How to succeed in hotel and travel marketing in 2023

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We start the new year with a bad taste in our mouths from the disasters of 2022. Energy prices sky-rocketed, Truss’ mini-budget mayhem felt like a waking nightmare, and the cost-of-living crisis created a difficult time for households, not to mention that we narrowly avoided a recession in the fourth quarter. 

Yet, the arrival of a new year brought new hope, and provided the public with some light at the end of the tunnel. Inflation is stabilising, the Sterling is bouncing back, and a return to normality is on the horizon.

Operators in the hotel and travel industry have become thick-skinned over the past couple of years. There will no doubt be continued challenges, but it is also clear that the seeds of hope have been laid, and the hotel and travel industry will continue to do what it does best – provide amazing experiences, create life-long memories, and make the world a smaller place by bringing people together, for business as well as pleasure.

With the outlook still unclear, these are our key tips for success in 2023:

Know your value proposition 

In the hotel and travel business, the quality of experience is everything. Staying true to our core values is key to providing an unwavering level of service, and it keeps the guests coming back. In times of difficulty, pressure mounts to keep rooms filled, even if that means at substantial discounts, or through the occasional giveaway. Where’s the harm in that? 

Sometimes we have to do things that we wish we didn’t to give our numbers the needed boost, but whatever we do, this should never be at the expense of the long-term health of our brands. We must constantly remind ourselves of our core values and hold them in the highest regard. We must ask ourselves why we set out on this journey in the first place; what we wanted people to take away from their visit; and when they came in droves, what did they come for? The answers to these questions undoubtedly lie in our core values and quality of service ethos, regardless of price.

Keep a clear focus

Marketing pressures are no doubt stronger than ever. Curtain twitching will be rife, but focusing on competitors can only take you so far. Take inspiration and learn from those around you, but remember that we can never know what internal struggles competitors may be facing from their online presence. Never blindly follow the herd, instead keep a clear focus on the path ahead and make decisions that will impact your business for the better and improve your guests’ experiences.

Remember the basics

With so much new information to process, and constantly evolving consumer taste and trends, it is important to remember the basics. Effective marketing is crucial to communicating your brand to customers. When times are tough, cutting back on your communication, marketing and customer engagement is not the answer, and will not go unnoticed by your customers. Instead, look at improving marketing efficiencies, rather than taking a sledgehammer to your marketing budget altogether. Take the opportunity to review what you are doing and consolidate and refine your approach.

The key to sustainable success in marketing is continuous improvement: evolution not revolution. Unless you are planning a complete re-brand and relaunch, you should aim for incremental gains in all your outbound communications. Consumers tend not to like surprises, so preempt any changes with clear, concise, and transparent messaging. This will land far better and bring customers on the journey with you.

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