As the hospitality industry begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, hotels will need to adapt to the changes to the way people prefer to travel. When local and international travel returns in full force in 2023 and beyond, we cannot expect people to travel the same way they did pre-pandemic. In fact, these changes in travel preferences (e.g. DIY travel or a focus on sustainability) could already be observed in late 2021 and in 2022. As such, hospitality leaders have just a bit of lead time to implement changes that cater to these emerging travel trends in their properties.
Here is a quick rundown of three trends that have the potential to dictate hotel booking volume in 2023:
People are Looking for Better Communal Outdoor Spaces
Just because the world is recovering from the pandemic, it doesn’t mean that its effects have been forgotten. Many local and international travelers are now looking for hotels that pay attention to their outdoor amenities. Travelers now actively seek out hotels that offer beautiful outdoor spaces.
Hotel management should definitely take a look at their respective properties and plan out how they can maximize the use of their outdoor spaces and redesign these in ways that maximize both the enjoyment and safety of their guests. Some good examples include having an open rooftop garden, a decked swimming pool, or even terrace bars with gorgeous city views.
People Want Personalized Local Experiences
Travelers are becoming incredibly mobile and independent, which is evidenced by the rate people are booking their own flights and accommodations on their own instead of travel agencies. This can be attributed to their desire for deeply personalized and authentic local experiences.
There are many ways hotels can adapt to this emerging trend. One quick way would be to create and offer tour packages on a per guest basis. For example, if you know that a guest checking-in this afternoon is a family with young children, you can instruct the front desk staff or concierge to offer packages for a family cooking class or a nearby water park. Alternatively, you may include these package offers along with the booking confirmation email you send to your guests.
Adopting More Hospitality Tech
Technology continues to advance at amazing speeds and more and more guests are becoming technologically savvy. As a result, hotels are highly encouraged to turn to technology that enhances the guest experience. One of the best examples of this since the pandemic is the use of self check-in kiosks. These kiosks don’t replace the importance of having staff at the Front Desk, but they do offer a quick and convenient alternative to guests who just want to check in and have no extra requests or questions for front desk staff.
There are a number of amazing hospitality-focused technology solutions available on the market today. The use of such technology should be sorted out on a case to case basis. For example, hotels in large metropolitan areas may want to consider using digital concierge technology that can be accessed through a special menu found on the in-room TV. Other technologies that should be on your radar include:
- Keyless room entry
- Contactless payment processing at Front Desk
- In-room smart technology
These are only some of the trends that hotel owners and management should take a close look at in preparation for the inevitable travel boom in 2023. For a better look at how things are changing in the hospitality industry and a clearer picture of how you can implement changes to your hotel, do not hesitate to consult a hotel management agency like Enderun Hotels.