As we close on an unprecedented year of turmoil, the Fueligans take time to reflect on the things that we’re thankful for during the past 12-months. Despite the numerous challenges our industry has faced, there are so many things to be thankful for and hopeful for as we look forward to 2021.
- Finding efficiencies in our businesses and reducing waste
- from duplicative software and wasteful spending we were able to save money
- Recognizing the value of each individual guest
- We all became boutique hoteliers
- Software and Automation Improvements
- Being able to do more with less and utilizing the tools are our disposal to make the most of our efforts.
- Looking forward to:
- Seeing the things I am thankful for in 2020 become the most powerful tools at our disposal. Most importantly continuing to see the marketing/operations silos being broken down and people working closer together to grow their business.
- Getting to know my coworkers/clients better in a more human sense. We’ve all learned to be more compassionate with each other, more flexible, and more transparent.
- Transitioning from Adobe Analytics to Google Analytics
- Saved clients a ton of money
- A ton of agita in the short-term, but the right thing to do long-term
- Fuel Consumer Sentiment Study
- Having our finger on the pulse of leisure travelers throughout the pandemic was invaluable
- Sharing this knowledge with our podcast listeners, and other channels like HSMAI and “This Week in Hospitality Marketing.”
- BONUS FOR WOMEN – Women in Hospitality and Travel-Tech on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/whtt/ and https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13730672/
- Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast
- What else can I say about this? I like to think that this podcast has helped many, many of our listeners get through this pandemic by learning some actionable strategies, and keeping on top of hot topics and trends.
- Looking forward to:
- Can’t pick just one thing. Getting back to the office to see my Fueligan crew, traveling, eating at restaurants, clients with full hotels
- Guest Communication Has Improved
- The crisis made hotels aware that they need to be active in guest communication.
- It seems obvious but many hotels weren’t doing a good job of this pre-2020
- COVID restrictions and new policies that HAD to be communicated were communicated. I think many hotels learned that there is real value in reaching out to guests before they visit.
- I hope this translates into increased communication of things to do, property info, nearby events, etc even after the pandemic passes.
- Hospitality Industry Learned to be Hospitable Again
- Though some of this was done out of fear of bad reviews we did see some hotels transform from solely caring about P&L to truly caring and being empathetic to their guests.
- We saw tons of hotels allow for flexible and/or free cancellation which seemingly has become the industry norm.
- We saw hotels offering discounts and free stays to frontline healthcare workers
- Many hotels began using tactics that will be effective even after we return to “normal”
- Preventing cancellations by offering upgrades, new dates, vouchers, etc
- Outreach to cancelled guests through phone & email
- Remarketing was used for the first time by many hotels to target cancelled guests and guests who reached the booking engine but didn’t book.
- Messaging promoted safe travel but in the future we can get more creative
- Specifically targeting certain markets especially drive markets for weekend getaways.
- Partnerships with other local businesses
- Cross-training employees.. was out of necessity but now hotels should realize that there is real benefit
- What I’m Looking Forward To In 2021
- Other than the travel industry rebounding???
- I’m looking forward to hoteliers continuing Guest Communication, keeping hospitality at the forefront and being empathetic to guests, and using their newfound marketing tactics in new ways
Stuart is Thankful for:
- The value of relationships, including spending more time with my family, getting to know my clients and partners on a whole new level, leading on people in tough times and supporting them when they needed a helping hand.
- Recognizing the importance of education and sharing knowledge with the world. This has been a year where we had to reevaluate everything, throw out our playbooks, and try things we’ve never considered in the past. The work that the Fueligans did on our podcasts and sentiment studies didn’t just shape our strategies but they made a real impact on the entire community.
- Appreciating the fundamentals and being more deliberate has been the only way to survive the decrease in demand. Learning to fill our bowl of rice one grain at a time as opposed to the scoops we could generate in the past has been eye-openning and will shape our strategies for years to come. Even when demand picks up, we are better equipped to use deliberate tactics to curate the right audience and drive the right business.
- I am wishing for the successful rollout of the coronavirus vaccine and hope that the hospitality industry sets the standard in vaccination adoption and positive sentiment. It is the single best path toward recovery.
In The Newsaroos:
- Disney wasn’t allowing maskless riders to purchase photos
- They are now adding masks digitally so all rider photos are available for purchase
- There is something to learn here… Disney wants to normalize mask wearing on their rides. Hotels can take a page from their book and update their photography on their website of guests wearing masks inside the hotel.
- Can accomplish the goal of normalizing masks and shows that masks are required inside
- Makes potential guests feel like other guests are taking safety precautions (eliminating “fear of other guests” like we saw in our study)
Submit your questions and topic ideas on Twitter to @fueltravel or firstname.lastname@example.org.