It’s no secret that during COVID travelers put a premium on cleanliness and flexibility. Now, as travelers plan post-pandemic trips, their priorities seem to have shifted. But hotels have already made drastic changes to their operations and staffing to address the needs of the pandemic. Here is how the previous changes will help (or hinder) a hotel’s ability to keep up with next year’s trends:
Efficiency is Assumed
Hotels should have no trouble catering to the traveler looking for efficient and automated systems. Touch-free technology boomed considering safety precautions last year. Operations have become hyper-streamlined and automated wherever possible to compensate for skeleton crews. All of these innovations will most likely be permanent operational norms as travelers expect to check in, unlock their doors, order room service, and check out all from their smartphones.
Sustainability Matters More
Multiple studies show that COVID has made consumers even more eco-conscious than before. Luckily, many of the operation changes from the pandemic increased sustainability by default. For example, fewer visits from housekeeping reduces the energy used for laundry. Also, the supply chain disruption has forced many hotels to source supplies from more local companies. Beyond these practical operational changes, hotels have the opportunity to make even stronger sustainability commitments to their guests.
Demand for Wellness
The wellness vacation trend was slowly growing even before the pandemic, so hotels have been able to see this one coming. Unfortunately, bonus services like spas, gyms, and many dining outlets were shuttered for health and safety. As demand picks back up, hotels are tasked with ramping up these services amid an already challenging hiring market and supply chain. Many hotels will need to get creative to provide a rejuvenating experience for their guests.
Values Based Loyalty
Travelers are doing a lot of research before booking rooms, but not just for the best deals, loyalty points, or amenities. Many guests want to know that the hotels they stay in share their personal values. The difficult working conditions in hospitality have been splashing news sites for the last two years. Hotels involved in the community, active in sustainability, and treating employees well are in a position to capture traveler loyalty in 2022.
Lean on the Recruiting Experts
No matter what trends are to come in next year, hotels need talented leadership at their properties and in corporate offices. Even in an immensely competitive hiring market, the hotel recruiters at Horizon Hospitality can find the right hospitality professionals for your company. Contact us to learn more.