Holiday is normally a time when businesses and hospitality providers try to drive big crowds and capture their spending. 2020 and the pandemic definitely require some alternative promotional ideas and offers.
Normally people like to travel, meet family and friends, and celebrate during the holidays. All of these are still possible but need to be scaled down. The travel distance needs to be scaled down and the size of the gatherings needs to be limited to smaller groups to comply with the state and local guidelines. Milestone Inc. has but together this list of ideas for hotels to consider and test.
1) Target small groups and families within the gathering guidelines for your city
This is much like other years, but with smaller groups. Reach out to local corporate clients and encourage them to offer employees who have been isolated at home for 9 months to enjoy some facetime with groups within the company. Suggest separating by division or creating cross-divisional groups that can meet for appertizers and drinks or a full dinner.
Offer a room and a small group holiday banquet. These events can commemorate life events that did not get a proper gathering during the shutdown, like funeral, marriages, graduations and births. Target these offers to the local and drive staycation markets.
2) Family Reunion Video Linkup Promotion
For families that cannot travel to celebrate together, large hotels with multiple locations can create a package that enables 2 or 3 small family groups to celebrate simultaneously and communicate over video links. If you do not have formal video teleconferencing equipment, inexpensive USB webcams can be procured and used with laptops at each location. Offer lists of photographers and videographers to help groups that want to hire them capture the moments.
3) Small Group Thanksgiving Banquet
Help families and small groups give thanks for making it this far into 2020. Offer a rooms and meal package to help locals and staycationers celebrate.
4) Exclusive Live Performances
Create a room package for a multi-room booking that includes a small group private live concerts for 30 minutes with local performers at a time in unused conference space. Organize an exclusive virtual concert for your guests.
5) Amazing Room Service Options
Create truly unique in-room dining experiences with guided tastings of food, desserts, coffee, tea, champagne, or wine hosted virtually by a chef of sommelier. Or consider offering a new brunch menu for in-room dining.
6) Essential Worker Thank You Specials
Offer reduced rates for local essential workers to acknowledge their huge contribution and sacrifice, which can include medical workers, police, fire, grocery, and foodservice workers.
7) Provide a Virtual Fun Pack
that includes virtual reality and karaoke either in room or in unused conference space. Consider providing virtual reality experiences of crowded events, like concerts or popular urban travel destinations. Include online training for teaching games, doing magic, exercise, or cooking. Organize a virtual Trivia Contest competition or virtual online scavenger hunt with prizes.
Raise money to help those in need during the pandemic, book one room and a meal and we will donate one to someone displaced by covid, fires, or hurricanes.
Update Your Website
No matter what offers you decide to use, here are 8 more great ideas for site hygiene issues you must address before the holidays.
- Speed and Core Vitals – This holiday season it is more important than ever because Core Vitals will be a ranking factor in 2021
- Google My Business Optimization – Google added a number of new features, like Google Posts. Google Messages
- Update your images – It’s easy to get complacent with images because once designed, they look pretty good. Make sure you have COVID-relevant images that don’t show crowds, show proper social distance, and staff and guests wearing masks if that is part of your protocols.
- Check and optimize your book direct logic and messaging.
- Test and optimize Google Hotel Ads to take advantage of the relief Google is providing
- Update your social home page banners to keep them fresh and current
- Create a new video to communicate the experience at your hotel
- Remember that Google is the home page of all your home pages
To help hotels increase holiday booking, Milestone is offering customers a complimentary holiday 2020 landing page on which you can promote one of the ideas from the list from above.
Keep fighting for share of wallet, tapping the pent up demand to go out, investing in digital transformation, and combining virtual experiences to capture holiday 2020 bookings and position your property better for the recovery.