It’s impossible to say when the COVID-19 coronavirus will subside - and whether it will become a thing of the past altogether.
China, however, is starting to see the beginnings of their recovery, as other countries follow suit by learning from one another’s efforts and joining in the race to find a vaccine.
The travel industry, and global economies in general, are expected to take years to fully recover, but as they do so, there will come a steady rise in travel and business overall when established systems and routines return to normal.
For hoteliers with your sights on the future, here are a few possible things to expect.
Gradual But Higher Surge in Bookings
People will always be inclined to travel, and although the travel sector could take longer than other industries to bounce back and recover, hoteliers can expect a gradual but higher overall surge in bookings as lockdowns are lifted and the greater impact of the pandemic begins to subside.
Domestic travel will climb, followed by international travel as the airline industry stabilises and travellers are provided with the necessary guidance and confidence. Pent-up regular travellers may be currently itching for a holiday, or looking to make up for cancelled or postponed holidays missed during the outbreak.
Wedding plans have also been disrupted, and this may be something worth preparing for later on if your hotel, resort or location has that appeal.
Preserved Hygiene Expectations
The outbreak has seen a huge overhaul in sanitation practices and overall hygiene, and hoteliers can expect travellers to continue this cautiousness even after the main effects of the outbreak have run their course.
That said, it will be a good idea to continue these measures, as well as let customers know you remain as serious as ever about guest health and safety.
Hotels could even be the ideal choice over Airbnb as travellers seek proficient hygiene procedures - should you be currently undertaking this, guests will also remember your response and the overall service you provided during a period of concern and uncertainty.
One thing that is shining throughout the coronavirus outbreak is the internet, having kept us entertained, informed and connected to families, friends and loved ones all over the world despite self-isolation and lockdown.
This increased reliance on the internet is likely to remain after COVID-19, with future travellers wanting free WiFi, inclusive in-room TV subscriptions such as Netflix and self-check-in services that many have already experienced to be both safer and more convenient.
When peak business returns, it may be your advantage to make sure that your hotel has these services up and running.
A Sense of Community and Local Support
The pandemic has brought communities and nations together in supporting one another and providing help where needed - from delivering groceries to the elderly to joining in singalongs across apartment balconies - and this reinforced sense of social togetherness could well endure.
Many people have become more mindful of local businesses, and hoteliers can reflect this by promoting local brands and forming partnership relations. When business picks up, it might be worth thinking about tailoring your marketing scheme to these key areas first, before gradually returning to broader marketing strategies.
Can you think of anything else the hotel industry might expect? Let us know in the comments below!