So let's not get too discouraged and let’s start using this time to consider how we can mitigate the damage and display confidence that everything will soon return to normal.
Many of you are asking us for advice on what to do now and so we wanted to share our perspective and some (hopefully) helpful tips:
Right now there is a drop in arrival and price reductions are largely irrelevant to customers who simply may not want to travel. Blanket price reductions will ultimately continue to hurt your business. When demand starts to recover, you don’t want to be selling underpriced rooms. Use our yield tools to help vary your prices based on occupancy. Set you bottom rate and ensure you prices increase in accordance with demand.
This is a period of uncertainty, customers have a thousand doubts about whether or not to book and the more restrictions you put on sales, the more difficult it will be to receive new bookings. It is preferable to have flexible cancellation policies to leave freedom to the customer. People will simply be hesitant to book any sort of non-refundable rate in the current climate.
We have seen a lot of requests from guests asking for cancellations outside of normal terms and other asking for reimbursement of deposits already paid. Try to mediate with the client and offer vouchers with long deadlines for reusing the credit.
Enter into a dialogue with existing and potential customers. Given you occupancy may be significantly down and revenue suffering, there is opportunity to incentivise guest to make / honour bookings with some great room upgrades. Keep your entry level rooms free, they are the easiest to sell.