Last summer we e-met Mayada Samy, Business Development Key Account Manager – Technical Partnerships at Trivago. We asked her to answer 5 questions about the post covid 19 crisis in the hotel industry. As for many hotel owners, the road to hotel recovery is still blurry.
Find out how Trivago helped travelers and hoteliers to keep creating direct bookings.
The COVID-19 crisis impacted all kinds and sizes of businesses. How did things go at trivago?
Seeing travel come to a complete standstill for such an extended period of time, essentially overnight, was unprecedented and almost unimaginable.
Like many businesses, especially those of us in the travel and tourism industry, trivago faced some huge challenges and had to make what sometimes felt like impossible decisions.
Agility is something most businesses strive for and work toward, and ours was definitely put to the test. Fortunately, we, as a company, had a solid foundation in place, so were able to adapt to the changes very quickly. Our leadership team did a fantastic job of assessing the situation and forecasting what would likely be the new normal. Our talents took it upon themselves and worked tirelessly to introduce new features that would help our partners navigate the crisis.
We also looked further afield for opportunities that would empower our advertisers and were in a position to reach out and collaborate with other industry leaders to forge the European COVID Travel Alliance, a free database that provides travelers with a single, consolidated data source for up-to-date global news related to restrictions.
Even though we are sailing head, it is still very much in untested waters, so it is more important than ever before that we all work together and support each other.
What advice can you give hoteliers to continue to drive bookings through trivago?
We are in constant communication with both our partners and our users so that we can truly understand their needs. That’s why we have launched, and continue to develop, a number of initiatives designed to better serve them during this crisis.
Adopting our new features and ensuring that hoteliers provide us with additional information about rate attributes, free cancellation rates, and special rates (i.e., mobile exclusive, reward, and flash rates) will help them be more competitive in our marketplace and, ultimately, drive more bookings.
We also advise staying engaged with trivago on all our platforms and social channels. We have been working non-stop over the past few months and things have been moving very fast, so it’s helpful to follow and stay up to date with the press releases we publish on our investor relations and LinkedIn pages.
Finally, we suggest reaching out to their connectivity providers to ensure that they are keeping up to date and making use of the new products and features that trivago is introducing.
Are there significant markets/destinations emerging post-COVID-19?
The most frightening thing about this crisis is the uncertainty because it’s very hard to plan for uncertainty.
Pre-COVID-19, users knew exactly where they wanted to go and were more confident with the routines associated with travel. These days, it’s a lot harder to pinpoint user behavior because things are changing so rapidly.
Having said that, we have noticed an increase in domestic travel, users looking at more and more alternative accommodations such as vacation rentals over traditional hotels, not planning as far in advance as they might use to, and showing an increase in interest for accommodations with free cancellation policies. As users seem to be entering the booking funnel much earlier, we are determined to guide and support them with more suggestions and inspiration for holiday destinations.
We are constantly monitoring and closely analyzing our search data, as well as carrying out extensive external research, to build a full-color picture of the situation. As expected, we have seen a strong correlation between travel regulations and user interest. These search trends are published regularly on our B2B resource center, investor relations page, and across social media in order to help our partners optimize their performance on trivago.
What has trivago established so far to help travelers travel safely?
Our CEO, Axel Hefer, sent out a comprehensive note to our users and partners urging them to follow recommendations outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO). The message also includes information and support for those who have already booked travel and are looking to either cancel or reschedule their trips.
For those planning travel, we have a “know before you go” banner on our website that links to an overview of the latest restrictions by country. The database also shows travelers what they can expect in terms of quarantine rules for their chosen destination and whether restaurants, bars, museums, etc. are open or not. Our primary focus is the safety of our customers, so we are doing everything we can to help them stay informed.
What can hoteliers expect to help them display their sanitary precautions?
As well as introducing features such as our new CPA model, Sponsored Listings, and prioritizing the free cancellation rate attribute to help boost recovery, we have been busy working on several initiatives that make it easier for partners to highlight COVID-specific information.
Display Ads is one way advertisers can promote custom messaging, such as updated hygiene standards and regulations. We are also currently working on additional branding opportunities, and although it is very difficult to aggregate information at a standard level to build COVID-specific filters into our platform, that hasn’t put us off from trying. We continue to work hard to rebuild confidence in travel by looking for solutions to help our partners get their message across so that our users can feel safe and informed when traveling.
In the meantime, hoteliers should ensure that they send as much information as they can about their updated regulations to their connectivity providers and have it clearly highlighted on their websites.
Links used in this article
2020 Press Releases
A note from trivago’s CEO regarding COVID-19