The hospitality industry is seeing a new trend following the impact through the pandemic, 2020-2021. There is increased consumer awareness of all things that should be sustainable, purposeful and secure health and well-being. You see a whole new opportunity out there, waiting for the hospitality business to capitalise.
As companies have moved to more flexible options of working, with a hybrid model, it has thrown open a new platform for the hoteliers to consider. It caters to both, working professionals and the leisure travelers. Customisation has therefore become important, and the depth of service offering is fast, expanding.
Additionally, people have become very conscious of their surroundings, which makes it inevitable for hotels to follow best practices in maintaining hygiene and onboard wellness experts to counsel, alongside gym, spa and beauty services. Wellness resorts, are drawing lot of attention of travelers these days, looking for, yoga, detox, destress, pain management and other therapies that are high on demand. As such, with the concept of social distancing, people are cognizant of their whereabouts. It has created a strong need to have contactless services and hotels must invest in technology to draw interest of the digital savvy consumers, such as digital check-in for guests and use of apps to make payments.
Above all, personalisation will be the key to success in this space. Based on individual preferences, service offerings, promotions and communications are being tailor made to match the expectations of its consumers. ‘One size, fits all’ approach, has become redundant in the current scenario. The use of social listening data and AI powered solutions are enabling unique offering that individuals expect.
While this sector is adapting itself to the current needs, travel today, is far less than it was pre pandemic, and people prefer to spend wisely and more purposefully than extravagantly. They desire a unique experience that also gives back to the society and find niche properties more fascinating, in that sense. Properties working towards sustainability are drawing more attention than ever in the travel business. Avoiding disposable plastics, eliminating unnecessary paper consumption and reducing food waste, are some of the environmental considerations that are influencing decisions of travelers.
Interestingly, solo travel is growing in parallel, as people want to get away for meditation, adventure, therapy, and want to spend time at their own pace. Understandably so, as people have just come out of a huge culture shock, where they felt trapped in their homes 24 x 7, with no outdoor experience. More and more, destinations are catering to an experience that is safe, comfortable and relaxed for solo travelers.
Overseas travel, on the other hand has become very cumbersome, given the long wait for visas, covid testing protocols and hike in air fares. Vacationers are looking for more staycations within the ambit of domestic travel and nearby local destinations, that are practical and doable, as often as they want. Weekend getaways, are becoming very popular for that matter.
In essence, the hospitality business as it gains back momentum, must look at customising the offer as per the needs and preferences of the traveler. Technology integration will be a big factor in elevating the experience, as more and more tech innovation happens in hotels. With that, seeding the sustainability practice will be key, as consumers today are more aware of their options than ever before.
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