The Future of Travel: Hospitality Trends in 2020

Covid-19 has upturned expectations as to what travel and hospitality should look like. Nowadays guests are more concerned with their health and safety than with exclusivity and uniqueness when it comes to what the hotel has to offer.

Other changes stemmed from lockdown and the varying levels of restrictions still active across the world. You might operate in a more lax environment, but there are countries like Turkey, where international travellers are forced to take a PTA test before crossing the border on their way home. If the test comes back positive then they are quarantined in the establishment they last inhabited.

This is a truly terrifying situation for both guests and hotel owners. And while international travel has resumed for the most part almost as before, most guest prospects are wary of how quickly a situation may turn bad for them, and they might end up stuck in quarantine, in a foreign country.

So naturally, the most common travel plans made in 2020, involve road trips and staycations.

We can break down most of these trends based on duration and number of guests involved:

Daytrippers - One Night Booking, Single Suite, Party of Two
The most common vacation type this year, seeing as most households have lost at least some of their income, vacationers are less inclined or incapable altogether to take a lot of time off, so they tend to stick to brief one-night booking during a weekend getaway.
Being that this is the most common sort of holiday people will be taking for the foreseeable future, it would be extremely unwise on the part of the hotel to reduce prices for one night bookings. This would not go a long way of improving your chances of securing a booking, but it will certainly hurt your bottom line, even if you manage to book out your hotel.

Read more: 7 Fantastic Strategies to Boost Your Hotel Revenue Management

Most guests will be either a couple or close friends and roommates who have decided to get away for a minute. These are last-minute trips, done over holidays or weekends, and are mostly prompted by the overall frustration with the pandemic.
People now feel the need to be somewhere else, and not feel like prisoners in their own lives. The social guilt of travelling during a pandemic is also real, which is why most travellers avoid flying or taking any public means of transportation. When their car is the only redeemable safe vehicle for travel, and the acceptable time frame is brief, the circle or travel destinations grows tighter.
Most daytrippers know exactly why they’re travelling and your hotel is simply the afterthought of having to spend the night somewhere. They are unlikely to go all out on upsales or post all about it on social media, but they will bring some safety concerns with them.
The reason they’re travelling in such a small group is that they wish to avoid general contact with strangers. So to summarize, daytrippers represent the largest group of travellers, who are most likely to be hyper-aware of your social distancing practices. In order to please them all, you need to do is keep hygiene standards high and wear masks in public spaces.

Read more: Imagining the New Normal of Post Pandemic Hotel Design

Family Staycationers - Two to Four Days, Apartment/ Two Suites, Party of 4/5
Family vacationers this year will be significantly more flustered and on edge. Most of these guests have been forced to spend too much time confined with their family, leading to agitation and conflict.
These sort of staycationers are looking to go somewhere in order to get away from each other, but social distancing guidelines and financial constraints are limiting them to taking a vacation with the very people they are trying to take a break from.

Read more: It’s Staycation Season! Here are 5 Helpful Tips to Increase Occupancy

As guests, they welcome variety and are eager for upsells on additional activities. Recommendations made by your staff are increasingly likely to end in a sale, as long as they are the right fit.
Putting up posters for the child-friendly activities available on-site, are likely to elicit a response, which is where staff can come in and sign them up for whatever activity they wish to partake in. If you do not have onsite animators, then you should consider reaching out to a company and work out an arrangement, for days where more than 4 children are listed as guests on your premises.

What hotels can learn from Airbnb’s response to the COVID-19 crisis

If the little ones are being entertained by professionals somewhere onsite their parents are much more likely to take some time for themselves and enjoy your other services.
Home Office Away From Home - Two to Three Weeks - Apartment, One or Two Guests
Many office spaces are yet to reopen officially, which is why so many professionals can enjoy working from the comfort of their own home. However, sooner or later this translates into the frustration of constantly being “at work” even when they are not.
The most direct fix to this is simple, pick up their laptop and go somewhere else for a while. Admittedly the guests who are capable of affording to book a room for several weeks on end, just so that they can work on their laptop by your pool, are more likely to want to enjoy more of your services. Mind you, they are not eager for an upsell, after all, they are effectively spending what would be a month’s rent on a hotel suite, but they are looking for variety.

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Partnerships with other venues, golf courses, adventure clubs, and restaurants can be beneficial when looking for a way to entertain such a guest and up your profit from their stay.
These trends are born out of the extreme circumstances that have forced people to look for roundabout ways to travel. It is uncertain for how long these will hold true, but until then it is best to adjust to the requirements of guests in order for both sides to effectively benefit from the arrangement.

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About Clock Software

Clock Software is a global provider of cloud-based property management systems (PMS), integrated online distribution, online & kiosk hotel self check-in solutions and mobile & in-room guest engagement systems with customers in more than 65 countries.