The WHO has officially classified Covid-19 a global pandemic – with one of its many victims being the tourism industry. And with so much uncertainty on the horizon, thousands of people have cancelled their travel plans leaving a massive dent in the tourism industry. For example, a new report from consulting firm Tourism Economics has put some approximate numbers to that dent, saying it expects the US to lose about 1.6 million visitors from mainland China, translating to a 28% decline for 2020. Earlier this week, the United States banned travel from 26 Europe countries which will result in a serious loss of revenue in a short span of time. The US Travel Association said that 850,000 EU visitors flew to the US in March 2019 and spent around $3.4 billion in this country. In a crisis situation like this, it is critical to plan for the worst, get ahead of brand messaging and be prepared for anything.
First, Communication is key. Internally, communication with staff can help stave off any feelings of panic or stress triggered by a quickly evolving crisis. If you don’t already have one, work with a group of staff members to create an emergency preparedness plan. Ensure housekeeping teams are updated with the latest information on hygiene and health procedures and hold training sessions to ensure correct implementation. Additionally, stress proper hygiene practices to your employees. Lastly, assign roles to key staff members who you know will be able to act quickly and efficiently. Being prepared instills confidence in yourself as a leader, your staff and your guests.
Communication to your guests is equally important. Prepare a message for your social media platforms that lets your guests and other potential travellers know that you are aware of the situation and you have measures in place in case of an emergency, such as a no fee cancellation policy. This is the time to emphasize your housekeeping practices to ease any tensions your guests will have. Be prepared to answer questions from travellers looking for information on your specific property. Kindness and empathy will go a long way, this is why we are in the hospitality industry! Utilize your social media platforms to post updates regularly and keep in contact with guests and let them know you care.
Lastly, respond to your online reviews. Protect your reputation and get ahead of any potential rumors or misinformation about your property by consistently monitoring, answering and potentially flagging reviews. For example, any negative review about housekeeping can lead to an immediate loss in business. Be proactive by sharing your health and safety updates and practices so travelers know you are serious and have their best interests in mind.
If you are already a client of Review My Room, you don’t need to worry! We will handle all guest reviews and complaints and will be in constant communication with your GM’s regarding your online reputation during this time of crisis.
If you are looking for additional online reputation resources, keep in mind that regular reputation management could not be any more critical than during a crisis. We can assist with messaging, social media monitoring and reputation management. Contact us today and get prepared!