What can SmartHOTEL offer the hotel market in times of the COVID-19 Corona virus?
The current situation regarding the coronavirus demands a lot from everyone. Not only as a professional within an industry that is completely dependent on tourism and hospitality, but also as an individual, family member and friend. It asks each of us to constantly deal with each other and with this situation with care and seriousness, but at the same time to remain rational and calm and to think about the future.
Together we stand strong
Of course, we also see a painful trend at SmartHOTEL when it comes to the number of bookings versus cancellations. As a key system for sending reservation information and managing prices, we find it important to say that we are responsible for this together with you. We not only want to encourage all our hotelier-customers, but also actively think along with them and offer a helping hand where necessary.
Read here the answers to frequently asked questions and tips from SmartHOTEL
Frequently asked questions by hoteliers during the COVID-19 period
Our support team will actively reach out to our hotelier-customers in the coming period to actively think along with the long-term goals and offer a helping hand where necessary. Think about this:
- Sharing help and knowledge on how to deal with room rates, occupancy and offering alternatives to guests.
- Walk through your distribution mix with you to make sure that all offered rates, used channels and prices go through and are optimally set up for the future and your success.
- Talking, offering support and thinking along. We will not pretend to have all the answers, unfortunately, no one has yet. Still, it can be helpful and pleasant to have a chat or to consult with us.
If you need this urgently, don’t wait for our call. Please contact us directly!
In most countries the government operates in a slightly different way. But in times of crisis, they are happy to assist entrepreneurs. Our advice is to keep an eye on the government website, help with postponing tax payments are common tools from the government agency.
A number of hotels are very creative with their empty rooms. Because of the coronavirus, many people have to work from home, and not everyone has an optimal workplace at home. That’s why some hotels temporarily offer their rooms as workspace. In this way, the hotel can still generate turnover from both room rental and food and beverage!
Tips for your hotel during the COVID-19 period
Your current guests are of course already aware of the extra measures you take in terms of hygiene, facilities or desired social behaviour. Don’t forget to communicate this to your potential guests. Especially during this period bookers want to know what measures your hotel takes to guarantee their safety. Put it prominently on your website and booking channels (if possible) and in your emails. It would be a shame to miss out on new bookings due to a lack of information.
You may be tempted to drastically reduce hotel room prices because you can offer fewer facilities than normal. Please don’t do this, or at least as little as possible. This will cause a lot of unnecessary damage in the long run. Instead of lowering your prices, think about complementary by-products and services. Think for example of a free bottle of wine or a picnic basket for on the road.
By ‘looking critically at your distribution channels’ we don’t mean that you have to disconnect everything that attracts fewer reservations. But if you haven’t been actively reviewing your connections in the past period, now is the time to do so. In this blog you’ll find more tips on reviewing your distribution channels.
With so many travel restrictions, people stay local, so focus on your domestic market and open your doors to your neighbors. Talk to the account managers of Dutch booking sites for advice, but stay critical in these conversations. They too feel the dip and may be inclined to give advice that only focuses on short-term turnover.
Continue with revenue management and focus on long-term goals. It may not look like it now, but the turnaround time is increasing and guests are still reserving for later in the year! If you’re not actively involved in revenue management or marketing yet, this might be the perfect time to get more into it. On SmartHOTEL’s blog environment you can find many articles that provide more tips and explanations about revenue management, meta-arch advertising, online distribution and much more.
SmartHOTEL Channel manager
When you go to the price and availability overview in the extranet, there are several options to close your rooms with a restriction. Please note, if you normally do this through your reservation system, it is recommended that you continue to do so. The possibilities to close your rooms with a closed restriction can be found in the link below.
It is best to contact your Go Live Consultant directly via firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone +31 (0)182 75 11 18. We understand that it is a difficult situation, so we like to think along with you by, for example, postponing the start date.
Do you normally adjust your prices via the reservation system? Then we advise you to keep adjusting your prices there. If you don’t, you can easily adjust your prices in the price and availability overview. You can find out exactly how to do this by clicking on the link below.
In the SmartHOTEL extranet you will find a menu with the option ”Bookings” on the left hand side. Here you can find an overview of your reservations and you can filter by booking date or arrival date. A detailed explanation can be found via the link below.
When bookers contact you directly to cancel a reservation, you can now cancel the reservation yourself in the Expedia Partner Portal. You don’t need any assistance from the Expedia team, and you don’t have to ask your guests to do this themselves.
If you want to find out more about Expedia Group’s cancellation programs and policies, please refer to the following pages for additional information and support:
Voor actieve reserveringen gemaakt vóór 6 april 2020, ongeacht de toekomstige incheckdatum:
|Voor reserveringen gemaakt op of na 6 april 2020:|
|Er verandert niets. Onze Overmacht/Force Majeure-procedures, geïmplementeerd met het oog op officiële reisbeperkingen en gebaseerd op ons contract, zijn nog steeds van toepassing.||Onze Overmacht/Force Majeure-procedures met betrekking tot het coronavirus (COVID-19), die wij geïmplementeerd hebben met het oog op de officiële reisbeperkingen, zijn niet van toepassing.|
|Wij houden er rekening mee dat meer overheden wereldwijd met bindende maatregelen komen die gericht zijn op het beperken van de bewegingsvrijheid. Onze Overmacht/Force Majeure-procedures zullen gewoon van toepassing blijven op alle reserveringen die vóór 6 april 2020 zijn gemaakt voor alle toekomstige incheckdata waarop het vanwege officiële reisbeperkingen onmogelijk, illegaal of anderszins ondoenlijk is voor gasten om naar de door hen geboekte accommodatie te reizen of om er te verblijven.||Onze standaardprocedures zijn van toepassing, inclusief de procedures met betrekking tot niet-terugbetaalbare en gedeeltelijk terugbetaalbare reserveringen. Daarom is het aan u om te bepalen wanneer en hoe u COVID-19-gerelateerde gastannuleringen terugbetaalt, voor reserveringen die op of na 6 april 2020 zijn gemaakt; gebaseerd op de door uw gast gekozen voorwaarden, uw individuele en wettelijke situatie, de overheidsmaatregelen en de van kracht zijnde consumentenwetgeving.|
|We komen met uitgebreide, nieuwe berichtgeving op onze website en app, voorafgaand aan het boeken en ook daarna, om klanten nog meer bewust te maken van het risico dat zij nemen wanneer ze een niet-terugbetaalbare of gedeeltelijk terugbetaalbare reservering maken op of na 6 april 2020.|
A tough period brings out the best in us
Fantastic initiatives to support the hotel sector during the COVID-19 crisis ensure cooperation, stability and unexpected opportunities for a stronger future. Partners and competitors join forces to offer help and alternatives to keep our heads above water together.
Below are a number of articles that we are currently reading. They provide inspiration and hope for our market.
We are happy to help you
We fully adhere to the measures taken by our government. This is how the SmartHOTEL team works remotely at home. We have set up everything to ensure that Support & consultancy services are just as accessible as usual. Also, as usual, open cases are dealt with quickly by our development team.
Now that we have a little more time because there are not many questions coming in, our support team will actively reach out to hoteliers in the coming period to (for example) go through the current set-up and talk about long-term strategies. If you need this, don’t wait for our call. Contact us directly!