Tourism has been one of the worst-hit sectors by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Depending on the duration of the crisis, analysts predict a decline in international travel by a staggering 60-80%. This is especially bad news for countries that rely heavily on tourism income and are home to the most popular tourist attractions. Countries like Spain, Mexico, Italy have been the most vulnerable to Covid-19.
Who's most vulnerable to COVID-19's impact on tourism? Image: Statista
In correlation, the hotel industry experienced a similar fate. The current state can be best explained by two words: High Vacancy. Many hotels are closed, mostly on the luxury end. While the economy class fares a bit better, the industry is at hold. There are multiple recovery scenarios, but the most realistic one predicts that 2023 will be the year of a proper recovery.
On the consumer side, the mindset has changed. Guests want to feel safe while traveling, they prefer the contactless check-ins and check-outs, with a big emphasis on hygiene. Rather than staying in hotels, people are choosing to stay in private homes, isolated environments and have a big focus on remote locations. While vacations are not going away, the way we travel has changed dramatically.
One of our clients, True Luxury Villas, has been in the first row at the battlefield. They offer hand-picked villas, with personalized services and an ultimate approach to personalized stays. They are servicing the luxury segment of the market -- prepare every home, await the guest upon arrival, do the check-in together, and explain all gadgets or details. Their portfolio offers only the best villas and unique services. While traveling, guests have a private chef and a butler, daily cleaning, and unique concierge services.
Their mission is clear.
“Your perfect villa holiday is our mission - nothing else.”
According to Robert Rhein, Founder of True Luxury Villas they benefit from the watering down of the hotel product and the general reluctance to vacation in resorts with many people.
He believes that all asset groups are more spontaneous in their booking behavior during this time, and thinks it is only logical that one should rent a private and clean house rather than go to a 5 or 6-star hotel. He sees the company less as profiteers, but as a company that provides a more resilient product to the wealthiest clients.
Their customers may also feel negative economic conditions, but that's not why they do not go on vacation. There is always enough wealth and you only experience every summer and every year once. Fortunately, many live by this maxim.
Based on his opinion, as long as there are no travel restrictions, they will be always better positioned than the much more sensitive hotel market.
Here at Computer Rock, with a team of international designers, we developed a modern screen design and optimized the content strategy of the website, as the new design integrates and simultaneously simplifies the broad range of contents within an intuitive user experience.
How True Luxury Villas made a future-proof business:
True Luxury Villas started with a few excellent villas and chalets and quickly grew to a sizeable portfolio. Computer Rock came in for technology and SEO driven relaunch of the existing site. The main goal was to implement an easier search and booking process and to set up the SEO correctly. Always keeping one important rule. Only True Luxury Villas decides which villa goes up and meets the standards of their curation.
The existing site was expanded to include several, additional segments (for example booking yachts). In addition, a new and more intelligent search function was installed enabling the user to select the right vacation home more quickly based on his needs.
Until then, the booking of domicile had been commissioned via a contact form or by phone or email. With the new site, a new check-out process was built, in which the user is now able to book his domicile directly on the site.
From a technical point of view, the site has been designed and optimized for mobile.
Analytics / Tracking is available with the new site. Lead and contact numbers have gone up 30% with the site's relaunch.
If there was one lesson to learn from this article, let it be this one.
When you have a winning product/service you have to keep investing back. If True Luxury Villas have not recognized an essential need for their platform to be dynamic and scalable, they would not be able to respond to the current market conditions as well as they did. You can not plan everything. But, you have to make sure you are prepared, flexible, and resilient to external shocks and events. Think of investing back as an insurance fee against the future.
For a business that is turning 18 this year, we are happy to say that True Luxury Villas was able to create a resilient product and upset the market in the best way. The end consumers are the beneficiaries. The entire story is a great study on how to create and grow your business.
Check out their website and our solution at www.trueluxuryvillas.com