November 28, 2022

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96 – Spring Workshop Takeaways

Host Ryan Embree discusses insights and takeaways from Vacation Media Group’s recent Spring Workshops wherever he talked one particular-on-a single with hoteliers about their hotel’s electronic existence. Find out developments in hospitality and find out how you can placement your house for accomplishment via evaluation response, social media, and track record management.

Episode Transcript

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Ryan Embree:
Welcome to Suite Spot exactly where hoteliers verify-in and we examine out what is trending in resort advertising. I’m your host, Ryan Embree.

Ryan Embree:
Hi every person and welcome to an additional episode of the Suite Place. This is your host, as normally, Ryan Embree, Director of Marketing at Vacation Media Team. And we have bought a fantastic episode for you nowadays. We do these episodes 4 situations a calendar year simply because we truly perform four occupancy workshops for hoteliers. And this season’s workshop is titled “Business is Blooming: How to Develop Occupancy this Spring.” So this is our spring occupancy workshop. It’s a single of my favorites since we are coming out of the wintertime, which is typically a slower time for the marketplace. And we’re eventually setting up to see that growth and occupancy. Now the springs the earlier couple years have of course been a small bit distinct with the pandemic and coming out of that. But with these workshops, we are chatting about positioning your hotel digitally for good results when vacationers are browsing and they’re carrying out quite a bit of hunting, which we’ll converse about here in next.

Ryan Embree:
So once more, these are occupancy workshops exactly where we meet up with just one-on-just one with hoteliers in about a 15 to 20 moment session talking about the hotel’s digital presence. How are they positioning by themselves coming into the period of spring crack, holiday seasons, May, Memorial working day, a ton of fantastic matters in the spring and definitely setting ourselves up also for the summer wherever occupancy truly heats up. So with these episodes, what we like to do is, typically when I carry out these workshops, we get some actually good takeaways and insights from the hoteliers that we chat about some common themes and threads. So in the earlier, naturally we’ve talked about the staffing lack ideal now, which has been hurting a ton of people. This is our third time executing a spring occupancy workshop. Once again in 2020 and 2021, there were really various conversations, which sales opportunities me to our initially pattern that we seen this workshop as opposed to some others, which was the positivity of the hoteliers that we have been conversing to. The optimism that was out there, that vacation is returning.

Ryan Embree:
And as I communicate about these travelers performing lookups, you know, I’ve got a genuinely awesome stat that we arrived throughout, where it says U.S. natural and organic Google research check out growth by sector in Q4 of 2021 compared to Q4 in 2020. And the share change for travel was at 41%. So that is a ton of eyes seeking and planning and being encouraged to travel when yet again. But as I caution the hoteliers that I spoke to on this workshop, they’re gonna be searching at your hotel’s digital presence a good deal in different ways than they did pre-COVID-19 and pre-pandemic. But trend quantity a person, occupancy is rising. It is in this article. No matter whether we like it or not, transient leisure has generally been there the previous couple yrs and has been leading the pack in restoration, but we’re also looking at organization, weddings come back again. So we’ll chat a tiny bit about that later on, but the next pattern that I recognized on these conversations that I was possessing is, you know, we have been as an market running about, it feels like, making an attempt to figure out what to do to alter to this pandemic, this new normal that COVID has type of ushered into our field.

Ryan Embree:
And then on top of that, you have this staffing scarcity, suitable? Inflation now starting to hit residence as properly, but we’re starting up to see items variety of sluggish down and hoteliers truly eventually checking factors like their social media, their testimonials, evaluation responses. And a lot of the hoteliers I talked to when we took 15 minutes to in fact sit down and acquire a seem have been definitely shocked with what they observed. They probably experienced a front desk supervisor or a DOS that experienced left for the duration of these previous two several years that was in demand of this stuff. And now it’s kinda laid dormant there. So I would really encourage you if you’re listening to this, check out your Fb, test your hotel’s Instagram, LinkedIn, ideally you are on these web sites, but check and see when the past time you posted, due to the fact time has been traveling by appropriate now and ahead of, you know, it, a good deal of these posts that we had been viewing were being back again in 2021 and travelers are hunting now more than ever for applicable facts.

Ryan Embree:
So if they see something again in, in 2021 or even 2020, it is not gonna be relevant to them. And it could necessarily mean a destructive connotation, negative impression for the vacationers that are performing investigate. They are last but not least sitting down down and examining issues like their overview websites and looking at on websites like TripAdvisor, OTAs, Google, sites wherever travelers are making booking selections that the previous overview that they bought was six months in the past. We know suitable now that everything is shifting so speedily. Omicron arrived in November and swept by way of the country. And that transformed the way that folks understand traveling and the level of security of what that was. So yet again, verify like your hotel, social media, your reputation and evaluation responses. That was an additional thing we were being talking about, is acquiring the time to react to testimonials. And I know for a whole lot of hoteliers listening to this, it could possibly be a person of individuals things at the base of our precedence checklist, but it is so important ideal now when we chat about our upcoming craze, which is setting expectations vs . assembly expectations. And I’ll explain the change.

Ryan Embree:
So meeting expectations is, assume about a traveler going for walks into an economy lodge and anticipating Ritz-Carlton provider at an overall economy degree value. These expectations are a minor little bit also large, and it could be hard to meet those expectations. Placing expectations is a entirely distinct discussion. Feel of location expectations as another person strolling into your resort in the summertime and expecting to love that wonderful pool that you have, and your pool’s closed for renovations. And they had no idea that that was the situation. That is a failure to set anticipations from a hotelier standpoint. So there is a incredibly one of a kind difference there. And when we communicate about assessment reaction is just one of the most effective sites that we can established expectations for our potential traveler.

Ryan Embree:
Certainly, it’s pretty vital to reply to the feedback that is in front of you and to that traveler that took time outta their working day to leave you a overview for your business. But it’s also setting the anticipations for that long run traveler. So significantly has improved around the previous two decades from breakfast, features, even resort procedures, the way we’re cleansing rooms, the way we’re interacting with friends. There could be travelers that when they appear onto your house have a entirely various expectation. So if you are not environment people prior to their keep, then you are failing to established their anticipations. And that is actually the range a single explanation that we are looking at damaging critiques online. As a lot of you know, that pay attention to this, Vacation Media Team has a Respond and Solve resolution wherever we reply to visitor evaluations. We’ve now hit the unbelievable benchmark of responding to above 750,000 critiques for our hotel associates and are now responding to a thousand visitor lodge opinions a day ideal now in our headquarters.

Ryan Embree:
And the variety one rationale, the variety a person cause that we are viewing these damaging critiques appear in is since correct expectations are not set. So if we can use evaluate response as a way to connect and concept to potential vacationers, which is gonna give us the chance to set people suitable expectations. And I’ll give you a fast case in point if you’re next me. So a person of the points that has wholly transformed and I suspect will take a little bit longer changeover to get back again to standard or pre-COVID is breakfast for our residence, ideal? With the staffing shortage, with people interacting, breakfast buffets, we have been informed to continue to be away from those people in the course of the thick of the pandemic. Now we are at a put where by resorts could be at fully distinct spectrums of breakfast. Some could be suitable back to where they were in 2019 with a large sizzling breakfast buffet.

Ryan Embree:
Other folks are nonetheless remaining conservative, breakfast on the go. If your visitor walks into your lodge and does not know what they’re going to get in the morning, that is a failure to set anticipations. And we’re seeing that in some cases in these critiques. So critique reaction is a fantastic way to set that. Social media, also. Fb, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, you wanna make sure that you’re environment these suitable visitor anticipations, simply because we’re observing that all over again, truly impacting hotels’ reputations that we’re doing work with. And then finally, the very last pattern that we talked about with hoteliers throughout these workshops is just adjusting to the new typical. Observing these teams appear again and what it is heading to just take in purchase to earn their enterprise. Weddings, final episode, if you are subsequent me the opportunity suitable now for weddings and marriage ceremony blocks for our houses is unbelievable earnings opportunity out there.

Ryan Embree:
So what are you undertaking to try out to capture that and industry your hotel, having gain of the bleisure travel pattern, correct? The small business traveler that now operates from residence all week and wants to get started their family vacation early. They want to arrive out to the property on Wednesday, Thursday, or on Wednesday with their family members so that the family can get pleasure from some of the features or attractions in your region. And they work from the hotel, extending their family vacation, extending the area nights per remain. So how are we attracting? How are we adapting our internet marketing tactic to capture 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 incredibly tough few years to do this sort of spring workshop. And I have had to dig extremely, extremely deep in exploration to consider to come across some positive news in the business as it relates to occupancy and ADR, but knock on wooden, if every little thing goes ideal, this spring, we are in for a monster spring and an even larger summertime.

Ryan Embree:
So the occupancy is going to be there from vacationers. But the problem I want you to question yourself is how do you want to be preferred? Do you wanna be selected because that traveler had at first required to keep at the lodge upcoming door and they ended up all booked or their rate was way far too substantial and they selected your hotel due to the fact you were being possibility B or do you want to be option A, do you want your traveler to be fired up about the remain that they’re gonna occur on residence? Do you want them to turn into an advocate of your lodge after they remain on house? Have you established suitable expectations for this traveler when they stage in via your lobby and technique the entrance desk, these are the type of issues that you want to be asking, since all over again, the occupancy will be there.

Ryan Embree:
But the big difference concerning traveler A that I just discussed and traveler B is day and night. And when you get that variety of snowball influence of occupancy and advocates for your home, it just furthers your attain and digital marketing and puts you at a competitive benefit for developing your occupancy. So if you have not participated in these workshops, as I stated prior to, we do them every one year. It’s 1 of my most loved sections of my task in this article at Journey Media Team. I would enjoy to converse with you about your residence, about your locale. We know each and every solitary resort is unique. So that’s what I love about these workshops. If you’re interested in getting a conversation about that, naturally you can achieve out to us whenever at travelmediagroup.com and we’d appreciate to converse with you or up coming time we’ve received it in the summer months coming up. If you see that electronic mail run across your inbox, schedule a conference with me, adore to speak to you, but I am certain the next time we do these insights, we with any luck ,, fingers crossed, will have some great, terrific news to share. So thank you for all the hoteliers that participated in the workshop. Thank you for all for listening. And we’ll chat to you subsequent time on the Suite Spot.

Ryan Embree:
To be part of our loyalty application, be confident to subscribe and give us a 5 star ranking on iTunes. Suite Location is produced by Travel Media Group with include artwork by Bary Gordon. I’m your host, Ryan Embree and we hope you savored your keep.