Late into 2020, many players in the accommodation industry had been attempting to gradually reopen their establishments and welcome guests back. This came after a long period of lockdowns, border closures, and flight cancellations since the start of the pandemic. Despite the heightened travel restrictions in place during that time, many hotels and bed-and-breakfasts tried desperately to adhere to their governments’ shifting mandates on how their businesses should operate. This gave way to the rise of many new travel trends during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For one, accommodation establishments embraced the rising popularity of domestic tourism and "staycations,” given the many limitations on international travel, and hosted promos and discounts that encouraged extended vacations, which was believed to have been caused by people's desire to fight "quarantine fatigue." With the shift to remote work, most people found themselves not needing to rush back home. This allowed hoteliers to find opportunities to remain relevant.
However, as the world slowly enters yet another new normal, where people from across the globe are being asked to return to the office, where does that leave accommodation establishments? Now that the opportunities for staycations and extended travels are upending, what new ways should they leverage for their guests to come back?
According to a report by travel and tourism market research firm Destination Analysts, accommodation establishments need not worry: American travel sentiment has soared to levels not seen since the height of the summer 2021 vaccine rollout in the US. In fact, 81.5% are in a ready-to-travel state of mind, “among the highest levels it has ever been in the pandemic era,” according to the firm. Nearly 77% of respondents also said they were eager and excited to travel in the next 12 months, including internationally.
The same report also showed that more than three-quarters of respondents have dreamt of and planned to travel recently.
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a really hard time for many of us. Some of us have lost friends and family because of the pandemic, while many of us have become very fatigued from being at home for such a long period of time. If anything, the pandemic probably created a bigger demand for travel; people are actively trying to avoid getting stuck in one place.
At this point, what accommodation establishments need to do is embrace newer and emerging travel trends given more recent developments with how the pandemic is managed globally. Such trends include vaccination and booster programs, employers’ return-to-office mandates, and border reopenings in many countries.
How to elevate guest experience this summer
Amid developing travel trends, one thing remains the same: guest experience is still king. Hoteliers can adapt to new travel trends by keeping in mind the new demands of travelers, such as:
As summer draws near, accommodation players must brace themselves for the anticipated deluge of bookings for home-sharing and vacation rentals, as well as tours and activities.
Owners and managers of accommodation establishments must keep in mind that many of these travelers have been home for so long and that this will probably be their first time going out again for a vacation; they deserve nothing but the best guest experience possible.
At this point, it helps to brace arms with digital experts that could improve guests' experiences–from finding accommodations to reserving or booking tours and tickets.
TaskUs, for one, serves the connected traveler wherever they are in their journey. From intelligent chatbots to machine learning platforms, and everything in between, we ensure that the authentic human factor trims costs and produces interactions that create lasting value.
What the travel industry does today will set a precedent for the next travel trends, so it is crucial to do it right. For the players in the hospitality sector, it is a must to give guests nothing but a pleasurable and remarkable experience–to let them feel that it is now safe to travel. It is only by providing a great guest experience that travelers will be enticed to finally pull out their dusted travel bags and book their much-awaited flights once again.