This morning, CNN reported that hotels are seeing a new trend in month-long stays, saying, “In the wake of Covid-19, travelers around the world are booking stays that last a month or even longer.” People are clearly tired of being cooped up at home and are looking to escape. Now that most people are working remotely, they can be stationed anywhere and are starting to take advantage of the freedom.
According to a travel expert quoted in the article, “Most of the travelers who are booking these multi-week reservations live in urban or suburban areas and are seeking resorts in country, mountain and beach settings where they can enjoy plenty of open space and outdoor activities. The properties that are seeing these month-long bookings are typically larger resorts.”
How can hotels appeal to these new long-term bookers?
1) Provide a reliable work environment
Since most guests will be working during the day, ensure they have everything they need, including reliable internet, access to printers and a comfortable place to work. The Southhampton Inn, for example, has “a dedicated area with workstations where guests can use their laptops and have access to printers, a fax machine, office supplies and free coffee.” In addition, the hotel has enabled WiFi outside so guests can work in a lounge chair by the pool or on the lawn and stay connected.
2) Provide multiple dining options
Guests staying with you for a month are not going to want to order off the same menu every day. If you only have one restaurant, ensure that you have daily specials so that there’s always something new on the menu for your long-term guests.
3) Offer special promotions for longer bookings
These month-long bookings are incredibly profitable for the hotel and, if they continue, can provide a solid revenue stream. Hotels can consider upgrades, waiving parking fees, including breakfast or other perks to drive bookings. While many hotels are discounting their rates to capture these whales, there are ways to drive bookings without lowering your rates.
4) Ensure guests’ safety
It goes without saying that guests who leave their homes during the pandemic still want to ensure their safety. Be sure they know about your rigorous cleaning and sanitization standards and your requirement for masks and social distancing. You can also provide options for a contactless stay, with food and fresh towels delivered to their door, versus inside the rooms.
5) Curate experiences
Your guests are going to want to explore the surrounding area if they’re staying with you for a month. Can you offer free transportation to local spots? Promise a daily or weekly on-premise email that lets them know what’s happening in town. Farmers markets, restaurant openings, tastings and hikes will provide guests with the opportunity to get off the property for a few hours to avoid cabin fever.
The best news is that these guests are likely already in your database. Our largest-ever survey of travelers uncovered that 68% of travelers who intend to stay at a hotel feel most comfortable booking one they’ve stayed at before. Segment your past guests to uncover those that gave you great post-stay feedback and test out a promotion or two. These are incredibly profitable bookings and it only takes a few of these guests every month to drive a lot of revenue.
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