The vaccine rollout has given us hope; the end of the pandemic is in sight and bookings are being made in abundance, all around the world, to make up for holidays and celebrations missed and lost in 2020.
Revenge travel might just be the proverbial shot in the arm the travel industry needs to make up for last year’s downturn.
And for hoteliers and resort managers, now’s the time to capitalise, prepare and get ahead of the competition.
From us at eTourism, here are the hotel trends you need to get on for 2021.
A Newfound Love for Wellness and Nature
The lockdowns saw many turns to exercise, nature and self-care as a way to cope with the “indoor blues”. And, for many of us, these have become habits, even passionate hobbies, that have changed the way we look at our lifestyles and the things we enjoy.
With that said, hotels can capitalise on this mindset shift by promoting local natural attractions, hikes, outdoor yoga classes, running events and even local spas for guests who are now on the hunt for these particular experiences. A blog focused on the above might mean your next guest booking.
Blowing Off Steam
Likewise, there will be just as many travellers looking to make up for the festivals, concerts and days out they sorely missed out on last year. And as these make a comeback in 2021, hoteliers can pull in guests by simply advertising and promoting what’s going on locally.
Use your SEO blog and social media platforms to inform travellers on everything they should be excited about: upcoming music/food festivals, local concerts and even theme parks and tourist attractions in your area. This, with a call to action to book at your hotel, is a surefire method for increasing your bookings as these experiences make a return.
Hotel Self Check-In
Hotels with self-check-in benefited during the pandemic as social distancing and health and safety became major concerns. And guests who experienced this kind of service might have discovered it to be their new preference.
Self-service check-in kiosks are fast, convenient, safe and easy to use. Not only do they allow your staff to focus on other important tasks, but the guest data provided is a highly efficient way to build and maintain your guest database.
Self-check-in doesn't mean a lack of service and it also doesn’t mean you have to do away with your reception desk - in 2021, why not give your guests the option of both?
Social Media Engagement
We all spent more time on social media during lockdown - may be more than we’d like to admit. But these platforms kept us connected, made working from home easier and kept spirits high. As a newly developed habit, this level of interaction is likely to continue even as the last of the restrictions are lifted.
With social media use at an all-time high, you should be utilising your social media platforms as tools for engaging with your audience. Frequent posting, comment replies and engagement via competitions and giveaways are just a few of the ways you can do this, while at the same time creating a buzz around your brand.
WiFi and Streaming Services
The same goes for WiFi and streaming services - we all used more data during the lockdown and perhaps even subscribed to a new streaming service or two to keep us entertained. For many, these comforts won't be surrendered just yet.
If achievable, free WiFi is a service your hotel should be provided in 2021. Streaming platforms such as Netflix might seem unnecessary at first glance, but for business travellers looking to wind down after work and families wanting to keep their kids entertained, these hotel perks might mean the difference between a guest booking and losing out to a competitor.
Personalised Guest Experiences
If there’s one thing we all mutually missed during the lockdown, it’s social interaction. And as the vaccine gets rolled out and travel restrictions disappear, human interaction is something that’s going to be relished and appreciated more than ever.
With this in mind, hotels can stand out - even forge loyal guests - by making the guest experience as hospitable and personalised as possible. From in-room freebies to a customary “how’s everything?” from your staff, this level of intimate service is what makes hotels memorable. And a memorable stay means more repeat bookings down the line.
Are you excited about travel picking up in 2021? Let us know in the comments below!