500+ Independent Hoteliers Weigh In On COVID-19 Recovery
Sojern surveyed 500+ hoteliers worldwide—most gearing up for recovery.
While the global impact of COVID-19 on travel evolves from week to week, with market-to-market recovery being hard to predict, a recent survey conducted by Sojern of 500+ hoteliers worldwide indicates that they are aligned on key recovery post-COVID marketing strategies.
42% of respondents believe we can expect to see signs of recovery in 4-6 months
While most respondents picked 4-6 months, you also see a good number of responses in the other categories. This reflects the fact that recovery is coming in different stages, and may depend on what market you’re in and your hotel type.
54% of respondents are looking to government easing lockdown restrictions
The majority responded that they are looking for governments to ease lockdown restrictions. And as soon as that happens I think it’s fair to say that there will be a ton of pent-up consumer demand.
The hotelier feedback around this question also suggests that in combination with the government easing lockdown restrictions, there will be a need for people to feel safe with regard to starting to travel again —sticking close to home is a great way for travelers to “dip their toe in the water.”
This is also why you see a lot of hoteliers promoting that they are welcoming visitors with touchless check-in and sharing disinfecting processes in their new marketing campaigns.
39% of respondents will have a very small budget, so marketing will be lower than pre-COVID
While 39% of hoteliers responded that they will have a smaller budget to start out, 23% plan on having the same budget amount allocated as before the pandemic. Very few – 19% fear to have no budget at all for marketing their hotel.
Regardless, we don’t recommend that hoteliers go dark right now as they should be focused on generating brand awareness, honing in on the local and drive markets, and advanced booking offers. Pay for performance models are an excellent way to achieve this without jeopardizing a small budget or no budget at all.
39% of respondents are looking for more direct bookings, away from the OTAs
50% Continue with the same distribution mix 6% Other 5% More distribution to OTAs
50% responded that they will keep the same marketing mix, but a large proportion, 39% reported that they will be shifting more direct, away from OTAs. Noting that they are going to seize this opportunity to focus on driving as many direct bookings to the hotel’s website as possible.
We understand the importance of knowing the ever-changing trends in travel now more than ever. To help arm hoteliers, and all travel marketers, during this time, we’ve released a real-time insights dashboard that provides you with the latest travel trends. Additionally, if you want to hear more about how industry experts are tackling COVID, check out our weekly webinar series.
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“Working with Sojern, it’s not just a cookie-cutter solution, as Sojern listens to our needs and recommends what’s best for our hotel. We have someone to bounce ideas off of, and Sojern gives us a higher-level perspective on how we can get the best value for our investment.”
“We love the simplicity of the solution and how clearly we can see results. The technology works so well that it leaves us to do our other day-to-day jobs. We are seeing increased interest in our superior and deluxe rooms as a result, which is improving the overall average booking value. I think we will be long-time customers for as long as Sojern continues to perform the way it does today!”
"Sojern and Roiback have a great relationship and work together to maximise our direct bookings. We have regular check-ins to review performance, and both Sojern and Roiback give us insights and recommendations for improvement. And the results speak for themselves! Their collaboration has been very helpful for us."
"I’ve definitely seen increased bookings. In fact, January through March is usually a quiet period for us, but this year, leisure bookings are double what we normally see, and this is due to Sojern. As a small hotel, I really value the relationship we've built with the Sojern team. You can tell when someone is genuine and willing to work with you, and I feel that with Sojern."
"I worked with Sojern at a previous hotel and had a great experience, so I knew I wanted to partner with them when I joined Ticino Hotels Group. Their Pay on the Stay package gives us a cleaner, more reliable business model to help with our direct booking strategy, and we’ve seen the results. To anyone considering Sojern for their digital marketing needs—I say go for it!"
Looking to learn more about Connected TV to meet your branding goals? Interested in metasearch and direct booking strategies to help your independent hotel? We’ve got detailed reports that address your every marketing need.