COVID-19 from killing your business. We’ll get through this together!
#1 Be Present Online!People are sitting in their living rooms bored out of their minds. They will be pulling out their phones to scroll through their newsfeeds. So be there! Your online presence has never been more important.
Update your website (send us updates to email@example.com).
Then fire up the social media!
#2 Be a Safe HavenIf people are looking to stay with you, they want to know about the sanitation of your property. Doilies and decor… not so much.
#3 Gift Certificates (mic drop)People are not sinking their money into definite plans (AKA “bookings”). Standard travel insurance doesn’t usually cover cancellations due to the coronavirus outbreak. That means a widespread “wait-and-see” mentality.
Enter the gift certificate.
People still need something to look forward to. Maybe especially? Future guests may decide not to travel for a special occasion, but gifting a rain-check to someone via gift certificate? Yes.
Many reservation engines provide options for the online purchase of gift certificates. Reach out to yours and set it up. Once available, let people know via social media, your website, and email lists. This can provide some revenue for the time being, and get your business through the travel drought.
FAQs from you, our clientsCan I suspend my website (and billing) for the time being?
It’s not a good idea. If you choose to turn off your website, we’ll keep it in our system and can turn it back on and resume billing whenever. However, this is a really good way to disappear in search engine rankings. When you turn your site back on, all the authority your website has built up over the years will start over. Needless to say, this will hurt your business substantially down the line.
What do I do about refunds? Guests are asking for them well within the appropriate time frame. How can I slow the bleed?
Fix a set cancellation fee, regardless of timeframe. When they ask for a refund, let them know about the fee. Then inform them that they can move their reservation into a Gift Certificate with no fee (again, Gift Certificates can seriously save you here).
How can I reach out to my customers en masse?
As mentioned, social media is a great avenue. For emailing large amounts of people, BnBwebsites has a rudimentary email software included with your website that may meet your needs. We can set it up for you upon request. As for generating an email list, reservation systems usually have this capability, and can sometimes even send the emails directly.
Is BnBwebsites offering discounts to clients in light of the Coronavirus?
We are a small, privately-owned company that is feeling the strain of the pandemic just like you. While we will do all we can to help meet your website needs, we cannot offer free hosting or discounts at this time.
I have sent several updates to be made to my website. How soon can I expect those changes to be made?
We are receiving a remarkable amount of support requests at this time, so the normal 24–48 hours will not always be possible. However, we will get to your requests as soon as humanly possible.
Best regards, and let us know if you have any questions! For edits or updates to your website, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To your success!