Use these tips with examples to write an effective hotel COVID-19 safety measure statement.
Do hotels really need to write about their COVID-19 safety measures?
And after many months of waiting for the day to come where you can finally welcome guests back, you’re now faced with this predicament: How do you alleviate their COVID-19-related anxieties? That is, how do you get people comfortable enough to commit to a stay?
The challenge now – well, one of many – is to bring confidence levels back up. Aside from inspiring people all over again and promoting relevant offers, you need to build trust.
The first can be done with great content. It’s also ‘easy’ enough to adapt booking and cancellation terms as well as packages and promos for the current normal. But gaining clients’ trust? It was hard pre-pandemic and it’s even harder now.
But there is one way you can lessen potential guests’ anxiety and that is by announcing your hotel’s COVID-19 safety measures.
Failing to do so may give the impression you’re not doing anything. Alternatively, you certainly don’t want to seem like you don’t care. Both are very compelling reasons why every hotel should address their COVID-19 safety measures. But in case you need more convincing, let’s take a closer look at the reasons to outline your hotel’s health and safety precautions.
It boosts confidence in your brand
To put it quite simply, which hotel would you rather book: The one whose website makes it appear like it is business as usual or the one that’s transparent, actively sharing what they’re doing to keep you and your loved ones safe?
I bet you didn’t have to put much thought into it. You’ll choose the one that’s proactive about health and safety measures.
Your potential guest doesn’t necessarily know what steps you’re taking. That’s why it’s important to communicate what you’re actually doing. Don’t leave it up to their imagination – be up front about the measures you’ve put in place.
Takeaway: During these high-anxiety times, everyone wants (and needs) reassurance before they commit to a booking. Give it to them!
It’s an opportunity to rank highly on search engines
Under normal circumstances, it’s extremely challenging to land your hotel’s website on the first or even second or third pages of search engines. After all, you’re competing against online travel agency and hotel aggregator heavyweights like Booking.com and TripAdvisor. But creating a page that addresses health and safety measures is a great way to actually land your brand high up on search engine results pages!
Here’s an example of a search I ran for hotels in London:
And one for Bangkok:
Prospects with concerns about potential safety can easily find your website and discover your brand this way. That’s an advantage you have over competitors. And it gets you one step closer to securing that valuable reservation.
Takeaway: It’s a great way to land in front of – and capture – the attention of cautious travelers with specific searches related to health and safety.
You’re showing clients that you care
As mentioned at the start of this post, you don’t want people to think that you aren’t doing anything—or that you don’t care about guests’ well-being.
Perhaps you feel like you aren’t doing quite enough worth mentioning. After all, it’s not like you’ve partnered with Johns Hopkins or other organisations to craft your COVID-19 response. And maybe you aren’t able to harness the latest and greatest technology can offer for a truly contactless experience.
Regardless, you’re still doing something about health and safety behind the scenes. Whatever it is, it’s important that you communicate those efforts. You want your stakeholders to know that you’re doing everything you can to keep them safe.
Takeaway: It’s especially important for small or independent hotels to explain what they’re doing. After all, you don’t necessarily have the big brand name (and the reputation that comes with it) to rely on to get customers through the front door.
Can’t I just leave it to the tourism or health authorities?
You could but why rely on others? Prospects won’t necessarily go to a foreign country’s tourism or health authority’s website to check what measures are in place over there.
Also, it’s one thing for the destination country’s authorities to talk about what they’ve mandated hotels to follow or implement and another entirely for you to put it into perspective on a micro level. That is how those measures take shape at your property.
Having said all that, there’s only so much you can do to convince travelers that it’s safe to stay at your hotel. This is because the perception of safety will also be influenced by your country’s national response to the virus – that’s something you don’t have direct control over.
In other words if your country is deemed to have had a poor response to the pandemic or continues to see rising cases of COVID-19, it’s going to be much harder to persuade anyone to travel to your destination let alone that your hotel is safe. (You don’t exist in a bubble; you’re part of the community.)
A dedicated page to your hotel’s COVID-19 response shows, at the very least, that you’re taking the situation seriously.
2021 Update: Still think that your brand can’t get away without talking about your health and safety measures? Booking.com’s recent research found that 70% of people “will only book if they know which health and hygiene policies are in place”. Don’t throw opportunities for bookings away! If you haven’t already done so, start writing your safety measures information now—or e-mail me for copywriting assistance.
How hotels are communicating their COVID-19 safety measures
Now that you’re decided on addressing your hotel’s COVID-19 response, the question is what’s the best way to actually talk about it? After all, you don’t want to go overboard and you don’t want to sound half-hearted.
These 7 examples from around the world show you the different ways hotels are communicating their COVID-19 safeguards. It will also show you what everyone has in common and what you can learn from them.
Hotel Balzac: COVID-19 safety measures & responses
- The message should have a prominent position on the homepage. That makes it easy for potential guests to quickly access safety information.
- Use active voice. It exudes confidence. Combined with the future tense, the wording makes the reader feel like they’ve already decided on this place. That feeling could provide the impetus to actually go ahead and do it.
- Encourage them to contact you. It creates the impression of transparency; shows that you are prepared and willing to answer safety concerns pre-booking; and personal contact opens up an added opportunity to convert on-the-fence lookers into bookers.
Okura Nikko Hotels: Clean & Safe Stay
- Link to more detailed information. Provide a quick overview on the homepage and then redirect readers to another page for further information.
- Break safety measures down according to category. That makes it easier for people to find specific information they’re looking for – whether that’s guest room safety or measures taken in shared spaces.
- Complement descriptions with clear imagery. That makes it easier to understand and visualize efforts. It’s also helpful for non-English speakers.
First Hotels: Stay safe at First Hotels
- Have clear and specific headlines. There should be no confusion what you’re talking about. But don’t be afraid to have personality.
- Involve your guest. Encourage positive behaviour. After all, it isn’t just about what you’re doing to keep them safe – well-being is a joint effort.
- Reference best practices. Efforts should come across as well-thought out and in adherence with best practices. Mention that you’re following local (e.g. CDC) and / or international health and safety guidelines (e.g. WHO).
Scandic Hotels: #StaySafe at Scandic
- Reference relevant hashtags. That can be an additional source of information and open up additional resources for would-be guests – especially if your client-base are social medial users.
- Use bullet points. That makes your information more reader-friendly and easier to digest.
- Update information as necessary. This entire situation is dynamic. Rules, guidelines and even best practices can and will change over time. Make sure your information is always up-to-date.
Grand Palace Japan: Safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19
- Personalise the message. You want to sound genuine and human – not like a robot. Signing off with a senior staff member’s name or even just their position adds a human touch.
- Keep it simple. Short words, short sentences and short paragraphs work best. You don’t want to overwhelm or discourage people from reading further.
- Link to other relevant information. This is a good opportunity to highlight other important updates, such as open hotels / temporary closures, reduced operations or changes to service hours, that you potential guests should know.
NH Hotels: Feel safe at NH
- Take advantage of video. Aside from graphics, videos can help get your message across and offers an alternative to reading lengthy text.
- Address other potential concerns ahead of time. Inform would-be guests that you will provide them with additional practical information like English-speaking pharmacies or nearby medical facilities. Such details can further relieve travel-related anxieties.
- Use positive terms. How you frame a message can impact how it’s perceived. Don’t be all doom and gloom. Positive words and phrases will land better than those that incite fear.
Hard Rock Hotels: Post COVID-19 holidays with Hard Rock Tenerife
- Use an appropriate tone. Keep your brand voice consistent but adjust the tone of your hotel COVID-19 safety message. Positive words and an optimistic outlook don’t mean you can get away with sounding flippant.
- Incorporate a drop-down Q&A feature. The page should be easy to scan. Adding a Q&A feature allows readers to read about the topics or areas of concern that matter to them most.
- Add a relevant call to action. Now that prospects have read the hotel COVID-19 safety measures, it’s time to tell them what to do next. Choose your words wisely. This is your chance to move them along the travel purchase journey.