What business strategies should hoteliers implement in 2022?

According to the hoteliers interviewed for our 18th Edition of the PULSE Hotel Report, released at the start of the fourth quarter, the industry appears to be cautiously optimistic about business performance over the next 12 months, ranking 6.6 out of 10, which equates to “extremely optimistic.” But what does this mean for your hotel business strategies in 2022?

But while the future looks brighter and hotels around the world capitalize on revenge travel and experience significant growth in international bookings, it is critical that hoteliers continue to apply lessons learned from the recession to their business in 2022 and beyond.

5 hotel strategies to be implemented in 2022

Our previous article on this topic covered the important lessons hoteliers learned from the recession. Read on to find out how you can continue to apply these lessons to your 2022 hotel business strategy.

Here are 5 hotel strategies to be implemented in 2022:

1. Analyze costs versus benefits across all channels to make smarter, more balanced distribution decisions

Given their marketing prowess and dominance in the online travel space, it is undeniable that OTAs will continue to play an important role in the hotel’s online distribution ecosystem. However, it is important that hotels do not fall into the trap of blindly giving away inventory without considering long-term costs or implications for revenue growth.

During the budget season, hoteliers would do well to weigh the cost of OTAs (and other third-party intermediaries) against the profits generated by these channels. This will allow hotels to make smarter, more balanced distribution decisions that drive revenue growth and profitability.

When accounting for your year-end revenue to shape next year’s distribution strategy, ideally hotel managers should consider the following:

  • How much does each channel earn when commission charges are factored in?
  • What is the channel’s average daily rate? It may surprise you to see that it is your brand’s site that offers this higher ADR! Do your own analysis and remember: the numbers don’t lie.
  • Find the days of the week that generate the most bookings from each channel. Do some chains just fill the most requested dates for your hotel and contribute less to the other nights? If so, it may be a good idea to assess the availability you offer to these channels.

Read here to learn more about what you should consider when developing your distribution strategy.

2. Reassess and renegotiate distribution and supplier partnerships – Who is helping your hotel business grow?

As they reflect on the early days of the pandemic, it’s important for hotels to remember who their real partners in the struggle for survival were, and those who let them down. This applies to partners across all hospitality and travel industries, from OTAs to technology providers.

While it’s impossible to know in advance everything there is to know about a potential tech vendor or channel partner, here are some key questions you should ask a potential partner before investing:

  • How will your solution solve the operational and business challenges of our hotel?
  • How does your solution align with the business needs of our hotel?
  • How does your business innovate and adapt to change?
  • How will your business manage and mitigate the risks to our hotel?
  • Do you understand the impact of customer experience and engagement?
  • Of course, it goes without saying that you should only consider those who respond with a proven track record of how they can help your business in the long run.

And finally, if you rethink your current partnerships, we suggest you ask yourself this question: “Did my current partner support the resumption of my hotel activities when times were tough or were they just a dead weight? “

3. Prioritize innovation in your hotel technical stack and ensure your hotel has the skills to respond to the rise of “Revenge Travel”

As revenge travel increases after nearly two years of closures and shifting travel restrictions, consumers are demanding more than ever. It is essential that every step of the customer experience continues to be optimized, from online research to pre-booking to payment, and beyond. It is crucial that hotels have both the technology and the skills to meet these demands.

Speaking to our COLLECTIVE session #HotelierPULSE of June 2021 with Techtalk.travel, David Chestler, Senior Managing Director of Provision Partners emphasized how crucial it is for hotels to have the technology to meet guest demands. He said: “With today’s traveling public who are comfortable with devices and instantly sharing information, it’s critical that hotels are ready to respond. “

He went on to explain what hotels are doing to innovate their technology, “Many hotels are developing voice AI and chatbots that allow hotels to interact more effectively with their guests and guide purchasing decisions. “

Chestler went on to point out that hotel staff must be empowered to manage technology, reducing repetitive tasks and giving employees more time to manage the guest experience. He said: “Removing the pressure on human resources will be a critical path to recovery. Businesses need to make sure their teams can manage the technologies to deliver more efficient experiences for high-demanding consumers. Employees need to be supported to be comfortable in today’s environment and demand.

Without the right technologies and skills in place, hotels risk damaging customer relationships and ultimately the bottom line. Therefore, it is imperative that hotels, on an ongoing basis, continue to analyze guest behaviors and trends, and respond with technological innovation. To help you get started, read this article with 6 steps to improve the skills of your workforce.

4. Continue to optimize your hotel’s direct channel

Throughout the pandemic so far, the Direct Channel has shown the greatest resilience and growth now that travel is resuming. The tone was set by the way hotels and OTAs engaged with customers during the crisis and the direct channel continues to outperform all other channels. But what will happen when the company surpasses pre-pandemic levels?

Hoteliers must continue to make direct channel growth a central focus of their sales and marketing strategies. The good news is that many hoteliers have implemented and continue to implement strategies that optimize their hotel websites and other direct channels.

According to Guestcentric’s Hotelier PULSE survey from September 2021, nearly 79% of hoteliers will prioritize growing their direct channel to become the primary source of bookings over the next 12 months and beyond. Notably, when asked what incentives hoteliers currently offer to customers who book direct, the results show that 50% of hoteliers currently offer more attractive rates to customers who book direct instead of OTAs.

5. Think local for business travel, think international for leisure travel

According to our ongoing PULSE hotelier research, international hotel bookings have continued to outperform domestic bookings since August 2021, and the majority of hoteliers surveyed expect international leisure travel to contribute significantly to the growth rate. business resumption. However, it’s important to note that business travel is recovering much more slowly. This is not only due to the rise of remote working, but also budget constraints, as companies continue to manage costs during the recovery.

Speaking during our PULSE Hotel panel in October 2021, Jens Egemalm, director of distribution at Pandox AB recommended that hotels dependent on business travel continue to target regional or local business travelers.

He said: “When we analyze the volume of leisure bookings on channels such as Booking.com and Expedia, we find that most of these bookings are actually driven to some extent by the commercial motivations of small businesses and entrepreneurs. So while more and more large-scale business travel is recovering more slowly, due to company policies and restrictions, there are opportunities to leverage locally. “

Pedro Colaco, CEO of Guestcentric and Great Hotels of the World agreed, adding: “We have to consider that small and medium-sized businesses have suffered from the economic downturn and are eager to get back on the road and restart business. Therefore, it is essential that hotels (which depend heavily on business travel demand) continue to look to these regional opportunities. “

Conclusion

The Covid-19 recession has forced hoteliers around the world to rethink every facet of their business, from operational efficiency and guest engagement to boosting direct revenue. As hotels prepare their business strategies for 2022, it is crucial that they continue to focus on the good habits and strengths they have cultivated over nearly two years of volatile market conditions.

What business strategies is your hotel focusing on in 2022? Leave your comments in the comments, or share what you think for the new year in our latest PULSE hotel survey here.

About GuestCentric

GuestCentric is a leading provider of cloud-based digital marketing software and services that help amazing hoteliers promote their brand, drive direct bookings, and connect with guests across all digital platforms. GuestCentric’s all-in-one platform provides hotels with the only unified solution to manage their guest’s online journey: award-winning, high-impact websites; an integrated and easy-to-use booking engine; social media marketing and posting tools; a GDS channel code and a channel manager to offer rooms on Amadeus, Booking.com, Expedia, Galileo, Google, Saber, TripAdvisor and hundreds of other channels. GuestCentric is a proud provider of solutions that maximize direct bookings to hotel groups and independent hotels from collections such as Design Hotels, Great Hotels of the World, Leading Hotels of the World, Relais & Châteaux, Small Luxury Hotels and Small Danish Hotels. GuestCentric is featured on Skift Travel Tech 250, a list of the top 250 travel technology companies shaping the modern travel experience.

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