Every year, Revinate publishes a Hotel Marketing Benchmark Report to provide the industry with actionable and comparative insights from hotels around the world. We analyzed more than 368 million emails sent in 2020 from Revinate’s Marketing customers so that we can provide a unique review for a unique year. Below is a snapshot of the Section 1, 2020 Year in Review.
You can download the full 2020 Benchmark Report for free here.
With borders closed, international and business travel evaporated almost overnight. Demand came to a halt and, for the first time ever, hotels were forced to close their doors and furlough staff. By all measures, 2020 was a very difficult year for hoteliers across the world. But, amidst the hardship, there were some bright spots that allowed hoteliers to stay positive.
How Covid-19 Affected Travel Plans
It’s no surprise that travelers were greatly affected by Covid-19. 68% of global travelers had current or future travel plans affected by Covid-19 last March. 40.4% of global travelers reported cancelling a trip, and another 27.2% reported postponing travel. Only 32.4% of global travelers were unaffected, meaning they didn’t have future travel plans or they didn’t make any changes to their trips.
No one expected a global pandemic in 2020, with government-issued stay-at-home orders and many countries on lockdown. Travelers are now extremely eager to resume plans and travel, as pent-up demand continues to build. So much so, the term revenge travel was coined.
Many consumers have been saving money all year and are looking forward to “going big” when they feel safe to travel. This is good news for hotels, as 72.7% of global respondents indicated plans to travel in some capacity within 12 months.
Even during April 2020, when much of the world was on lockdown, 18.9% considered booking a trip and 10.6% made a booking globally.
Choosing a Location
With no surprise, and no doubt due to the slower recovery of international travel, 70% of travelers expected to first travel domestically, but not necessarily within their home state or province. Open-ended answers gave further insight to indicate that many travelers were first looking to visit family and friends, which would heavily influence the location of their trip.
One thing hotels learned in 2020 was the importance of staying agile. For many, this meant utilizing segmentation to ensure they were focusing marketing efforts on those who could take action on it. Geo-location data was at the core of this, as borders were closed and restrictions varied from place to place.
Revinate Marketing customers were able to easily create targeted domestic or local segments from their PMS data.
Segmentation, in this example, helped ensure correct messaging to the correct guests, thus avoiding awkward scenarios in which one might be invited to a property to which one would legally be unable to travel.
Resplendent Ceylon is a great example of a Revinate Customer that was forced to rely on local guests during the pandemic when borders were closed. Correct segmentation across email marketing and other channels led to their success in driving bookings during the year.
Now, Resplendent Ceylon can easily and quickly add new segments to their promotions by focusing on neighboring markets as borders begin to open up.
If you want to learn more about how to better segment your database for targeted campaigns, check out our Email Marketing Strategy Guide, Certification Course, or book a demo to see how Revinate Marketing can help.
Past experience, guest loyalty, and trust play a significant role for hotels during a pandemic. Almost 70% of travelers indicated they would feel more comfortable staying at a hotel they have stayed at before.
We interpret this to mean that guests who have a degree of familiarity with your property and brand will be more likely to book. Whether it be meeting their needs for social distancing, cleaning, or overall trust with your hotel, having past experience with your hotel gives you an edge over the competition.
This presents a great opportunity for hotels who have a well maintained guest database to focus marketing efforts on guest loyalty.
By leveraging segmented guest data, hoteliers should be able to accelerate their hotel’s recovery while being competitive in the market and against OTAs.
It’s also well known that repeat guests spend more than new guests. For example, one study showed that repeat customers spend 67% more than new customers. Another study found that a company’s top 10 percent of customers (who are repeat customers) spend three times more per transaction than the other 90 percent of customers. In other words, repeat guests are your most profitable segment. Leverage them to drive your recovery.
How the stay will change
During the pandemic, guests’ values changed. They had more to think about when considering travel, including safety, cleanliness, and the status of the pandemic – including government mandated restrictions. For the first time ever, location, price, and everything your hotel has to offer were secondary considerations.
Savvy hoteliers realized they needed to change guest-facing messaging to address these new considerations. Many openly shared their cleaning protocols, shared updates, and expressed their best wishes during hard times. In fact, we saw a clear increase in announcements in March and April 2020 as hoteliers pivoted their communications. This allowed hotels to not only stay top of mind with guests, but also show that they were quickly adapting to meet the needs of their guests.
Download the full Marketing Benchmark Report today to get the actionable insights you need to improve your hotel marketing and benchmark your success. We cover 9 topics including marketing campaign performance, hotel database size, trends in 2020, and amenity and room upsells.