As the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic ebb, most indicators point to travel coming back — with a vengeance — as people look to reconnect, explore new destinations, or revisit reliable favorites.”
That’s how a McKinsey report describes the present scenario, highlighting the opportunities in the travel and hospitality industry. In fact, did you know that in the US, with two million daily passengers, air travel is already closer to the pre-pandemic level of around 2.5 million?
With countries starting to open up again, the hotel industry is booming and providing guests with new experiences and personalized service. Here are some of the key reopening trends that are reflected today in the hospitality industry –
1.Greater digitalization of the industry
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, digital reservations have become an even bigger section of the hotel booking volume. It is expected that in the coming future, the entire hotel booking market will be taken over by digitalization. Hotel owners can be expected to improve the digital presence through the following measures:
- Diversification of online distribution channels
- Posting content online everyday through a regular digital schedule
- Using a direct room reservation strategy
- Having an efficient and aesthetic hotel website with attractive images and offers
2. Wider adoption of hotel technology products
As hotel owners tackle with more competition and changes in guest booking behavior, we are witnessing a wider adoption of hotel technology products.
While hotel channel managers and booking engines were already popular among large and mid-sized hotels and chains, more adoption is expected by small and independent properties as well. Such hotel tech products will enable businesses with more opportunities for online bookings and revenue maximization. It will add to their operational efficiency, saving them cost and providing a competitive edge.
3. Reconsideration of marketing strategies
It is important to focus on driving more guests to the hotel brand website to drive direct bookings. More and more hotels are realizing the importance of generating commission-free bookings and owning the guest relation from start to end. Hence it is critical that hotels –
- Devise their digital marketing campaigns effectively
- Give out the right messages to their target audience
- Establish synergies with other related business vendors for cross-selling Deriving benefits from various tourism-promotion initiatives
4. Innovate boldly
Hotels are expected to go out of the way, to distinguish themselves from the crowd in order to stand out from competitors. Apart from focusing on digital marketing, hotels are looking at innovative technology solutions as well as revenue models to attract different guest segments –
- Using contactless technology for check-in, check-out, in-room dining and other services.
- Revenue optimization with day-use booking options.
- Diversification of array of hotel services for serving more customers and optimization of revenues.
- Having visitor-first strategies in place.
In the hospitality industry, personalization has been a much-discussed subject for a long time now. Listening to visitors and accordingly adapting hotel services can be very useful in distinguishing hotel businesses from all competitors out there and building guest loyalty.
It is being expected that hotel owners and managers would go out of their way to personalize services for visitors, in order to provide them with an unmatched and unique experience and ensure a higher level of customer loyalty in the years to come.
6. Staying ready for changes in the hospitality industry
The times are changing and things are evolving very quickly, which means that hotel owners and administrators would be keeping their ears to the ground for new trends and changes in the hospitality industry.
While we aren’t exactly back to normal (and we might never get there), whatever new normal we’re heading towards, there are opportunities in the hospitality industry in heaps for hotel owners and other stakeholders. Understanding the emerging trends and keeping in sync with the changing consumer behavior will ensure that hoteliers stay on top of their business and beat the lingering pandemic blues to achieve the desired scalability.