In spite of ongoing challenges, the pandemic has ignited a renewed passion for travel and fresh experiences among Spaniards that hotels must be ready for, new research by SiteMinder, the world’s largest open hotel commerce platform, has found.
SiteMinder’s Changing Traveller Report 2021, based on the survey responses of more than 850 local travellers, indicates that 70% of Spain’s holidaymakers plan to travel either the same amount (35%) or more (35%) than prior to the pandemic in the next 12 months, while the number of those not planning to travel again after COVID-19 is down from 4.52% in 2020 to 1.15% this year. For more than 60% of Spanish travellers, experiencing a bucket list destination is now one of the two most important factors toward their decision-making, above other influences such as budget, vaccination requirements and social media.
The outlook is positive news for Spanish accommodation providers, who have had to depend more on local guests to sustain business over the past 18 months, as well as global hotel markets that anticipate welcoming Spanish guests once again over the coming year.
However, while the desire to travel has grown, so too have traveller expectations. Nearly 1-in-2 Spanish travellers (45%) now expect higher standards from their accommodation, compared to pre-pandemic times, and, for over 43%, the ability to freely cancel or modify a booking is one of the two most important factors as they think about where they will stay. To SiteMinder, the growing list of traveller demands indicates the need for hoteliers to work smarter, rather than harder.
“For the local hotel industry, the optimism displayed in this year’s Changing Traveller Report signals a strong return of business, which is very pleasing news. This is also welcome news for hotels internationally that look forward to bringing Spanish guests back to their properties over the coming year,” says Sara Padrosa, SiteMinder’s country manager for Spain. “However, with this positivity comes the need for hoteliers to be nimble and not get complacent. The hunger to travel among Spaniards has only grown and hoteliers need to accommodate those grown needs, leaning on technology to support them as they continue to be challenged with less staff and resources.”
“Spanish travellers have never insisted on more from their accommodation provider,” adds Padrosa. “Hotel businesses that aren’t already using technology to streamline their operations, or get a deeper understanding of their guests to better their stay, will be challenged and need to accelerate those efforts.”
According to the results of SiteMinder’s study, three-fifths of Spanish travellers support their personal data being used if it means a greater guest experience. Only 3.24% of Spanish travellers are strongly opposed to their data being used in this way.
A third (33%) plan to book their accommodation directly, either online, by phone or via email, compared to 22% in 2020.