COVID19 has hot hotels harder than any other industry. While it fills our hearts with agony, we feel, it is only healthy to be proactive, minimize the damage and come out stronger in the process. So we decided to do a webinar with some of the best people we have met and the topic was "How Can Budget Hotels Survive Post Covid19?"

About the Speakers

Pallavi Agarwal: She is the co-founder & CEO of goStops, which is one of India's largest chain of backpacker hostels.

Rishabh Gupta : He is the co-founder and CEO of Crossotel, an AI-Driven Revenue Management System. He also runs a revenue management company that has 50+ hotels under its belt.

The focus of the webinar was to give hotel owners an interesting set of insights and actionable ideas to minimize losses and maximize revenue. Some of the topics we touched upon are as follows:-

Emerging trends in travel post COVID19

  • Domestic Travel is going to increase
  • Destination at a drivable distance from major cities are likely to get more traffic post lockdown
  • The offbeat and less crowded destinations might boom
  • Hotel Sanitization will be of priority for each hotel owner
  • Post COVID era Govt. and big enterprises need to uplift the confidence of the travellers by doing positive PR around various destinations
  • Business Travel is likely to decline with the advent of WFH and Zoom culture

How can govt help?

  • Deep sanitization of travel destinations and aggressive PR to make sure that masses in India are aware of it.
  • Govt. needs to help budget hotels with payrolls and rent of the building. This money can be given to hoteliers at a low rate of interest and long enough payback period.
  • Central govt. needs to put tourism in their priority list of Industries, they need to revive post-COVID.

Actionable Steps to Sustain your Hotel Business

  • Hoteliers need to focus on ways to minimize operating cost and maximize revenue.
  • Consider paying your staff on an hourly basis or come up with creative ideas to link their salary to a variable like revenue or profit.
  • Try to renegotiate terms with your landlord and try to link your rent with your revenue.
  • Renegotiate with your vendors
  • Sanitize your properties regularly
  • Talk about your sanitization process on emailers you send to guests who book your hotel
  • Make videos and click pictures while sanitizing rooms and put them on OTAs
  • Utilize your real estate for different use cases like coworking/meeting rooms/events etc.
  • Adopt technologies to automate processes and cut down labour cost to drive efficiencies. Maybe install Podnet's energy management system to cut down electricity bills or go for an AI-Driven Revenue Management System by Crossotel.
  • Upsell ancillary products more aggressively at each touchpoint after the customer makes a booking.
  • Reconnect with your past customer base, talk about the positive impact of COVID19 on nature.
  • Survey your past customers to gauge how they look at the idea of traveling now. Make changes based on your learning.
  • Think like a "multiplier": Think in the long term. Think "what can I do today that will make my future better?" Prioritise your tasks based on significance. (How to multiply your time?) Thinking like a multiplier will enable you to make decisions that will reap benefit for a long time.

I hope you've derived some value out of the pointers highlighted above. If you have more ideas that we missed during the call feel free to jot them down on this sheet. It is a live document, will be accessible to everyone to see. Also, feel free to add yourself to my WhatsApp group to join the ongoing discussion on Hotel Strategies to beat Covid19, let's tame the crisis together!