The travel industry is gearing up for the influx of people finally coming back. And you should be, too.
With the COVID-19 vaccine rolling out and lockdowns easing, you’re sure to see more travel-starved people finally leaving their homes. Still, there would be an air of caution among many hotel guests for a while.
While resorts are reopening, travel will look different than how it was pre-pandemic. Face masks, quarantines, physical distancing are a part of the new normal. Still, it’s not stopping people from booking their upcoming trips and travel accommodations.
To get your brand at the top of their radar when booking, here are the top 8 resort marketing trends for 2021.
Safety First in the Hospitality Industry
Amid the pandemic, though vaccines have started to roll out, the one huge marketing trend of marketing your resort is to ensure your guests that their safety is still the number 1 priority.
This needs to be done with consistency throughout all communications. Let guests know the steps you are taking to ensure their safety and hygiene regulations you’ve put in place everywhere you can.
Safety policies will be the forefront concern of many guests when making booking decisions.
Be Mobile First When Marketing Your Resort
More and more people are doing everything on their mobile phones. A majority of Facebook users only use Facebook through the mobile app and almost half of all customers say they are comfortable researching, booking, and planning their whole travel on their phones.
Online bookings make up almost 60% of all bookings and 85% of travelers book travel activities through mobile devices as well.
The numbers tell all. Optimizing mobile above all else is the best thing for you to be successful when marketing your resort.
Messaging on the spot & Chatbots
Convert potential customers to actual guests by being available for them at all times.
At a time of instant gratification, when a customer asks a question, they want it answered right now. Online messaging has changed the landscape of the hospitality industry by providing potential customers the answers to their queries in real-time.
Chat apps are quickly becoming the most efficient and convenient way to communicate with potential customers. Because of this widespread familiarity, messaging apps are a convenient way for today’s travelers to communicate.
Chatbots can be an effective tool for instantaneous back & forth between your brand & the guests. However, it can come off as cold and robotic, so make sure you give your potential guests an option to talk to a human.
Resorts that respond quickly and at a time that is convenient for their guests have a better chance of closing bookings and growing repeat business. Live chat supports can also answer very specific questions and personalize your guests’ experiences.
It’s still best if there is dedicated personnel to reply to the queries of potential guests.
Promote long staying guests & business travelers
Many people have converted to remote work. Though digital nomads have existed for quite some time, we are also seeing more people working remotely away from their offices .
Packing their bags and going to the pristine beaches for a year with the latest digital nomad visa or traveling to the rugged mountains, juggling travel and work is becoming more attainable for many of your resort guests.
Working from HOME doesn’t really mean you have to be home. Remote workers can now work from a multitude of places and that includes your resort.
Having amenities and promotions for long-staying guests and business travelers, such as high-speed wifi connections, an in-room workspace, and easily accessible charging ports could be your game-changer in keeping your rooms booked all-year-round.
High Value with Flexible Cancellations
Uncertainty is prevalent in guests’ minds. Will my country go into lockdown today? Would my office require me to go back in soon? Would flights be canceled on my booking date? What if I become positive for COVID just before my travel date?
Giving the option for flexibility in rebookings and cancellations gives guests peace of mind and may likely be the turning point of booking or not booking.
Get Social Media on your Side
While the hospitality industry may not see the benefits instantly, social media is among the best approaches for increasing resort booking rates.
Social networking is an underutilized platform in the hospitality and tourism industries.
By using social media for your resort, you would be able to post, communicate, and talk with your guests, regulars, and passing-by professionals, as well as highlight why prospective customers should consider your destination.
People spend an average of more than 2 hours on social media daily. The top platform, Facebook, has 1.4 billion active users each day and Instagram is not far behind. The more you can capture the attention of travelers, the more your brand will be ‘top of mind’ for future guests and that will result in more bookings.
Aside from this, many take to social media to review many destinations and travel activities before they purchase. Keep your Social Media posts consistent in your messaging and frequent so you keep building your brand recognition.
Expand Your Resort’s Digital Advertising
97% of consumers use the web to search for their travel plans before making a decision.
Digital marketing now should be a priority for your resort. All businesses need advertising, and competition will be higher in 2021 more than ever.
90% of people with social media have used the platforms to communicate directly with businesses. Digital marketing is also three times less expensive than traditional media, making it the most cost-effective method of advertising.
Paid online advertising will enable you to create highly targeted campaigns for your intended target market (e.g., by demographic, geography, or special interest) and gives you the ability to track results accurately.
Start the Experience before Booking
Guest experience starts before booking. Some hoteliers offer a 360-degree view virtual tour of their hotel and rooms for hotel guests to get a better feel for what level of comfort they’d like to book. This also includes a good user interface in booking, sending relevant information such as amenities, add-on services, and other details.
A website that loads quickly with fresh, relevant content, is one of the initial touchpoints you’ll have with hotel guests.
Some even use VR technology to really showcase the resort’s rooms and amenities to highlight the amazing experience guests can have. Augmented reality marketing is the next big thing as the technology becomes steadily more readily available to households.
Other Travel Marketing Trends
Travel marketers are always adapting to the latest trends . It is essential to keep up with trends in this extremely fast-moving digital landscape for the success of the brand.
Another advantage of following trends is crisis communication. You can manage the reputation of your brand by monitoring trend topics in your industry. You can not only prepare for the crisis, but can also ease the crisis by reacting in real time to the negative media and your customers on a variety of platforms.