Would people ever like to travel again? What travel behaviors should I focus on? What will be the fate of hospitality? Will my hotel ever be able to get back to normal? These are the questions that you, as a hotelier, might be asking yourself almost every day for the past few weeks.
And you’re not alone.
With the first phase of the pandemic behind us, countries around the world are soon going to ease coronavirus lockdown with local travel.
As the pandemic situation changes rapidly, new travel trends and behaviors are emerging. trivago’s CEO, Axel Hefer, expects the industry to come back soon–albeit in a new form.
So, how will the new travel look like?
According to Hefer, “the new trip is going to be 100% on your own in terms of transportation and accommodations. That is the absolute perceived safest trip you can imagine. You get into your car, take your family, you open the door, you clean everything, that’s it. That is the absolute perceived-safest trip you can imagine. The next one is you go to a hotel. You see other people, but there are a lot of safety restrictions in there, social distancing, everything is cleaned very diligently.”
This means that demand for domestic and leisure travel is soon going to soar and as a hotelier, you’ll have an opportunity to welcome travelers again in your property. At first, people won’t venture far from home and will look for hotels and/or alternative accommodations that promote safe, hygienic, and social-distancing environments. Additionally, people will now look for trips and stays that ensure entertainment and mental rejuvenation for the whole family after the long lockdown.
As a hotelier, it’s crucial for you to understand such post-crisis travel trends and behaviors to win business during the post-crisis period. Let’s explore the current travel trends and in our next post, we’ll share online marketing and onsite hospitality tips on how to attract and delight travelers of today.
A road trip to a national park or other attraction within the state or a neighboring state – this is what travel will look like in the near future. Travel is expected to start with road trips not too far from home because of the feeling of insecurity associated with flights and airports at the moment.
People will also ditch their luxurious getaways for camping or road trips until they’re confident with their finances again. So, make sure you’re ready to welcome campers and road trippers at your property with ample parking space and a 24/7 reception.
We’ve got a lot of new Gen-Z terms in our dictionary, thanks to COVID-19, and coronacation is one of them. UrbanDictionary explains coronacation as “a vacation that takes place because of cheap flights and hotels that exist because of the 2020 coronavirus.”
Now as the first signs of recovery are here and many people would like to travel albeit at a risk, they’d like to get offers and discounts on their stays. For this, hotels should create and implement an effective hotel revenue management strategy, in which they should focus on providing offers and diversifying their revenue streams, rather than simply slashing room rates. This will help them maintain their price power in the long run.
We’ll have to adhere to the rules of social distancing for a long time until a vaccine against the coronavirus is made available. This is why it’s not surprising that coronasafe is the new holiday criteria for travelers.
Hotels need to have set measures in place to ensure their guests’ safety. It is the topmost criteria to promote goodwill and attract travelers right now. We’ve seen how hotels have been coming up with creative and innovative efforts to save the highly endangered hospitality industry. For example, in Italy, there is a proposal to separate beach chairs and restaurant tables with plexiglass boxes.
Trips are expected to be much shorter than before because of a softer economy. This means that the traditional two-week summer vacation could turn into a long weekend and holistay activities could be the next big trend in the travel industry.
Travelers interested in holistay or staycation activities would be most interested in activities for the whole family. So, they’re going to choose accommodations that are kids-friendly and/or pets-friendly. They would like experiential and culturally immersive activities, like baking events, local music fests, art tours, hiking, water sports, and others.
Keep checking this space to find out how you can attract and delight local travelers at your property to foster guest relationships and loyalty even during this time.
Featured image: Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash