May 23, 2022

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The Passionate of Travel

96 - Spring Workshop Takeaways

96 – Spring Workshop Takeaways

Host Ryan Embree discusses insights and takeaways from Travel Media Group’s modern Spring Workshops the place he talked a single-on-just one with hoteliers about their hotel’s digital existence. Find tendencies in hospitality and understand how you can position your assets for success via evaluate reaction, social media, and popularity management.

Episode Transcript

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Ryan Embree:
Welcome to Suite Location where by hoteliers check out-in and we examine out what is trending in lodge marketing and advertising. I’m your host, Ryan Embree.

Ryan Embree:
Howdy all people and welcome to yet another episode of the Suite Location. This is your host, as normally, Ryan Embree, Director of Marketing and advertising at Vacation Media Group. And we have got a fantastic episode for you today. We do these episodes four times a calendar year mainly because we really carry out four occupancy workshops for hoteliers. And this season’s workshop is titled “Business is Blooming: How to Improve Occupancy this Spring.” So this is our spring occupancy workshop. It is 1 of my favorites for the reason that we are coming out of the wintertime, which is ordinarily a slower time for the field. And we’re eventually starting off to see that progress and occupancy. Now the springs the earlier pair a long time have certainly been a minimal bit distinctive with the pandemic and coming out of that. But with these workshops, we are speaking about positioning your hotel digitally for success when vacationers are looking and they are executing pretty a bit of browsing, which we’ll speak about right here in 2nd.

Ryan Embree:
So again, these are occupancy workshops where we satisfy 1-on-1 with hoteliers in about a 15 to 20 moment session chatting about the hotel’s digital existence. How are they positioning by themselves coming into the time of spring split, holiday seasons, Could, Memorial day, a whole lot of terrific matters in the spring and seriously placing ourselves up also for the summer months where by occupancy truly heats up. So with these episodes, what we like to do is, generally when I conduct these workshops, we get some actually very good takeaways and insights from the hoteliers that we communicate about some widespread themes and threads. So in the previous, naturally we’ve talked about the staffing shortage correct now, which has been hurting a whole lot of folks. This is our 3rd time carrying out a spring occupancy workshop. Once again in 2020 and 2021, there ended up really distinct conversations, which sales opportunities me to our very first development that we recognized this workshop as opposed to other people, which was the positivity of the hoteliers that we had been speaking to. The optimism that was out there, that journey is returning.

Ryan Embree:
And as I speak about these travelers performing queries, you know, I’ve got a actually amazing stat that we arrived throughout, where it suggests U.S. natural and organic Google look for go to development by sector in Q4 of 2021 versus Q4 in 2020. And the percentage improve for vacation was at 41%. So that is a great deal of eyes looking and preparing and remaining inspired to vacation once once more. But as I warning the hoteliers that I spoke to on this workshop, they’re gonna be searching at your hotel’s digital presence a good deal otherwise than they did pre-COVID-19 and pre-pandemic. But development selection a person, occupancy is growing. It is here. Irrespective of whether we like it or not, transient leisure has generally been there the past pair yrs and has been top the pack in restoration, but we’re also observing company, weddings appear again. So we’ll chat a minor bit about that afterwards, but the second trend that I discovered on these conversations that I was obtaining is, you know, we have been as an field managing all over, it feels like, trying to figure out what to do to alter to this pandemic, this new normal that COVID has sort of ushered into our industry.

Ryan Embree:
And then on top of that, you have this staffing scarcity, appropriate? Inflation now starting up to hit household as effectively, but we’re starting off to see matters form of slow down and hoteliers truly eventually checking things like their social media, their assessments, evaluation responses. And a lot of the hoteliers I talked to when we took 15 minutes to truly sit down and consider a glance ended up seriously surprised with what they saw. They probably experienced a entrance desk manager or a DOS that experienced remaining throughout these earlier two years that was in cost of this things. And now it is kinda laid dormant there. So I would inspire you if you’re listening to this, examine your Fb, check out your hotel’s Instagram, LinkedIn, ideally you are on these web-sites, but verify and see when the final time you posted, simply because time has been flying by right now and just before, you know, it, a ton of these posts that we have been looking at were being again in 2021 and tourists are on the lookout now extra than at any time for appropriate facts.

Ryan Embree:
So if they see some thing again in, in 2021 or even 2020, it is not gonna be appropriate to them. And it could indicate a negative connotation, negative impression for the travelers that are executing research. They’re eventually sitting down down and examining things like their assessment sites and viewing on web pages like TripAdvisor, OTAs, Google, places where by vacationers are generating scheduling conclusions that the final overview that they bought was 6 months in the past. We know appropriate now that all the things is relocating so quickly. Omicron came in November and swept by the country. And that adjusted the way that people understand traveling and the level of basic safety of what that was. So once more, examine like your resort, social media, your name and critique responses. That was a further thing we ended up chatting about, is acquiring the time to answer to reviews. And I know for a whole lot of hoteliers listening to this, it might be one of those factors at the bottom of our precedence record, but it is so critical suitable now when we communicate about our subsequent pattern, which is setting expectations compared to conference expectations. And I’ll reveal the difference.

Ryan Embree:
So meeting expectations is, think about a traveler strolling into an economy hotel and anticipating Ritz-Carlton company at an economic climate amount rate. Those anticipations are a small bit as well large, and it could be challenging to satisfy individuals anticipations. Placing anticipations is a entirely diverse discussion. Assume of environment anticipations as an individual strolling into your hotel in the summer time and anticipating to appreciate that wonderful pool that you have, and your pool’s closed for renovations. And they had no notion that that was the scenario. That is a failure to set expectations from a hotelier standpoint. So there is a really one of a kind variance there. And when we discuss about assessment response is a person of the most impressive locations that we can set expectations for our upcoming traveler.

Ryan Embree:
Sure, it is extremely vital to answer to the feed-back that is in front of you and to that traveler that took time outta their working day to go away you a review for your small business. But it’s also setting the expectations for that future traveler. So significantly has modified above the past two several years from breakfast, facilities, even resort guidelines, the way we’re cleaning rooms, the way we’re interacting with visitors. There could be tourists that when they occur on to your assets have a completely distinct expectation. So if you are not environment those prior to their stay, then you are failing to established their anticipations. And that is truly the number a single cause that we are observing negative evaluations on the net. As a large amount of you know, that listen to this, Vacation Media Group has a Answer and Take care of option in which we answer to guest evaluations. We’ve now strike the unbelievable benchmark of responding to about 750,000 reviews for our lodge partners and are at present responding to a thousand visitor hotel testimonials a day proper now in our headquarters.

Ryan Embree:
And the variety one reason, the selection a single explanation that we are viewing these detrimental opinions come in is simply because right expectations are not set. So if we can use assessment response as a way to connect and concept to foreseeable future travelers, that’s gonna give us the prospect to established those people suitable expectations. And I’ll give you a speedy case in point if you’re next me. So just one of the points that has wholly altered and I suspect will just take a small bit extended changeover to get back to usual or pre-COVID is breakfast for our residence, right? With the staffing lack, with people today interacting, breakfast buffets, we ended up explained to to keep absent from those people during the thick of the pandemic. Now we are at a spot wherever resorts could be at absolutely distinct spectrums of breakfast. Some could be suitable back to exactly where they were being in 2019 with a large incredibly hot breakfast buffet.

Ryan Embree:
Other individuals are nonetheless remaining conservative, breakfast on the go. If your guest walks into your hotel and does not know what they’re likely to get in the morning, that is a failure to established expectations. And we’re seeing that occasionally in these evaluations. So critique response is a great way to set that. Social media, also. Fb, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, you wanna make positive that you are environment these suitable visitor anticipations, simply because we’re seeing that all over again, definitely impacting hotels’ reputations that we’re doing work with. And then finally, the very last craze that we talked about with hoteliers for the duration of these workshops is just altering to the new typical. Seeing these teams arrive back and what it is heading to get in buy to receive their business enterprise. Weddings, previous episode, if you are next me the option correct now for weddings and wedding day blocks for our qualities is unbelievable profits prospective out there.

Ryan Embree:
So what are you executing to try to seize that and current market your lodge, using advantage of the bleisure journey pattern, correct? The business enterprise traveler that now operates from dwelling all 7 days and wants to start their vacation early. They want to come out to the residence on Wednesday, Thursday, or on Wednesday with their family so that the household can appreciate some of the features or attractions in your space. And they get the job done from the lodge, extending their getaway, extending the area nights per remain. So how are we attracting? How are we adapting our advertising and marketing method to seize this new regular traveler that we’re gonna see? And as I wrap up this episode right here, I will say, it is been a quite hard couple yrs to do this kind of spring workshop. And I have had to dig incredibly, extremely deep in investigate to attempt to find some good news in the market as it relates to occupancy and ADR, but knock on wood, if anything goes correct, this spring, we are in for a monster spring and an even larger summer months.

Ryan Embree:
So the occupancy is likely to be there from vacationers. But the query I want you to question you is how do you want to be picked out? Do you wanna be decided on for the reason that that traveler had at first desired to stay at the resort subsequent doorway and they were all booked or their rate was way too higher and they chose your lodge simply because you have been alternative B or do you want to be solution A, do you want your traveler to be fired up about the keep that they’re gonna occur on property? Do you want them to come to be an advocate of your hotel following they remain on house? Have you established correct anticipations for this traveler when they phase in via your foyer and strategy the front desk, these are the variety of concerns that you want to be asking, because yet again, the occupancy will be there.

Ryan Embree:
But the difference amongst traveler A that I just described and traveler B is working day and night time. And once you get that kind of snowball effect of occupancy and advocates for your residence, it just furthers your get to and electronic marketing and advertising and puts you at a competitive edge for growing your occupancy. So if you haven’t participated in these workshops, as I stated in advance of, we do them every single solitary period. It’s a person of my favourite areas of my work below at Vacation Media Group. I would enjoy to converse with you about your property, about your spot. We know each solitary hotel is distinctive. So that’s what I like about these workshops. If you’re intrigued in obtaining a conversation about that, obviously you can get to out to us whenever at travelmediagroup.com and we’d adore to communicate with you or next time we have got it in the summer coming up. If you see that email run across your inbox, program a assembly with me, love to converse to you, but I am guaranteed the upcoming time we do these insights, we ideally, fingers crossed, will have some great, excellent news to share. So thank you for all the hoteliers that participated in the workshop. Thank you for all for listening. And we’ll discuss to you upcoming time on the Suite Location.

Ryan Embree:
To be part of our loyalty software, be sure to subscribe and give us a 5 star rating on iTunes. Suite Location is developed by Vacation Media Team with address artwork by Bary Gordon. I’m your host, Ryan Embree and we hope you liked your continue to be.