The hospitality industry was hit hard by the global pandemic with many bars, venues, restaurants and clubs forced to remain closed for extended periods. As a result, the fight to recoup lost earnings and maximise potential bookings is more fraught than ever.
Research from the Office of National Statistics found that while spending on hospitality started to increase in May 2021, it remains less than 70% of pre-pandemic levels.
That means that competition for the reduced revenue out there is hotter than ever, so what are the challenges the industry faces in a post-COVID era?
Reliance on large booking platforms
Platforms such as Airbnb and Booking.com are excellent shop fronts for your business, but it’s easy to get lost among the competition when so many businesses are competing on a level playing field for a finite number of customers.
A high number of cancellations
These can be unavoidable at the best of times, but with people isolating or getting sick in large numbers, the reality is that the percentage of cancellations is higher than in pre-COVID times. And that means lost revenue.
Low turnover per guest
Financial concerns caused by pandemic uncertainty have impacted consumer spending. Low turnover per guest is an issue if venues can’t benefit from the higher margins often offered by upselling options. If people are tightening their belts, these can often be the first cuts made by consumers looking to shave costs from their holidays and leisure time.
Difficult reaching your customers
Being able to communicate with guests and potential customers on the platforms they prefer can impact both your ability to get business and the potential for extra revenue from the options we’ve mentioned above. If you can’t get your message through to your customers, how will you ever be heard?
Busy schedules and lack of time
Finding the right balance between servicing the customers you have right now and safeguarding the future with your marketing efforts is tricky. With so many channels to consider, creating timely, relevant messaging to attract new guests can be time-consuming and reduce your ability to function as a business in the here and now.
Looking at the challenges facing the hospitality industry right now, it can be daunting to think about the next 12, 18, or 24 months, but in order to survive and ultimately to thrive, spending time planning for the future and addressing these challenges will pay dividends.
Streamline your marketing
If you can streamline your marketing activities and automate them wherever possible, you’ll have plenty of time to entertain your current guests and to secure revenue for the future. CM.com has a variety of products to help you become a communication superstar. Take a look at our Mobile Marketing Cloud to see how we can help.
Read our hospitality whitepaper
We’ve created a whitepaper to help you address the challenges presented in this article one-by-one. It’s packed with helpful tips and information to show you how to take your hospitality business to the next level.