The pre-opening phase of a new hotel is both a big challenge and a great opportunity at the same time. Hotels open and close at an astonishing rate, especially in emerging markets and traveller hub spots. Marketing dollars are precious and scarce. No one wants to allocate resources away towards programmes that fail to deliver a solid return on investment. Hence planning your online debut is as important as your soft opening.
As an independent hotelier, ask yourself these questions?
- Do you have an online specialist to communicate the story of your hotel proactively?
- Are you ready with a catchy hotel description and visuals to make hotel more saleable online?
- Have you signed up with online travel agencies that are relevant to your hotel?
- Have you got an ongoing plan/team to monitor and maximise revenue and visibility online?
We have picked 5 key online focus areas for a newly opening hotel to consider:-
How to pre-open a hotel (Social Media & Digital Marketing) – Owners, General Managers, Investors and Developers, please be advised: guests will not come just because you are building a new hotel. They will not come because you have thought out an innovative lodging concept. No, we will need to work hard to attract them. And moreover, we need to start on time… So, how long up-front do we have to start with our marketing, PR and other strategies to attract guests?
The Best Practices for a Pre-Grand Opening – The pre-grand opening is a time to generate buzz prior to the official opening of your company to customers. During this time you can offer pre-sale specials, have a party or do a soft launch. It can be used as an opportunity to gain feedback from your customers while practicing the operations of your business and distribution of your product.
Hotel Website & Content for OTAs – Many Online Travel Agencies want to find out everything they can about your hotel before they contract and list your hotel. A well thought out website is essential for OTAs to verify the hotel’s identity and style. And a clear hotel & room description, and high quality visuals is necessary to launch your hotel to potential guests through OTAs. A detailed property description should position your hotel well and reassure the OTA that you provide a high quality and trustworthy service.
Reduce Costs and Go Green – The main area you can reduce paper and printing costs are by using digital brochures and packages. The travel booker will be able to view your hotel’s current promotions as well as receive notifications of new and relevant ones directly. This ensures less need for flyers, post cards, leaflets which reduces cost as well as impact on the environment.
Register on Trip Advisor – The hotel needs to update business details with great photos, promote your business with free widgets and badges which will ensure additional visibility for your upcoming hotel. And be ready to manage your presence pro-actively on both positive and negative reviews.