3 hotel trends resulting from the covid-19 crisis
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the hospitality industry right in the heart and has also created moments of uncertainty, discomfort and questioning for its players, regarding the change of consumption behavior and habits, but also the rise of new needs and expectations as well as the travelers budget. Indeed, the situation has changed a lot and is creating new trends.
Travelers are now called staycationers, meaning they prefer to go on vacation in their own home country rather than abroad. Moreover, they mainly go on vacation for entertainment and relaxation after a long period of confinement. Staycationers are more independent when traveling but they feel a strong need to be reassured and to feel safe, especially regarding social distancing and health measures set up by properties. To do so, it’s important to take these changes in consideration and to adapt quickly.
The trend “Coronacation” is a mix of corona et vacation, it reflects the high demand of staycationers wishing to travel despite the fact that the risk of spreading the virus is still present. Furthermore, the Coronacation trend has spread thanks to low-cost flights and accommodation offers, which has allowed some hoteliers to gradually restart their properties’ activities and even avoid permanent closure.
As you may know, staycationers now favor stays suitable for families including children and animals, combining safety and local consumption. This behavior’s change has forced hoteliers to adapt their offers in order to convince staycationers to make reservations within their properties. While price has always been an important criterion in travelers’ decision-making process, adaptability, availability and flexibility have also become important criteria. Therefore, several actions such as a flexible arrival and departure policy, the implementation of contactless solutions or a take-out meal service, limiting room cleaning in order to avoid contact between guests and employees will be highly appreciated by your guests and will sometimes make a significant difference when making a reservation. Thus, the crucial point of consumer’s decision is the property’s cancellation policies. Indeed, travel options are now so unstable that guests are looking for flexibility and easy arrangements in the case they can’t take advantage of their booked stay. A more flexible policy will certainly allow you to attract travelers who are not yet convinced to make a reservation. So remember to adjust your cancellation policies in your booking engine by highlighting your advantages offered and why not creating a specific Covid-19 policy that mentions all the actions put in place to simplify your stay.
Despite an unpredictable future, properties’ activities are returning to normal step by step. Nevertheless, every hotelier must commit to guaranteeing an outstanding customer experience in a coronasafe environment. The coronasafe trend incites hoteliers to be “sanitary agile” and to promote the safety of everyone, both travelers and property’s staff. Moreover, several reinforced measures were quickly put in place to prevent the spread of the virus as example the obligation to wear a mask within the property, the reorganization of spaces, the provision of disinfectant products, the set up of plexiglass windows and markings on the ground in order to respect social distancing, the disinfection of rooms and common areas and the use of innovative solutions such as check-in kiosks, online check-in and QR code for online menus. It’s very important to communicate and promote these measures on your Covid-19 website page, on your social media and in your newsletters in order to inform and reassure travelers. You can also create how-to guides for your teams and guests. Finally, remember that in times of crisis and post-crisis, transparency and honesty are essential!
The staycation trend also known as Holistay, has grown as a result of staycationers’ changing behavior. Indeed, they now prefer short stays in their own home country to encourage local tourism rather than travelling abroad. This trend particularly affects seniors and families who want to relax, do family activities and discover the beauty of their cities or regions. In addition, staycationers are interested in immersive experiences such as nature hikes, cultural tours and discoveries and culinary and tasting events. It would then be relevant for your property to offer affordable packages that include accommodation suitable for children and animals. You can also use your website and your online booking engine to promote your offers and partnerships with local guides and local small businesses in your city or region.
Besides being a rapidly changing industry in normal times, the hospitality industry faces many challenges caused by the Covid-19 crisis. Therefore, it is essential to be agile, to adapt quickly and to be reactive facing an uncertain future. It might be difficult to predict the exact date of a future pandemic but it is still possible to prepare for it, especially by planning emergency strategies and by using your property management software. Indeed, don’t forget that your Hotel PMS remains your best ally in times of crisis and post-crisis. Furthermore, it will allow you to manage your staff efficiently as well as all your property’s operations, to analyze your activities thanks to activity reports and to maximize your occupancy rate and your incomes. To finish with, remember that no matter how the situation evolves, you have to maintain the relationship with your guests by informing, reassuring and retaining them for the long term.