As Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to impact travel globally, it is important to observe industry forecasts and trends that will ultimately shape your recovery strategy as hotels begin to plan for the initial rebound in travel demand.
According to a special forecast from STR and Tourism Economics, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the hotel industry is projected to report significant declines across demand, occupancy, ADR, and revenue per available room (RevPAR) in 2020. While travel has come to a virtual standstill due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the market is expected to regain its footing in the latter part of the year and next year.
Based on research from CBRE, from the start of the US outbreak in January 2020, it is predicted that it will take approximately 6-10 months (June) for US hotel demand to begin to recover, and 12-16 months for ADR and RevPAR to recover. Therefore, hoteliers need to take the necessary steps to adequately prepare for recovery, while also setting proper expectations and KPIs.
Overall, your hotel should consider a three-phased approach:
- While Travel is on Pause: While people are not traveling and many hotels are closed, hotels should stay connected with past and future guests through social, email, and editorial content that entertains and adds value to maintain a strong brand relationship.
- Initial Rise in Travel Demand: Ramp up marketing efforts focused on brand awareness and fueling new guests into the booking funnel with affordable CPCs and CPMs to reach people beginning to daydream about rebooking and planning vacations. Ensure a flexible cancellation policy and sensitive messaging relevant to the situation.
- Travel Demand Strengthens: Continue marketing efforts shifting focus to lower-funnel intent as well as targeting the right demographics and feeder markets with the right messaging and packages.