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Reply To: We own a small 8 bedroom hotel in Bluff, we have owned the hotel for 16 months and were doing well until Covid 19 lockdown. The tourism season is December to Easter and we have the Oyster Festival in May.  All our future bookings have been cancelled and no new bookings have been made. We have a loan payments due each month that I am not sure how we will repay. How can we increase sales, how do we advertise with limited budget and where do we advertise with so many different options. Not sure how to move forward 

Thanks for reaching out. Some great ideas from Phil and Jason. Really good to be proactive. A few more additional things to think about….

Have your existing customers been domestic or international? Do you have their email addresses? If you have domestic customers, you can use their email addresses to target similar type customers through look-a-like audiences on Facebook. Facebook Business has some really great tools on how to set these up. Looks scary but actually it’s that bad. You can also set up re-targeting ads on Google so that when people visit your site, you can chase them around the web when they visit other sites. This will keep your motel top of mind.

I agree that linking with your local tourism organisation (southlandnz.com)and also ensure you are on local websites like bluff.co.nz. These will all help with your visibility online. As TourismNZ is going to play a big role in domestic marketing, ensure you have a listing on newzealand.com, by registering at https://register.newzealand.com/.

Some hotels are creating long stay options, or work options. Have a look at this article for some ideas too:

Taking “alternative” booking ideas from Choice Hotels

There is a great group on Facebook, suggest you join this group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/647725352678015
It will show you are not alone, and there is a lot of support in the group. And ideas floating around too! Kia Kaha.