Coronavirus As Seen Through Hotel Reviews: What Are Your Guests Saying?

The travel and hospitality industry is taking a major hit – there’s no denying that. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, hotels from all over the globe are experiencing low occupancy rates and tremendous loss in revenue, while some are even closing their doors until further notice. While we are living in uncertain and unprecedented times and the immediate prognosis for hospitality businesses is not on the positive side, the only thing left to do is to be aware of the current situation and look ahead with an arsenal of solid plans and smart decisions.

With so many internal implications and struggles on the business end of this matter, it’s important not to lose sight of how customers perceive the crisis and what they’re going through in relation to hotels. Let’s see what our data uncovered:

Review Insights Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19):

To get a clearer picture of how hotel guests are contextualizing the COVID-19 situation, we leveraged semantic analysis to extract some relevant reviews from our database and we noticed a number of recurring topics:

  • the fact that various hotel facilities are closed (spa, gym, pool)
  • the low number of guests
  • the staff wearing masks
  • the general fear of other hotel guests who have been infected

Topics that have recently been noted in the second week of March were also about:

  • hotels offering client discounts in an effort to attract and retain guests
  • procedures that imply body temperature testing at the hotel entrance or the reception
  • hotels closing down completely
  • complaints about hotel management not taking appropriate measures to protect guests from coronavirus.

Here are some of the most insightful guest reviews about COVID-19:

“Our kids love the outdoor pool (it’s heated during the cooler months) although it was closed on our last visit due to the novel coronavirus.”

“Great hotel but unfortunately not the best time due to coronavirus.”

“Staff very friendly and helpful. At the time of traveling the hotel had 10% occupancy due to coronavirus.”

“There was a staff coughing at breakfast. She wore a mask, but was very worried because it was the new coronavirus.”

“I would have liked to have been notified that a previous guest was diagnosed with coronavirus.”

“During check-in, we were handed a piece of paper dated the 24th January informing us that the hotel had had a guest staying infected with the highly contagious coronavirus.”

So what takeaways can you glean from these insights?

First of all, if your doors are still open to the public but some facilities are closed, make sure to inform your guests about this upon check-in or even after the booking was registered. In this way, you are helping adjust their expectations and avoiding unpleasant “surprises”.

Be completely open and transparent – communicate any issues or struggles that you are currently going through and ensure that your guests know that their safety is your number one priority.

Inform your guests if you have had any previous cases of the coronavirus and make sure that everything is completely disinfected and safe.