For chain hotels and resorts, messaging around reduced capacity and social distancing measures can help reassure the more than one-third of travelers who have avoided these accommodation types during the pandemic because they feel too many people are staying there. Implementing and communicating health and safety measures are a must for lodging providers, and this information should be easily accessible for guests, wherever they are searching for information or inspiration
Online reviews have long played a role in informing traveler decisions, but they will be even more important for future travel planning. According to a 2020 study, nearly three-quarters of travelers read reviews before booking a property and consider reviews about “room cleanliness” and “overall condition of the hotel” as the most influential.
- 80% of travelers believe if hotels do not respond to negative property reviews, then the review must be truthful.
- Looking ahead, travelers will turn to recent online reviews 41% more than pre-pandemic, while online reviews from any time will see a 15% lift.
Lodging providers should encourage guests to leave reviews and respond to guest reviews, good and bad, ideally within 24 hours, to show guests that their opinions and suggestions for improvement matter.
Travelers will increasingly turn to hotel websites, online travel agencies and travel advertising for trip planning post-pandemic, and pictures and information on these channels will be more relevant and influential in the future. As traveler demand continues to grow, lodging providers should implement a multi-channel marketing strategy to ensure their property is front and center with potential guests –wherever they are dreaming, searching or shopping – and evaluate their marketing toolkit.