Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 156 – ReviewPro, StayNTouch, and Fuel’s Hotelier Sentiment Study Offers Amazing Recovery Insights

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Fuel recently performed a study with our friends at ReviewPro and StayNTouch, during which we surveyed 500 hoteliers to gain insight into how they were navigating the COVID-19 crisis. In this episode, we discuss some of our favorite insights and takeaways.

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Download the hotelier sentiment study here: https://www.travelboommarketing.com/2020-covid-19-hotelier-sentiment-study/


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Stat of the week

  • Over 30% of people have no fear of traveling
  • 16% of people say nothing could convince them to travel right now

Pete Top 3 Takeaways:

  1. Question #1: The first question is impactful in that it sets the stage for the entire study.  The survey audience’s properties are not just North American or European (30% and 28% respectively); they are global with Asia (19%), Oceania (11%), Africa (6.4%), Latin America (3.5%), and the Caribbean (2.3%) all represented.  COVID-19 is a global issue and this study provides a representative sample of what the entire world is dealing with right now.  You are not alone…
  2. Question #9: I was happy to see that nearly 70% of our respondents either didn’t cut rate or only cut by 10-20% (40% kept the rate the same).  Unfortunately, ⅓ of our audience cut their rate by at least 21%.  Individual properties obviously require individual solutions but in large dropping your rate dramatically is not the right strategy to employ.  People are foregoing travel, not because the monetary price is too high, but because they don’t want to die! As hoteliers we can’t solve non-economic problems with economic solutions.  Question #8 shows a much better strategy mix for driving revenue.
  3. Question #11: Survey respondents are expecting the COVID recovery to take a while, 59% expecting one to two years and longer.  Personally I hate the term “new normal” but as COVID cases spike regionally you may find that recovery becomes more of a tug-o-war.  Here in Myrtle Beach is a good example of seeing great gains, and then as cases spike, another drop.  It does look like most hoteliers are expecting a long term struggle and creating new strategies for this new normal will pay dividends.

Melissa Top 3 Takeaways:

  1. Q5: 65% of hoteliers cutting marketing – when marketing is more affordable now than normal. BUT only 9% of the respondents are in a marketing function. Also, data is a bit contradictory to Q7 that shows that looking at the budgets for marketing, most remained unchanged. Also ironic that in Q14, marketing is the top response to recover.
  2. Q6: Only 39% will cross-train their teams
  3. Q9: Yikes! 32% have cut rates by at least 21%, and 28% cut by 10-20%.

Phil Top 3 Takeaways:

  1. Q10: I was surprised at all of the answers for Q10 (aside from Social Media). The number of responses for “not at all” for both in-stay and post-stay surveys was unsettling. In-Stay would be the perfect time to communicate with guests. Maybe it’s just not easy for some hoteliers and maybe those hoteliers need a mobile app! I also thought we would see more hoteliers using email to communicate with those that made bookings and creating more confidence to avoid cancellations.
  2. Q16 & Q17:  There were 15% of respondents that believe nothing will change with business operations post-COVID. Only 6% said that guest behavior/expectations will not change post-COVID. If you were part of the 73% that responded that guest behavior/expectations will change and you were also part of the 15% that said you don’t plan on changing operations you are missing the mark. Guest expectations will change and you need to understand those changes in expectation and respond with changes to your operations.
  3. Q12 & Q13: One of the most telling stats I saw in the study was the correlation between a hoteliers confidence in recovery and having a recovery plan in place. Those hoteliers that were very confident also had a plan in place. If you are a hotelier who has not yet established a recovery plan, that should be a top priority right now.


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Submit your questions and topic ideas on Twitter to @_travelboom or info@travelboommarketing.com.


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