The phrase ‘revenge travel’ was coined by India’s health ministry after the country’s tourist areas were inundated with people desperate to escape the confines of lockdown just weeks after restrictions were lifted. Despite the phrase being initially used to voice concerns around post-Covid tourism causing new waves of the disease, it can’t be denied that, as lockdown restrictions ease around the world, people are increasingly on the move.
This sudden bounce back brings a host of implications for the hospitality industry as a whole, not least hoteliers. The post-Covid guest is not the same customer as the pre-Covid guest. Their desires, needs and expectations have evolved in a very short period of time – and only hotels that can meet them will survive in this highly competitive environment. Having the right technology is key to success. This article from dailypoint takes a closer look.
Covid-19 drove everything online
During lockdown, people around the world got used (or more used) to doing everything online. From ordering groceries to attending medical appointments, the outside world was condensed to the click of a button. Online gaming and TV streaming increased exponentially, as did the use of social media, smartphone apps, messenger and instant chat services, and video conferencing. Digitalization became the norm – and it’s something that’s here to stay.
What this means for hoteliers is that traditional, offline systems for services such as booking rooms, ordering room service and communicating with different hotel departments are no longer fit for purpose. Today’s guest expects services such as hotel-wide WiFi, apps for ordering room service and the ability to communicate on social media or messenger app as standard.
What’s more, they expect a fully-integrated service, where each department of the hotel provides a personalized, high-quality experience. Having a standalone website with an online booking function that doesn’t provide personalized content coming from the attributes of the central guest profile nor integrate with any other on-premise systems is no longer enough to entice the post-lockdown guest.
Safety concerns are still paramount
Whilst travelers are undoubtedly keen to get out and about post-Covid, most people will still want to take precautions. Maintaining social distancing and reducing physical touchpoints within the hotel environment are therefore essential to attracting customer bookings. Offline systems and processes such as manual check-in registers, ‘traditional’ keys and un-sanitized in-room telephones – not to mention a lack of WiFi provision – won’t make a hotel popular.