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The Hotel Sector in 2021: The Main Marketing Actions

Email marketing, local SEO optimization, digital transformation or the offer of differential services with high added value are some of the hotel trends that will determine the future of the sector in the coming months.

Below, we tell you how you can implement each of these actions in your marketing strategy. We will also take a look at the future outlook for the sector.

Outlook for the hotel sector in 2021

There is no doubt that one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic has been the hotel industry, but now, in the midst of the vaccination process and with the end of the state of emergency, there is reason for hope. So what does the future hold for the sector in the coming months? After months of restrictions on people’s mobility, in 2021 we do not expect a rapid recovery towards 2018 or 2019 levels.

Experts point out that sustained growth is expected for the next few years and consider that recovery to 2019 levels will occur in two to three years. Moreover, local and national demand will play a crucial role in that process, as everything points to Spanish vacationers staying close to home and international tourists will continue to have quite a few impediments to being able to travel or will be cautious about doing so.

Finally, the recovery of the hotel sector is expected to be staggered, starting with the rural and nature-related segments, followed by the peninsular beach holiday segment. The next stage will be the island beach segment, which is more dependent on international demand, and finally the MICE segment. With regard to the investment market, a very positive element for the recovery is that the international investment community has a great appetite to bet again on the Spanish hotel sector, which shows great confidence in the rehabilitation of the sector.

What are the marketing actions not to forget for the summer?

After months of mobility restrictions, the figures show that there is a growing desire to travel and, little by little, we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The outlook for this summer is positive and, after a year in which we have not been able to travel, everything points to people looking for longer stays. However, the road to recovery will not be easy and hotels must know how to use their resources intelligently, taking advantage of all the opportunities offered by the environment and readapting their strategies. Here are the main keys that will define the focus of hotel marketing campaigns in the coming months:

Email Marketing

Sending emails as a marketing strategy has become an essential tool in the hotel sector, as it is a communication channel that generates conversion, engagement and loyalty. In short, email marketing allows us to work very well in the relationship with the customer and we believe that this marketing tool will be key in the coming weeks, as the months leading up to the start of summer are the time when users begin to organize their vacations. Segmentation will determine the generation of specific content of interest to each group.

For example, new subscribers acquired during the pandemic were probably planning a vacation in better times, so they can easily become customers if they are stimulated with offers and assurances about the security measures in place at the hotel.

On the other hand, users who were already customers and were forced to cancel a reservation due to the circumstances have already been convinced of the value of your offer, so the content should be more informative than promotional, answering questions such as: are the booking dates flexible, are the museums, beaches or restaurants in the area open, is free cancellation available, etc.

Local positioning:

Local SEO optimization was already important before COVID-19 and it is becoming even more so now that demand is starting to revive and there is talk of the boom that proximity tourism is experiencing. According to Google, no less than 46% of searches are “local” searches, so if you want these potential customers to come to you, users must find you on Google. Therefore, now more than ever it is essential to have a good local positioning strategy. Our recommendation is that you take all the time necessary to complete and optimize your Google My Business profile, since it will be vital to gain presence in the Google search engine and Google Maps. It is important that you provide as much information about your business as possible: services you offer, opening hours, images and videos… It is also very important that you encourage satisfied customers to leave their reviews, since they are an infallible element in the decision making process of other potential customers. In addition, you should work on keywords that have to do with local searches (“best hotels in Madrid”, “hotels in Barcelona”…), as well as optimize your website and the content that resides on it. Finally, focus on the user experience within the page.

Digital transformation

The arrival of the coronavirus has also accelerated the digitalization process that had already been manifesting itself in the sector over the last few years. This has now become a key strategy for survival. Below, we take a look at some of the technological trends that many hotels are already implementing:

– Online presence. Customer acquisition has come to rely almost entirely on the online medium, so it is essential to reinforce presence and optimization in this channel: social networks, search engines, website, mobile application…

– Data. In the past, guest data included their name and contact information. Now, users’ searches leave a very valuable digital trace when it comes to knowing their interests and needs, which will help us personalize our value proposition to offer them an optimal service.

– Contactless experiences. It is one of the most important trends of this last year due to the needs of social distancing. Digital letters via QR code, virtual keys, virtual check in and check out, contactless payments… These are some examples of the numerous contactless transactions adopted this year.

– Artificial Intelligence. AI is in full expansion and is expected to become a technology that will transform the sector. At the moment, perhaps the most obvious way in which it is being implemented is through chatbots, essential allies in customer service during the pandemic, which are here to stay.

Differential values offered

Throughout this year, concepts such as staycation, workation, longstay, bleisure… have proliferated. In this line, we must develop innovative formulas adapted to the new reality and needs of customers for this summer.

Now more than ever, it is time to exploit our creativity to the fullest. For example, the hotel chain has launched Vincci My City, a service that allows local tourists to escape to their own city and live unique experiences without leaving their usual place of residence.

Other examples of some of these new added values offered are the proposals of several chains to include quick tests in their service packages. It is also time to give ground to other hotel spaces such as restaurants or terraces, to enhance their value and reinvent their uses. It’s time to change the chip and turn the hotel into a space not only for sleeping, but also for enjoying a myriad of other experiences: having tea in the lobby or enjoying an art exhibition. The possibilities are endless.

Do you need more info? Contact us.