In Rio 2016: DOs and DON’Ts list for Brazil Hoteliers - Part I; I identified what hotelier should do during the largest sports event in the world. Here I present to you the second part of this series – read on!
Don’t 1# Don’t be too greedy
It is important for the visitors not to feel “ripped off’ as the peak period customers understand prices better and there instils a sense of loyalty. Even dynamic pricing can be transparent if the multiple factors behind the rate are clearly communicated. The key is to have a clear rate strategy in place based on demand as well as product to avoid extreme peaks and valleys. Past experience suggests that the peak in demand is usually for a short duration. Therefore it is essential to cover the shoulder nights along with the capability to drive higher rates during peak nights for RevPAR optimization.
Brazil is the most popular travel destination in Latin America, and also by far the most expensive. Amidst all these uncertainties, hotels need to have the optimal business mix of comfortably positioned locked base and inventory allocation to be able to adjust to market dynamics at the eleventh hour. Getting the right price and remaining competitive will sail you through this challenge.
Don’t 2# Don’t underestimate ‘social power’
With a highly active internet population, Brazil is region’s most social media-savvy country, with 92% of internet users connected to social media. Brazilians spend an average of 3.8 hours on social media every day, an hour more than Americans. The country has over 70 million Facebook users, the third biggest user base, and the second biggest user base for Twitter and the largest market outside the USA for YouTube.
SEE ALSO: UK Online Travel Trends 2016
For the hotel industry, ignoring social media is suicidal. According to a study by Brazilian media consultant eCRM123, 94% of the country’s social network users favoured the idea of receiving customer assistance through social media sites, and 77% of them have positive attitude towards shopping and buying via a social networking storefront. With search engines like Google favouring social sites, having an engaging social media presence only increases the hotel’s chance for higher page rankings in search results.
Use social media page to create brand awareness. Interact with potential and existing guests, and improve customer engagement. Used effectively, social media can be a great tool to develop brand ambassadors amongst customers.
Don’t 3# Don’t ignore ‘online reputation’
With 350 million unique monthly visitors and over 200 million reviews and opinions, TripAdvisor has become the world’s largest travel website. According to a TrustYou heat mapping study on TripAdvisor, given equal prices travellers are 3.9 times more likely to choose a hotel with a higher review score. Hotels that have a higher guest score typically will have better placement on the travel sites. A better placement on the travel site means more bookings. More bookings mean a higher room rate, and eventually higher revenue for the hotel.
However since guests share feedback on various review and travel sites – all of this valuable information lay scattered and unstructured. It is here that online reputation management tools play a big role in consolidating the guest reviews and provide them to hotels in structured reports. Guest review analysis works hand in hand with rate, occupancy, RevPAR and channel performance to provide hotels with the overall picture. This becomes very useful for the marketing team to identify the potential bright spots for promotional activities.
Mega events like the Summer Olympics or World Cup are opportunities for a country to enhance their image for long term gain. The goodwill can only be earned by excellent hospitality, friendly behaviour and safety. For the hotels, the biggest blunder could be to get too greedy and try to earn ‘quick bucks’ at the expense of long-term customer value and loyalty. Do not abandon the guests, contracts and operators who have supported you during difficult times – you will again need them for long-term success. And more importantly, don’t compromise your tomorrow for a quick return today. Building the ‘Brand Brazil’ will help you with better standing for the years to come.