The travel and tourism industry was already changing before the pandemic hit, with the birth of Airbnb and similar home rental websites and bigger and better hotel and motel websites. Now that people are more willing to travel again, the latter two are back in a big way; in fact, the competition is fiercer than ever. What can be done to increase bookings in 2022 and for the future?
Leveraging the Power of Email
Guests usually provide email addresses when booking online, and these should be treated like solid gold. Use them to develop mailing lists, and send out monthly messages that offer special promotions for midweek stays, discounts for a third stay and so forth. Also include helpful information about local attractions that they might be interested in. Guests also love to get coupons for local restaurants and attractions, so try to build relationships with companies in the area. You could provide guests with email attachments for half off a spa treatment, and the spa could send out 25 percent off standard rate vouchers for you.
Host Special Events
Site Minder recommends hosting special one-day events, like art shows, conferences, poetry readings or wine tastings. These can also be partnered through local companies, and you might even be able to find artists and others willing to do it at no cost for the free publicity. Just be sure to get the word out on your website, emails, social media and through local flyers at area establishments.
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Your website is your most important marketing tool, but if it isn’t mobile-friendly you’re forfeiting a huge chunk of potential customers; o many travelers book places to stay on the fly when they’re already traveling or otherwise using handheld devices. Social Tables explains that that 50 percent of all hospitality bookings are made on tablets and smartphones, and that hotel and motel websites must be optimized for mobile viewing and booking. It’s easy to people to get frustrated when a mobile site isn’t easy to use, and they will quickly look to your competitors if that happens.
Reach Out To Real Estate Brokers
Research your area, and make a list of all the local residential and commercial real estate agencies. Home buyers often travel into towns for viewings, and need places to stay. Figure out what you can do for those real estate agents in return for referrals to those buyers.
Make Your Website More Useful
Travelers who are looking for memorable experiences are more likely to be drawn to exciting hotel and motel websites that offer the promise of a wonderful stay, so start by filling up yours with high-quality, authentic photos and videos that can create strong bonds with potential customers. Streamline the booking process too, because no one wants to have to spend hours on this process. Also give them a lot of useful information about the area, like the best time to visit a local tourist attraction and the best Tex-Mex restaurant. An active blog is also helpful, and can publicize things like monthly festivals and special deals at the hotel. Practice the best and most current SEO strategies, too; as an example, Social Tables adds that long-tail keywords are responsible for up to 90 percent of Google searches these days.
Promote Your Business on Social Media
Social media platforms can direct potential customers to your website, so create and maintain accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. Update these often, by providing links to new articles on your website, asking interesting questions that encourage long discussions and video tours of your property. And whenever there’s a special deal, tease at them on social media and include links.