What CAN we do during the Corona(COVID19) crisis?
We hope you’re doing well, amid the turmoil of the Corona (COVID-19) crisis. We at NextPax see at first hand, at least for the bookings done through distribution, how much of a difficult time this is for you and your colleagues. It’s quite devastating to see that cancellations drop in, and that your value proposition of welcoming and ensuring your guests have a good time at your properties is not coming to life at this moment.
And, while, you at the moment might deal with the safety of your guests and employees - handling more customer service requests than normal - we all also need to take care to survive as a business and as a travel ecosystem. Therefore - our team at NextPax - would like to help you with some advice - of what we see happening in the market to prepare for the moment there will be light at the end of this tunnel. Before, we’d like to give the recommendations, we of course do want to state we are not virus experts - so the advice all depends on the changes these specialists, governments and other stakeholders will allow for. Despite this, Let’s see what we can do to revive from this situation altogether.
Postpone - not cancel!
The intent was real, people wanted to stay at your accommodation - try to move them to other dates in the future and find resolutions with the OTA’s where these bookings emerged from. It works positively to show your internal stakeholders what’s already on the books post Corona (COVID-19). And your guests will be happy that their experience with you is still going to take place!
More than ever it is important to load your 2021 prices, in time, preferably now.
As more public events are postponed towards later 2020, or even 2021 - the journey to orientate towards 2021 holiday and business travel plans will start way earlier. Also people, stranded at home - are going to make plans for a life after Corona (COVID-19). Therefore, it does not hurt to already open-up availability and prices for 2021 and it also shows towards home-owners and other stakeholders you as an organisation see business potential for mid and long-term.
For summer and autumn 2020 create as much as demand, with flexible cancellation policies and with the least amount of restrictions.
Of course, it should be possible according to your business model, but although today’s situation is dark, the chance could be that towards summer and autumn the situation has improved a lot. In China where the virus erupted, today only 1 new case of Corona (COVID-19) was discovered. If the situation does improve, people will orientate to rebook last-minute holiday plans - with the accommodations and property managers that offer flexible conditions. Help potential guests do that - if the situation does not improve they cancel again (at least you have tried) - if the situation does improve, you might be among the first businesses to profit again from it. Consult the NextPax team about possibilities to change your cancellation and deposit policies to make them more flexible for the summer and autumn period of 2020.
Lower your pricing, a lot of accommodations will be fighting to take the first slice of the recovering travel market post Corona (COVID-19)
Was the competition harsh and ruthless before Corona (COVID-19))? Expect your competitors to act way more aggressive post Corona (COVID-19) Everyone will be looking to up their numbers as quickly as possible, as basically it’s a complete restart of the travel industry. Everyone is looking to gain as much advantage and it’s easier to overtake one another - it’s comparable with a Formula1 race restart. Position yourselves to capture market share in the beginning by lowering prices.
Bookmark the official websites of the World Health Organization, IATA and your local government websites and OTA’s that continue to update on Corona (COVID-19).
Stay on top of the news and developments around Corona (COVID-19), this might sound obvious, however with so many news sources and channels some news items might overshadow others that could be more impactful for your business. Make sure to bookmark the sources - that you think - will deliver the news adequately. Here some of our suggestions.
www.iata.org - any changes in the flight industry will immediately change travel behaviour from people across various destinations per world. They have made a database to aggregate and document any local government changes regarding the allowance to travel again. http://support.nextpax.com/en/articles/3392868-iata-updates-corona-covid19
We are assembling, as many of the official OTA Corona (COVID-19) websites and positions taken by the OTA’s on our official support.nextpax.com webpage. Please see them here.
We hope some of this advice will help you to battle your way through Corona (COVID-19) and that together we are able to revive and reactivate the travel industry post this crisis. For now we would like to wish everyone good health for themselves, colleagues, friends and family and any other relations. Stay strong, help each-other, battle this together.