During confinement we have had to stop. The pause has forced us to think, there have been rethinking of business projects. Large companies, which have never experienced a break, have had to reformulate; throw closure; think about the essentials and bet, once and for all, on technology. Telecommuting is here to stay, and computers and telephones have once again shown that they are essential, because they shorten distances. Tourism is one of the fields that has been mostaffected by the ravages of the pandemic. Now, leaving behind the de-escalation, we attend to the reopening of the hotels and the return to the so-called ‘new normality’. The question is, however, if the hotels will be the same again or will be strengthened: many have implemented their services to stay in the limelight and others are waiting for a situation of great uncertainty.
Some of the challenges that the reopening of hotels will bring / will be / are the following and related to technological and health implementation:
- Guarantee the safety of guests, through initiatives that guarantee the implementation of hygiene protocols and prevention of contagion. We must highlight the program enabled by the Barceló Hotel Group chain, the ‘We care about you’. In it, a safe experience is worked and a new figure is put at the service of the guest in the hotel complex: that of the hygienist responsible for guaranteeing complete disinfection.
- Improvements in the web page related to accessibility and promotion. To give an example: to be able to do ‘tours’ or virtual visits in 360º to present future guests with the advantages and opportunities offered by the accommodation, as well as make their identity known and reinforce their position.
- Digitization of the reservation process and return or change date policy in the accommodation. It is key to automate processes and, in case of complaint or doubt, have direct access with the staff for a close customer service.
- Promotion of the destination through virtual or offline campaigns that demonstrate that the proximity factor is being worked on: the hotel must be connected to the environment to which it belongs and report on the strengths of the destination to be visited.
The reopening of the hotels brings with it the creation of new strategies by the hotel facilities that, after months without billing, want to continue demonstrating how innovative and competitive they are. In fact, specialized digital marketing in hotels will be one of the routes to be expanded. It is said that from the crisis one learns. As with everything, during the hiatus many companies invested in training and one of the most popular branches was the technological adaptation of the hotel sector.
The consequences, also harsh for the citizens, predict that this summer is expected above all to tourists of national, local and proximity. It is common to listen to different players in the sector giving advice on how important it is to keep the regular clientele or that, for the moment, do not risk creating unrealistic projects that may jeopardize them financially. The important thing will be to develop tourism campaigns/ city promotion policies together with public administrations, from where a specific brand will work in a unified way. With the crisis, digital directories have also become popular in order to make the different businesses in a locality visible.
Observe market behavior
The behavior and decisions of the international market will serve as a thermometer of how the sector is doing. From here, the different hotel chains will be able to make decisions based on current trends.