2022 kicked in but not in the way we thought it would, and yes, we’re talking about the Omicron variant. Just when we thought Covid-19 has left us for good, it came back even stronger! Here are the 4 biggest hospitality trends in 2022 to help you counter and prepare for the new year.
We’re sure you’re all sick and tired of the pandemic at this point. We were all ready to break free, travel, and return to normal life again. But let’s continue to stay strong and jump over this huddle together!
To help you overcome the prolonged pandemic, we have observed upcoming hospitality trends and picked out 4 trends that we thought would have the biggest impact in 2022!
1. Hospitality Trend One – Digital and Contactless
Even without the pandemic, the world was already prepared for a digital transformation. Covid-19 was the push that forces hotels and hospitality establishments around the world to adapt.
Big chains like Marriott, Hyatt, and Hilton have all invested in hotel apps, contactless check-in, and digital keys so that their guests can skip the reception. These hotels also have attendants with (supposedly self-cleaning screen) iPad to assist guests who are less tech-savvy.
With hotel apps, guests can also adjust the room temperature, order room service, make upgrades, book services, and receive feedback digitally.
But don’t let the high-tech stuff like hotel keys, mobile apps, or self-cleaning screens scare you away. Smaller and budget hotels can give their customers the digital experience without exerting their finance.
For example, our customer at Omena Hotels, which is a budget hotel, has been implementing contactless check-in by using a simple email and SMS automation system. They also use a chatbot to assist guests in checking in and out, booking, breakfast, and FAQ.
2. Hospitality Trend Two – Sustainability
Thanks to the growing awareness of climate change, 83% of worldwide travelers believe that sustainable traveling is important.
Another reason might be that the new generations who are more environmentally responsible, are driving the hospitality industry towards sustainability.
If your hotels would like to target the younger generations (as you should be), here are a few green initiatives you could adapt.
In recent years, hotels and the hospitality industry in general, have been pressured to go green. For instance, hotels are sending digital receipts directly to guests’ emails instead of using paper ones.
Hotels are also removing plastic one-time used items like toiletries and opt-in for locally sourced and bulk products. Note that even though this practice is becoming more common, it is not yet adopted by all hotels.
Travelers might follow the old expectations of having all the toiletries waiting for them at the hotel. It would be very inconvenient if your guests arrive very late at night and find out that there’s no toothbrush or toothpaste to use. So just let them know beforehand!
For spas, who can’t move away yet from one-time used items because of sanitary issues, they have been making an effort to go green in a different way.
For example, Salamander Resort & Spa in Virginia, USA – is switching to water-, heat- and energy-efficient equipment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For bed linens, the spa is using those that can be washed at low temperatures. Their massage oils are organic, fair trade, and free from toxic chemicals.
It’s a lot of work to implement big changes like replacing your whole water and heating system. And you don’t have to do that if it’s outside your current capabilities.
Remember, a small change can create a big impact. Start with the small changes like adding recycling bins to the common area and switching to environmentally-friendly items wherever you can.
3. Hospitality Trend Three – Sharing Economy
According to Forbes, the sharing economy is expected to grow to $335 billion in 2025.
Despite the lack of travelers, hotels can operate with higher capacity by applying a sharing economy – in the form of a shared co-working space.
People are tired of being cooped up inside their homes and want new scenery that can stimulate productivity.
Thanks to Omicron, remote working is not going away any time soon. Big corporations like Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon have already announced the implementation of a hybrid or more flexible remote working approach for the long term.
Hotels can capture this trend by integrating coworking or office spaces and creating a “hybrid hospitality” model – productive workspace by day, cozy hotel rooms by night. With superb amenities available on hand such as spas, gyms, bars, restaurants, etc., your workspace will bring a vibrant, flexible, and creativity-inducing experience to workers.
4. Hospitality Trend Four – Unique Experience
One of the best ways to provide a unique experience for your guests is through personalization.
91% of consumers are more likely to shop when brands provide relevant offers or recommendations and customize their guest stay experience.
To do this, your establishments should start to utilize data like guest behavior, website visitor behavior, or customer feedback and dispatch personalized campaigns.
Due to Covid-19, travelers are opting in for solo and leisure trips more than before, especially the young generation who just itching to see the world. Solo traveling can scratch this itch and allow people to travel safely during the pandemic.
With the new generation comes new traveling habits and expectations. Rather than spending on airfare or expensive accommodation, solo travelers would prefer pouring their money on unique experiences.
For example, they want to deeply immerse into the local culture by eating local food, wearing local clothes, going to local places, and experiencing the same things that the locals do. Making a full package to offer the holistic experience will make your customers happier and create a unique selling point for your business.
However, there is also the trend of “flexing”, where people boast about how rich, fancy, and capable they are. Along with all the exclusive extravagance that they get to experience. This can be shown in the scenery that they’re in, the clothes that they wear, the food that they consume, and the overall lifestyle that they lead.
Instagram, Tiktok, and YouTube (Shorts) have consistently been the platforms where people share their experiences and get inspiration. National Geographic Channel even suggested that Tik Tok is the new travel guide for Millennials and Gen Z.
To be on trends on Tik Tok for example, you’d need to stay updated and use the latest music trends, beautiful landscape, food, share tips, and insider knowledge.
To capitalize on this trend, your establishment should invest in video marketing and influencer marketing. Viewers like to see content that is not directly selling, trendy, and with a bit of humor and personality.
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