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Vendor Updates

Sabre Hospitality Solutions (CRS and other solutions)

2020 Fall
Southlake, Texas

Glimmers of optimism peek over the horizon as our industry begins to see signs of hospitality’s recovery. In North America, we’ve seen consecutive weeks of occupancy levels above 50%, according to STR. Global booking trends and search traffic point to a release of pent-up travel demand in the leisure segment. Where the travel industry once came to a screeching halt, travelers themselves are showing signs of interest, adjusting how they view travel and when they want to engage in it. 

Are we out of the woods yet? No. Have we recovered off the bottom? Probably. Are brighter days ahead of us? Absolutely.

So how can savvy hoteliers accelerate their recovery from the current crisis, building on key learnings from the past and articulating a clear plan for the months and quarters ahead?

I’ve noticed five common themes from successful hotels and brands leading the upswing:

Lead – To accelerate a return of revenue you must sell your way into the recovery, beginning with having the sales and revenue leaders on staff. Get creative with how you bring these roles back, whether in a part-time situation, as a shared resource or covering multiple jobs while sales volumes are suppressed. 

Listen – Sales, revenue leaders and marketers must listen for what people who are traveling want and adjust their offering and messaging to attract those guests. Understanding the “who” is paramount before you plan the “what.”

Reach – Once you know who you need to talk to, you have to reach their eyes and inspire their decision to travel. It’s more than being present online, it’s smartly investing in targeted meta campaigns to gain visibility and ensuring your content addresses what travelers need to see in order to select you.

Drive – The strongest results I’ve seen so far have been when hoteliers drive guests to their own website, to reassure them of their safety and comfort, and to capture them at the moment of inspiration. A strong booking engine underpins a robust recovery strategy, and builds off an effective digital acquisition campaign.

Prepare – Hotels that launch into recovery fastest over the next 18 months will begin planning now for the scenarios they may see over the next three, six or 12 months. While GDS Media might not seem like the right use of funds today, have you planned that as a budget item for January to be ahead of your competitors in capturing shoppers? When guests start calling to make reservations, you may not be able to ramp up staffing immediately; have you engaged an overflow reservations center to ensure you’re capturing every interested guest? Don’t just live in the now – plan for the changes you expect to come.

Undoubtedly, travel will return, and likely faster than we initially believed. This recovery will come in phases: leisure before business, younger before older, purposeful before aspirational. Will you lean into the recovery and accelerate your own success, or will you play catch-up in response to those who have invested?

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