Anand Rajagopalan

Chief Technology Officer, Hotwire
  • We at Hotwire are dealing with the ever-evolving pressure of COVID-19 on our partners, customers and employees. In times where our customers have difficulty reaching Customer Care to modify or cancel their travel plans, we acted fast and implemented a customer-friendly self-serve solution within 24 hours, providing confidence and support when our customers need it the most, as well as easing the stress for our partners and call center agents.

  • Thanks to our Hotel partners who have enabled us to auto-process cancellations and refund the customer as well to the engineers who worked round the clock to get the solution up and running in quick time.

  • We are sure that these customer-centric steps are going to instill confidence and help them come back and shop on our site with all the more confidence in the near future.

Imran Salehjee

Group Managing Director,
Saltours International
  • Protect brand loyalty by providing refunds, this should be from all booking channels.

  • In the period of chaos there are short term opportunities to accommodate potential customers stranded from getting back home.

  • With mass cancelations for pre booked arrivals, hotels can provide promotions for future bookings in order to keep forward inventory healthy with some base business.

Taru Ojaharju-Latief

Commercial Director,
Hotel Kakola
  • Maximize hotel restaurant revenue by collaborating with Wolt, Foodora, Bolt, Deliveroo & such. Restaurant revenue will keep on even when room revenue collapses.

  • Enable + maximize online gift voucher sales on hotel website.

  • Suggest that reservations are postponed instead of cancelled. If, however a guest needs to permanently cancel, allow them to do so without extra cost = goodwill.

Mary Papathanasiou

Chief Executive Officer,
  • Be flexible with the change of the travel dates, despite canceling with charges help the guests to choose a new travel date with the same cost.

  • Try not to charge cancelation fees, if the budgets will be spend in cancelation fees new bookings will not follow soon.

  • Announce in your web sites the health measures you are taking in order to motivate people at least the coming months to travel

Pontus Mark

Regional Director, Revenue Management – Nordics,
  • Stick with the pricing strategy and try not avoid following any competition engagements. Some groups and single hotels will drive rates down to pickup whatever reservations being available. This will infect the market and increase recovery period. There will not be more demand due to price levels in this period of time.

  • Help out committed business in need for the period. Don’t forget that there is a period ahead after this recession.

  • Be careful on committing to the OTAs pressure on eased up cancellation policies. Be aware of the branch organizations advice to handle non refundable reservations that need to be cancelled due to political regulations. The need for cancellation is certainly not the guests fault, but it is also not any hotels fault. Keep updated and take decisions based on governmental regulations and branch organization’s advices, not what OTAs is pushing for.

Javier Silvestre Perez

Tourism Emerging Future
  • Keep in touch with customers and the market, asking them what they are doing, how they are facing this health crisis, and which measures they are taking to be better when everything returns to normal.

  • Get ready for the “day after”. This situation of uncertainty and stress will end and hotels need to figure it out how they are going to position themselves when this situation happens, being with the engines ready, preparing immediate takeoff plans and, in any case, they need to be aware that they cannot afford to lose internal talent.

  • The economic consequences of this health crisis must be faced from the liquidity side. They need to find ways to secure and guarantee their financing to maintain a healthy cash position. The lack of liquidity is going to be the main problem that we are going to face when this is all over.

Chinmai Sharma

President – Distribution,
  • The Travel business is very resilient and run by some of the most versatile executives across any industry. Many of us have experienced such events before – 9/11, SARS in 2003, the financial crisis in 2008 and we have always come out stronger. At RateGain, we have a unique vantage point of observing both Pricing and Distribution trends across the globe. It is critical to learn from past events and use data-based decisions to avoid things like unnecessary discounting and finding new opportunities to retain and grow market share - especially as soon as things turn around which they will!

James Williams

Director Of Sales,
Culture Trip
  • Inspire people; Use content to give people a reason to want to visit your destination in the future. They may not be able to book right now but they can still be inspired and plan. People are curious, want to learn and looking to escape the day to day and we've worked with partners to create bespoke campaigns and use our content on their own channels.

  • Lead generation: Encourage people to sign up for your newsletters with as much detail as possible so you can target them effectively when they do travel.

  • Bookings still exist: People will buy if the conditions are right. Make your non-refundable rates changeable, be creative with your packaging to deliver value driven rather than price driven customers.