The hospitality industry will continue to face an unprecedented level of challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic in 2021, and success will depend on how businesses and individual properties respond to the key trends preparing to shape the year ahead. With some valuable insights from data and analytics company GlobalData, here are some notable hotel trends to watch for in 2021.
Improved hygiene protocols
The hotel industry quickly implemented high safety and hygiene measures in the weeks and months following the announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic for the first time in March 2020, but companies are likely to continue to develop their various programs and partnerships for the residency of health and improve them in the new year because they expect not only assure Guests but also to separate themselves from the competition.
Hotels and resorts introduced extended stay programs and packages in droves last year and this trend will continue into 2021 as guests seek longer stays. "Travelers will look to take fewer trips, if they are not forced by the ongoing travel restrictions, but those who travel are also expected to stay longer to get what they can when they can," says Ralph Hollister, travel analyst and GlobalData tourism. "Uncertainty is a struggle and it can lead to people doing 'everything' on one big trip, rather than risking many small trips that could be canceled."
Since many travelers opt for longer stays, their trip may not be limited to entertainment and therefore they will be looking for a room that can function comfortably while enjoying more privacy compared to the on-site business center. Fast Wi-Fi and convenient workstations could be the deciding factor for many travelers looking to mix work and play in 2021.
Reducing touchpoints will continue to be a top goal in the travel industry into the new year as hotels, airports, restaurants and other venues have turned to mobile apps and QR codes to reduce the spread of potentially harmful germs. "In 2021, hotels will increase the adoption of technology that reduces the number of connection points. Capabilities such as online check-in and check-out, mobile phone switches, and room settings driven by Internet of Things (IoT) technology. ) will become more popular, "Hollister added. "Using IoT to control room settings also enables hotels to collect more data about guests, creating a more personalized experience when they return next time."
Successful hotels will be those that can provide additional flexibility to guests through 100% refunds for last minute cancellations and other risk reduction policies. “Having a flexible cancellation policy on the hotel's website will be vital to guarantee direct bookings, and these convenient policies will continue in 2021. For example, Marriott International just extended its 24-hour global cancellation policy until March 31. from 2021. This extension is annual. Then your competitors will emulate to maintain their competitive advantage. "
In addition to flexibility, travelers will be looking for more privacy in 2021. Short-term home rentals through Airbnb and Vrbo, as well as Villas of Distinction's family and group villas, and more that provide guests with a More space and privacy than traditional hotel rooms will continue to be in high demand. Real estate will also continue to be in isolated domestic destinations as travelers worry about local restrictions and close encounters with strangers.
In 2021, travelers will feel safer spending time outdoors than indoors when it comes to being in public. Whether it's meeting and event space, alfresco dining, or inviting green spaces for coffee or socially distant yoga sessions, more and more properties will be looking to incorporate the outdoors into the guest experience.
Hotels and resorts have been going green for some time now and this trend is unlikely to go away in 2021 as more travelers seek to reduce their impact on the environment and experience local culture. Reduce water use and waste, in addition to obtaining locally produced products in existing bars and restaurants. Location is critical for properties looking to differentiate themselves in the future.
Non-contact food and beverages
It means limiting contact through non-touch technology that serves food and drink in ways that limit human interactions, whether it's through acquisition options and moving around the hall, room service that leaves meals at the door of the guest room or the aforementioned QR codes and bookmarking menus that allow guests to browse and order safely on their smartphones.
Many will be faced with limited travel budgets in 2021, so real estate will need to attract high-value travelers who will be looking for lower rates but will also want to spend a little more if that means better quality of accommodation, a safer experience, and greater flexibility or benefits.
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