More than a year into the pandemic, it looks like more Americans are becoming more open to hit the road and travel.
The Destination Analysts’ Coronavirus Travel Sentiment Index Report showed that 55% of American travelers are ready to go back to traveling. The report also the top five outdoor activities that the travelers are interested in.
First, American travelers want to enjoy the scenic beauty. The second is to experience outdoor warm-weather activities. Next is to visit beach destinations or resorts. The fourth is to visit U.S. national parks, and the fifth is to take road trips.
This is only proof that travelers long to enjoy the outdoors after being stuck at home for more than a year. All they want is to unwind and to escape from the stress and anxiety brought about by the pandemic.
They long for the warmth of the sun, the sea breeze, the sand in their feet, and the sound of the waves from the ocean.
They are ready to go back to the beach. But are beach resorts ready to accommodate them? Is the hotel and accommodation industry ready to step up to the challenge?
The Challenge for Hotel and Resort Owners
Businesses are already reopening in the U.S., and small business owners feel positive about going back to operations. According to a 2021 poll conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife, 44% of business owners are hopeful about their reopening strategy. Meanwhile, 31% are feeling comfortable, while 24% are feeling concerned about starting anew.
They also believe that the only way for businesses to thrive is to ease COVID-10 restrictions and to continue vaccinations. And, they believe that it is their responsibility to put in place safety precautions within their businesses.
This is especially important, given that despite travelers’ confidence in taking trips, they are still concerned about their safety. According to Immarsat’s Passenger Confidence Tracker 2021, travelers’ number one worry is the need to quarantine. The next major concern is the possibility of contracting the virus at the airport or on the airplane. This anxiety could be true even in hotels and beach resorts where they would be staying at.
It is then a challenge for hotels and resort owners to bring back the confidence of tourists. This is to be able to attract more clients despite their fears.
How to Reassure Potential Tourists
The goal for hotel and accommodation owners is to improve travel and safety perceptions of travelers. The goal is to promote hotel and beach resorts as a haven for people who want to unwind while keeping safe. This will not only encourage them to travel but will also appease their anxiety over the virus.
Here are tips in repositioning and marketing hotels and resorts as they reopen amid the pandemic:
Put signages all over the community.
Boutique hotels and beach resorts should scatter signages all around the town. Make it known that they are already accepting guests. These signages are perfect for passers-by who might want to unwind with their families during the weekend. Through the signs, inform people about the safety protocols in the resort. This so that people would know what to prepare and what to expect. Choose among the most trusted printing franchises in town. Branding—from colors to fonts to style—should be incorporated.
Be active on social media.
Posting photos on Instagram and regularly updating the Facebook page are not enough to encourage travelers to go out. Upload high-quality videos that feature the safety protocols being implemented in the hotel or resort. Maximize popular platforms like Tiktok and Youtube. Create interactive travel polls that will engage potential tourists.
Get feedback from previous clients.
Testimonials from previous visitors will be effective in convincing potential tourists that it is safe to travel. They should be able to share their flight experiences. They can also share how safe and comfortable they felt spending their time at the hotel. Let them share how confident they felt with the safety protocols and the disinfecting procedures being implemented. If they could upload photos and videos, the better.
There may be no sight yet of the end of this pandemic, but life has to go on. Travel activities will resume, as more and more people are already feeling the weight of being at home for too long. The goal is to build the confidence of the clients. While the virus is still there, it is the responsibility of business owners to make their visitors stay as healthy and as safe as possible.