Now is the time to learn more about updating cancellation policies, reviewing your listings and extending your inventory.
All over the world, people have been doing their part to be safe and stay healthy in these unprecedented times. From China to the United States, Italy to Australia, individuals and families are remaining in place in their homes, looking forward to the time when their lives and our planet return to a new sense of normal.
When that time comes, people will experience—and gladly welcome—a newfound sense of freedom. They will greet with renewed enthusiasm the ability to get out and experience the natural beauty and rich cultures our world has to offer. After all, people have always been inspired to explore and crave the joy of travel. And never more than after eight weeks of lockdown.
Already we see the signs. In Asia, where travel restrictions have been relaxed, domestic travel is recovering. Weekend getaways and trips to visit family and friends are being booked with increased frequency.
Now is the time. Be booking ready.
We anticipate that as soon as it’s safe, people around the globe will begin rebooking their holidays, dream trips, business trips, cruises and more. They’ll reconnect with friends and family, and plan adventures to explore new places.
However, early in the recovery there will be more rooms than demand. Guests will be spoiled with choices and properties will need to be thoughtfully positioned to capture their business.
What does that mean?
For one, it means communicating the steps you’ve taken to ensure the health and safety of your guests in a world recovering from COVID-19. It also means adjusting your inventory and updating your listing to showcase your property in the very best light.
To help, we’ve put together some tips and suggestions that will put your property in the best position to capture bookings.
1. Build confidence that travel is safe
After weeks of consistently wearing masks, washing hands and staying at safe social distances, travelers want to know that you’ve taken the precautions to keep your property clean and your guests safe. The World Health Organization (WHO) and local agencies have published recommendations for cleaning frequency, disinfectants and staff training that will help you update your policies and procedures. We’ve summarized their guidance for you here.
Take advantage of opportunities to share your commitment to enhanced health and safety standards with travelers. Highlight them on your websites, feature them in communications with guests and include them in your online travel agency (OTA) listing. If you’re an Expedia Group partner, take a minute to log in to Partner Central to add your cleanliness policies to your listing on Expedia Group sites now.
2. Offer the right inventory and rates
Engaging those traveling first will require flexibility, availability and compelling offers. Understanding how your market and nearby competitors are recovering will help you get this mix right.
3. Help travelers choose you
With time on their hands, people around the world are daydreaming about travel and researching the first holiday they’ll take. Finding the perfect place to stay has never been easier. Refreshing your OTA listing now, will help you stand out from the crowd. We recommend you focus on detailing your amenities, updating your photos, managing your reviews and highlighting nearby points of interest.
Be patient, but be ready
Recovery may begin slowly. Be patient. The desire to travel is universal and our industry is resilient. At the same time, don’t be caught unprepared when travel kicks into high gear. By taking the steps now to optimize your online presence, you’ll be in the best possible position appeal to the greatest number of guests.