It’s no secret that the hospitality industry took a massive hit in the chaos that was 2020. As many as 498,000 leisure and hospitality jobs were lost in December of 2020 alone, illustrating the cutbacks that have been necessary to combat pandemic measures. And yet, the industry is ready for a 2021 comeback.
Following 2020’s disappointments and canceled trips, U.S. travelers have indicated a motivation to be spontaneous and treat themselves to quality vacations in the year ahead. Eighty-nine percent of Americans say they intend to be more spontaneous than ever in 2021, a data point that can lead to more bookings and room upgrades with the right offers from hotels and resorts.
But how can hotels up their game to attract these eager travelers? It may come down to revised safety and security procedures and some careful marketing.
Reviewing, revising, and improving
Garnering the attention of the wave of travelers looking to make up for the disappointments of 2020 will take a reassessment of accommodations and policies by hoteliers. There are three major areas where hotels and resorts can direct their efforts: safety and sanitation policies, feature offerings, and overall room standards.
Each of these categories can be a place for improvement and a source of guest attraction for remote workers needing to get away from the home office. As COVID vaccine rollout progresses, hotels and resorts can review, revise, and improve these hospitality components to better draw in business.
Assess the following aspects of resort offerings to create a competitive model for 2021:
Sanitation and safety
Travelers in the modern era want to feel a sense of security and cleanliness they normally have to work hard to achieve. Hotels and resorts have had success in reviewing their sanitation standards in light of the pandemic, but processes can always be improved. Drawing in guests in 2021 will require renewed and revised procedures for keeping common areas clean and socially distanced while innovating aspects of hotel amenability to provide contactless service.
Successful resorts will start with the basics. Ensure guests can distance themselves from others in clean environments. Then consider methods to augment the sense of security and cleanliness of the hotel. Walk-through metal detectors are one such feature that can provide a greater sense of safety in certain common areas. In the era of riots, civil tensions, and pandemic, such safety devices can help ease stress in guests.
The pandemic forced a rapid shift to remote-work policies for millions of people. This is great news for the hospitality industry because it means a vacation no longer requires a full escape from work. Now, resorts and hotels can appeal to spontaneous getaways that still make work possible, but this will require room accommodations and hotel features to make such a getaway appealing.
Internet is everything. A fast Wi-Fi connection can be enough to draw in guests desperate for a change of scenery. Work-friendly stations within rooms are another great way to attract working visitors. Then, modern and exciting features like extended stay packages, flexible cancellation policies, and even robotic room service can solidify deals and get people out of their homes in 2021.
In reviewing hotel accommodations for the new year, it will help you to list out where improvements might be made and what modern trends could enhance guest experiences. While COVID challenges mean your budget likely won’t allow for multi-million dollar renovations like those undergone by Snow King Resort, there are plenty of smaller renovation projects you can take on to help your hotel stand out.
First off, start with a thorough review of needed maintenance on the property. A building maintenance checklist should include items like monthly, annual, and weather-specific maintenance tasks to check up on. Review all these items, then plan for improvements
For the new year, rooms with smart and sustainable features like keyless entry and voice-activated controls will have greater appeal to spontaneous travelers. Touchless systems for check-in, check-out, and more will help travelers feel safe. Meanwhile, efforts to enhance privacy and guest distancing can improve the overall guest experience for the COVID era.
Marketing for modern concerns
After the concerns of 2020, people are desperate for a comfortable escape. Hotels and resorts can simply up their game with new features and offerings to create a cleaner and more appealing package. With how badly people need a change of scenery, a little innovation can go a long way.
However, you’ll need to effectively market your updates to appeal to modern concerns. Address the needs and challenges of travelers in all your advertising and package offerings, giving travelers opportunities to make requests and voice concerns. Flexibility in bookings is an important part of this process.
Showcase WiFi connectivity, remote work compatibility, and sanitation standards to meet the modern traveler halfway. Then, wow them with clean, cutting-edge rooms anyone would want to escape to.