How Does It Affect Me?

The question travellers with upcoming travel plans to Sri Lanka will be asking.

Safety and security is a paramount concern for many travellers and handling guest concerns should be of paramount important for hoteliers.

In the aftermath of this weekend’s devastating attacks in Sri Lanka, travellers who have made bookings at hotels are likely contact the hotel management. They will want to know what is happening and if it is safe to continue with their upcoming holiday. How hoteliers and managers communicate with these guests is of crucial importance.

Here are five tips to follow when responding to your guests:

Be proactive

Contact your guests before they reach out to you. Not only will this shine a positive light on your hotel but also show guests that their safety is of highest importance to you.

Clear and transparent communication

Being honest and clear in your communication to your guests about the situation in the country is very important. If your hotel location is not in the vicinity of the explosions, it’s important that you include this and inform guests that the hotel did not incur any damages. In the event your establishment is located near to any of the locations that were targeted, be clear about this in your response and assure guests that the hotel is safe.

There is a risk you might lose reservations by being honest, but being transparent in the face of a crisis is always important. Guests have the right to make informed decisions.

Give assurances

Guests may request to cancel their bookings, which is inevitable in the face of such devastating events. For guests who still show an interest in keeping their bookings, assure them that you will do your best to keep them informed and updated with relevant information.

Open communication

Maintaining open communication with both employees and guests is vital. Make time to answer questions and concerns raised by both parties. Issuing an official communique to your staff about ensuring guest safety and the importance of following set procedures in times of a crisis is a priority.

Suspend all promotions, especially on social media

At a time when Sri Lanka as a nation is grieving, conducting promotions at hotel premises and social media promotions will be considered insensitive and reflect badly on the establishment. Till it is deemed appropriate, suspend any promotional activities at the hotel and on social media.

Hospitality Insider Issue 4