It’s time for hotel owners and managers to prepare for the upcoming summer season. Expedia Group CEO, Peter Kern, tells Bloomberg that “summer 2022 will be the busiest travel season ever.” Kern is not the only one. The World Travel & Tourism Council predicted that US travel and tourism would exceed pre-pandemic levels by 6.2%, accounting for almost $2 trillion in US gross domestic product. This means that hotel owners and managers should prepare for an increase in summer travel by changing how they market their hotels for summer vacations. By giving their websites a summer makeover, offering attractive rates, and keeping their hotel in tip-top condition, they will maximize on the 2022 summer season.
2022 TRAVEL THEME IS “GO BIG”
In early August 2020, the consumer confidence index dropped to its lowest in six years. The index first declined to 91.7 in July and then decreased to 84.8 in August. Later in January 29 2021, 20 states joined the state of Florida in a lawsuit against the mask mandate on public transportation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office called the mandate “unlawful,” and Florida leaders claimed there was no high-quality data to support the effectiveness of mask mandates.
As a result of a court order, the CDC’s mandate of wearing masks on public transportation conveyances and transportation hubs was lifted on April 18, 2022. Since the mask mandate on public transportation has been lifted, will we see an increase in summer travelers? “Consumer confidence is returning and the latest forecast shows that recovery rates are high,” says Julia Simpson, president, and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council. Many travel agents are also reporting an increase in bookings for the coming summer season in 2022 as compared to 2020.
STR US hotel performance reports for March 2022 indicate that the US hotel industry experienced an increased performance with better-indexed comparisons against 2019. The data shows the percentage change in march 2022 from march 2021:
● Occupancy – 64.0% (-6.25)
● Average daily rate (ADR) – US$ 146.61 (=10.9%)
● Revenue per available room (RevPAR) – US$ 93.82 (=4.0%)
The occupancy and RevPAR levels are at their highest since July 2021. The travel industry is expecting a new travel trend, ‘go big, spend big.’ There is a sense of urgency to hit the road as most people feel they have lost two years of travel. This year, travelers do not just want to go anywhere, they are looking forward to rich experiences after being unable to travel freely for two years. Expedia CEO Peter Kern says, “And yes, travel prices will be high. But at this point, I think people are willing to pay whatever the hell it takes to get away.” He continues to say that people are tired of going to national parks. They want to go to faraway places with lots of cultural attractions and culinary options.
The theme “go big spend big’ is certainly alive, with travelers planning big bucket list summer vacations to faraway and exotic destinations. A survey of 12000 travelers from 12 countries revealed that 65% of the respondents were planning on “going big.”
Now that there is evidence that summer travel will increase in 2022, how do you attract guests and maintain neatness and order to retain them?
How to Market Your Hotel for Family Summer Vacations
As travel continues to recover, hotels have an opportunity to capitalize on summer, which is a lucrative time for most properties. This makes summer marketing very crucial for your hotel. Tap into the power of social media by using different channels to communicate with guests. They will be able to search and share images, videos, hashtags, and view testimonials. Develop your brand’s voice by sharing your values on social media. Your content and other forms of interaction should represent those values. This will attract travelers to your property. A few marketing and operational tweaks with a summer theme in mind will appeal to families on the lookout for hotels to stay in during their summer vacation.
● Start summer marketing early – Spring is a good time to rev up your marketing since summer guests might book hotel rooms as early as 51 days in advance.
● Give your website a summer look – Summer is a time of sunshine, smiles, and activities. Include pictures of the hotel’s pool, happy smiling faces, summer foods and drinks, and outdoor activities.
● Tailor deals to be summer-specific – Families should have a reason to choose your hotel through special deals. Discounted tickets to a waterpark is an example of a summer-specific deal.
Focus on the family. It is common for families to return to a specific hotel each summer, and you want it to be your hotel.
Keep Your Hotel In Tiptop Shape
The majority of travelers will read online reviews of your hotel before booking. Negative reviews can pose a threat to your business, so make sure you prepare your hotel so it’s in tiptop condition. No matter how many guests have been hosted by your hotel over the years, nobody wants their room to feel used. It is the role of the housekeeping manager, together with hotel employees, to remove any trace of previous occupants by tidying up the rooms and outside areas.
Aside from maintaining cleanliness, guests love it when you give them complementary products. Include some freebies such as shower gel, conditioner, and body lotion. When the hotel is kept in pristine condition, you can be confident while asking visitors to leave reviews of their experience at your hotel. Retain guests at your hotel by inspiring loyalty. From serving summer delicacies in exciting ways to celebrating special events and holidays, indulge your guests in every way possible.
If you are selling your hotel, that is a big step that requires expert guidance. NewGen Advisory hospitality brokerage and advisory team will help you make the most of the proceeds from the sale of your hotel properties. Contact us to assist you in the sales process.