Hospitality COVID Recovery: Use Your Third-Party Listings to Build Trust
Hotel COVID recovery is different in every region and market. It’s impossible to make blanket statements about what specific policies hotels should enact to boost demand.
However, according to STR analysis, the demand to travel is growing. Fewer people are citing COVID-19 as a reason to not travel now compared to a year ago. And 75% of survey respondents said that they wanted to take an overnight leisure trip this year
So, the obvious question is how to capture that demand? First and foremost, the #1 driver of success right now is leveraging trust. We know that consumer behavior has fundamentally changed: people have embraced new technology, including new ways of shopping and booking, which were previously only used by specific market segments.
And along with that change in behavior, consumer trust has become more important than ever. Deloitte’s The future of hospitality report distills the elements of trust that consumers are focused on:
- Financial and digital – that financial and digital concerns are protected; for hotels this means that their booking policy is flexible and information is clear
- Emotional and physical – that individual and community needs are safe; for hotels this means make safety precautions are visible and obvious
The obvious way to start building that trust is at the property level, with enhanced safety measures, which most hotels have spent the last year working on. Your brand.com and direct channels are where you have the most control to build “digital” trust, which most hoteliers have kept up-to-date with travel notices and information. After that, you can’t forget about building trust and reliability on your third-party listings.
As the belief and trust that travel is safe grows, so too does the demand for travel. It’s up to hotel chains to tap into that trust and capture bookings as people reserve their long waited for getaways. Here are three strategies to make sure your brands’ travel channel listings are trustworthy and ready to drive revenue as travel demand increases.
Consistency is Key
While it’s always been important to have a coherent brand image across third-party listings, it is now truly essential. A hotel cannot afford to have conflicting information or representation on different channels.
Conflicting information about availability, opening, or policies on different channels will erode consumer trust in this precarious time. Make sure your third-party listings have consistent messaging. Your safety policies, amenity availability should be the same on every listing. To ensure this consistency, conduct a manual audit of all of your third-party listings to assess the accuracy of the meta text and information. Or save time and use content verification software to automate and improve this process for you.
Travel shoppers are more cautious than ever, so having your pool listed as “open” on one travel site and “closed for safety precautions” on another will cost you revenue.
Bring your safety measures to life
It’s one thing to tell people why they should trust you with their booking. It’s even better to show them why they can trust you. Consider documenting and photographing safety measures and adding them to your third-party listings, including:
- Social distancing measures
- Room service in place of restaurant dining
- Hand sanitizer, masks, similar offerings
- Cleanliness procedures
- Distanced or digital check-in
As an indication of how important these types of media are, travel channels like Expedia have added brand-new media categories for “Cleanliness Measures” and “Security.” These new media categories are intended to encourage hotels to showcase why travelers should trust them with health and safety.
Building trust through automation
Keeping your third-party listing accurate and fresh is more important than ever. The importance of consistent messaging is not just a selling feature, it’s a promise that travel shoppers can trust your brand.
Automation is essential to boosting consistency while still maintaining operational efficiency. Leonardo’s product suite is design to do just that: we distribute content to direct and indirect channels and verify the accuracy and consistency across channels so that your message is the same everywhere a potential guest is shopping.
Every brand’s needs are different. We design our solutions around how you use your content. Contact us for a demo today.