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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It’s incredible what we’ve gotten through Sojern in terms of direct bookings in such a short space of time. Working with Sojern is the easiest, simplest option out there. They take care of all the legwork and there is little to no input needed from my side. They have been a fantastic partner.
"Email marketing is declining in importance, and other forms of communicating with guests and prospective guests are becoming much more important. First-party data provides the foundation of everything else we're going to do. Really understanding our customers is the starting point for all hotel marketing. This also creates the opportunity when the guest gets to the property to recognize them properly and anticipate their needs.”
“Our collaboration with Sojern remains strong. For the past two years their digital media expertise has provided Hyatt’s Americas Field Marketing team insightful data to help our advertising reach the right audiences at the right time and navigate the evolving travel landscape and consumer preferences.”
"There are so many benefits that first-party data provides hotels today. Consumers are being fed so much information through so many different channels. First-party data gives you the opportunity to tailor messaging for each cohort of consumers, and provide a very personalized experience. That is the goal of collecting and leveraging this data."
We are constantly looking for new ways to communicate with the guests that we want. It’s a challenge! When I heard about Sojern, I knew this was going to take a lot of the work off of me. Sojern places our ads where it matters the most to the traveler. Everything is taken care of, and we get to reap the benefits of Sojern’s efforts.
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.