Welcome to Boostly Podcast Season 8 Episode 36. This is a recap of my Facebook live video where I talked about proactive things you can do now to get bookings after the lockdown.
Here’s the audio for this episode:
Here’s the video for this episode:
02:30 Fuel Travel Stats
05:10 90% of people in lockdown
07:40 The Caveman Video
12:10 The 8 Types of Travelers during lockdown
14:20 Accommodation for key workers
18:00 Ask your guests to post about you
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Transcript from the Episode
There was a couple of recent surveys done but the one that stood out for me was Fuel Travel. And they surveyed around about I think the average at the end was about 15,000 travellers and guests.
What was really interesting to me was a lot of the numbers that were coming back, the stats that really were surprising for me and I’ve got them written down on a piece of paper here. The first one is that out of nearly 15,000 people that were surveyed only 3% said that they would not be travelling in 2020.
Obviously, we as hospitality owners, you have been affected by COVID-19 for your hospitality business. 97% said that they would be.
And I think the other important thing apart about this survey as well is that 75% of those same people said that right now, they were wanting to book but they were just sat on the fence they were waiting for either lockdown to be reduced so that they are allowed to travel and go and stay again. Or they were waiting to see what the accommodation themselves were going to be offering.
This again is playing a big part 75% of people that are sat on the fence. They are waiting to see what happens. So obviously different countries and different states are going to come out of lockdown and allow people to travel at different periods. I’m in the UK and we are still on lockdown now. Some of you are watching in America, different states are coming out their lockdown already, obviously people over in Bali, and China and from Australia tuning in, you’re coming out in different periods of lockdown Europe, France and Spain again, starting to rush to lift the restrictions but it’s very, very slowly.
So again, depending on where you are in the world, depending on where you are if you’re locked down and you’ve got to obviously look at your current guidelines for this. But when we do start to come out of these lockdowns, I really do feel that you’ve got to be playing on these two things.
Again, 15,000 people interviewed surveyed 75% of them said that they were sat on the fence, 3% of them said that they would not travel and the two big words that are coming out of it is safety and comfort. So again, you’ve got to, you’ve got to be looking at this, you’ve got to be putting this into your marketing move moving forward.
90% of people in lockdown
Now, the next one, again, leads me on to another bit of big news. So 90% of them said that they would help a property that they had stayed out in the past who were in financial difficulty. What I would be recommending that you do is contacting previous guests that have stayed with you in the past, or maybe somebody that has stayed with you for a few times, but has had to cancel and hasn’t yet rebooked, you could go to them and just say, Hey, you know, would mean a lot and would help us and I know you want to come and stay with us. I know you want to rebook so at the moment, we haven’t got dates, but what you can do is if you follow this link, you can book in a gift card, you can book into some credit. So when we do reopen, you can use that credit to a future state. So we’re getting you’re getting that that revenue now. So it’s in the bank.
Now, the guest has got the credit against their name. And as soon as the lockdowns are restricted and lowered, and people know that they can come and travel to you, then again, it’s a no-lose situation for both pies. And again, it’s 90%. So as you know, nine out of every 10 guests are saying that they would, they would help.
The Caveman Video
I pulled out one of the videos that I created that everybody can use on their Instagram, on their Facebook on their LinkedIn or Twitter to get attention. And it’s the caveman video. You can upload it onto your Facebook onto your Instagram. LinkedIn, wherever it is basically is encouraging or explaining to people why they should book direct and it’s totally generic, you can link it back to your website, you can tell the benefits of booking direct, but you can use it and that’s my present to you for sharing this more than into 10 groups.
If you go into your PMS, if you go into your property management software, you can run a report and you can get a list of everybody who has cancelled.
Now again, we all know from the stats that are being given out that a large majority of them are waiting to rebook. Now your job now is to not let them go back into that booking.com ecosystem or that Airbnb ecosystem and find somewhere else to book we want them to rebook with you. So thinking back to that 90% stat that I gave you where 90% of them would like to support a business that is in trouble.
Right now, I would be making a list and I would be looking to contact each one of them via text message or phone or via email over the course of the next week or two weeks. And I would be going to them and saying I know you had to cancel your stay because of the current situation, which is totally cool. But what I want to let you know is that we have created an online gift voucher system where you can purchase credit that you can use on a future Stay with us. So we know that you were looking forward to come in and stay with us. This is the option and again, some people have had a couple of cancellations. Some people have had 10 to 20 to 30 cancellations. Some people have had even more cancellations, which is crazy, but if you can just adopt this tactic and if you know Calling would be the best, text messaging great if you have to email. But if you can just put the message out there, again, being fully aware, fully aware that people are more than willing to help.
The cancellation thing was one of the main concerns, you know, and if they and one of the situations that the survey asked was, what would you be looking for, and people instantly go to price and people think that it’s pricing, but it’s not. It’s that cancellation things are people are willing to spend money people are willing to spend when it comes to purchasing, I think, I think we’re just all in the assumption that everybody has no money, which is not the case people are willing to spend, it’s the safety of them and their family. It’s the option to be flexible. So can they rebook if they need to that is what’s the main concern of on a large majority of people. So you’ve got to get into that mindset, it’s not about money. So don’t try and offer crazy discounts to rebook. But give that option where they can buy credit, book credit in and then they can use it, contact your future bookings that are coming up.
And again, say to them that, we totally understand the current situation, we’ve got this new cancellation policy, if you need to move it you can do. So again, if you’re proactive in this, the guest will be more again in your favour on this situation, because you’ve active you’ve proactively reached out.
There are obviously people that are able to book right now. Okay. And this does depend, again, on where you are in the world, which country, which state, which County, everybody’s got different rules and regulations.
The 8 Types of Travelers during lockdown
But, and I have said this in a previous video about eight type of travelers right now people that are looking for accommodation. And as you’ll remember, when I got in six hospitality owners. And we got in six people who have been able to bring in income during these crazy times. And again, the eight different types of people that are travelling right now and I’m going to list them off. So eight different types of travelers. Number one, airline crews, number two long haul drivers, number three, family support for medical staff. So it could be family that live out of town, but their son or daughter or nephew or whatever they work at the hospital. And for whatever reason, they can’t be around their families. So they’ve come in from out of town to help support. It could be family support for care staff, etc. So again, again, somebody from coming in from out of town, because their son, daughter or a family member or friend is is working in a care home and can’t be near their families or they’re coming in for family support. It could be University kids or university kids that just can’t be an accommodation, the University is on lockdown, they can get back home for whatever reason. And they can’t stay in there where they currently are. They need accommodation right now. Number six relocation states. Again, people that have sold their house have moved into a certain area. And the purchase has fallen through because of all of this because mortgage companies are not signing off on on house purchases, they could move to places to stay. It could be family separation for first responders and expats who are stuck. So it could be people that traveling and RVs can get back to to to their house. And again, the caravan sites and all of those are closed up. And again, they may need some sites.
So there’s eight different types of people that we’ve identified, that are still traveling or need accommodation right now. But there are so many different ways that you can be getting in front of these potential people that need accommodation.
Accommodation for key workers
One of the easiest things for key workers if you can take key workers right now. Now again, I stress this is not for everybody different rules, different regulations of other places. And the big message that I’m saying to everybody is that The one industry that is going to be really hard to get kicked out at as soon as, say staycations is going to be the flights.
So again, I know there’s a lot of people who are watching this that heavily rely on people flying onto the islands or flying into their area to come and see them, you’ve got to do your ultimate best right now, to try and get people who can just jump in a car to get to you, mainland, mainland Europe, Spain, Germany, France, etc. Italy, you’re okay, because you’re all connected to get from Holland, into France, it’s just you know, it’s a couple of hours.
So again, I will be looking at retargeting or refining different types of ways Facebook groups being one, you know, looking at other forms of market and how you can get in front of a different type of guest if you are alone.
These are situations that could potentially present themselves to you. But the big takeaway is that you’re going to have to do marketing tactics that you’ve never done before. It’s not going to be as simple now as just listing on Airbnb and booking.com. And waiting for the bookings to come in, you’re going to have to be utilizing the tactics and tips that I’ve been talking about for four years.
Ask your guests to post about you
So something that I’ve always recommended to so many people is don’t always try and focus on new money, or, or new reservations. Instead, try and focus on the guests that have stayed with you in the past. So one of the most easiest things you can do is look back on the last 12 to 18 months of your reservations. And you’re going to try and pick out your top 10 customers, okay, and what you’re going to do, as well as top 10 customers, and they could be top 10 from reservation how much money they gave you, it could be on the reviews, it could just be for ones you remember, it could be the ones that stayed with you the most time, but find those top 10. And you’ll have their records for your PMS, your property management software provider, you can call them pick up the phone and have a conversation with them.
And just if they can’t book with you, then you can just ask one simple thing and just go, Allie, you know, I totally understand you’re not looking to travel anytime soon. Can you do me a big favor? Could you just go onto your Facebook or go onto your Instagram or go onto your somewhere, just post a picture of your stay here, tag us in and tell everybody why you stayed here and give them the link and just tag us in. Because that would mean a lot.
And again, that social proof is going to be so key because it’s not just you posting online. That’s your top 10 guests, your top 10 people that absolutely love you adore you, you know, but they just for whatever reason can’t stay. They’re going to post online if that’s 10 different people doing that.
And they’ve got say on average 500 friends on that social media, then you’ve got so many you have thousands of potential new people that can discover your business and again, because it’s them doing it with their social proof, then it just means that there’s much more chance and likelihood of a friend picking it up. Who can travel who is wanting to travel who’s been stuck at home for two months, and is you know is looking for something to look forward to and they just see that perfect opportunity. And it’s all a case of us just asking. And again, that is the main thing that I want to want to get across everybody is just ask. Don’t be so reactive and Let’s get proactive.
One last stat during the lockdown
That is pretty much it. I’m going to leave you with one more stat is that in 2019 30 million people around the world went on a cruise. Now, if you can think of any other industry that’s going to be so affected by coronavirus, covid, 19, and then the cruise industry, but I can’t personally think of it. So 30 million people. Now what are those 30 million people looking to do right now, they are going to be looking for a different type and style of holiday. So what I encourage everybody to start doing would be to maybe have a look and see if there are any cruise online publications and cruise blogs. Look for any bloggers that go on cruises, look for any influence, go on cruises, maybe look at Facebook groups around cruise holidays, and look to see if you can put your property in there, add it to the mix, because you know, nobody’s going to be wanting to go on a cruise anytime soon.
So they’re going to be and they still want to go on a vacation. So if you can put your details out. Then again, you just put putting yourself in front of that potential opportunity. That is what I want to leave you with.