As COVID slowly but surely fades away; We hear hopeful talks of the hospitality industry going back to what it used to be. But, unfortunately, it's still too soon for masks to fall off our faces! We're still not there yet. Realistically, it might take years for everything to go back to what it used to be. However, as the travel and tourism industry thrives on getting back on its feet, so should the hospitality industry! In this article, we'll be going through expectations of what will happen, how to adapt to it, and how different the hospitality industry will look compared to what it was years ago.
How bad was 2020 for the hospitality industry?
It's no secret that 2020 was pretty bad for almost every existing industry. For example, the aviation industry took a massive 60% hit as the net worth dropped by 370 billion dollars. In the united states alone, the most prominent airlines lost over $35 billion. Likewise, there's been an 11-29% profit decline in Europe for the hotel industry. Moreover, there have been so many booking cancellations in the U.S; it's estimated the unexpected booking cancellations alone had eliminated about 50% of all hotel jobs.
Anyhow, the hospitality industry never gave up. All thanks to brilliant new ideas and technologies. Somehow, utilizing advanced protocols and safety measures, the hotels and hostels worldwide kept working, even though international travel was almost entirely down. So, 2020 wasn't precisely a full year wasted!
How does the travel industry currently look like?
The new year 2021 is painted with hope! We are almost done with COVID. And the disgusting virus is almost entirely done for, as vaccines are being handed out worldwide. However, as the hospitality industry is still recovering from the massive blow of 2020, business owners are looking for more economical options. It's relatively visible from the hospitality trends, how the industry is shaping and what to expect from hospitality properties in 2021.
For example, even if COVID is fading away, most business owners would like to keep their reception free and run a fully contactless property. Or who doesn't like pristine floors and microbe-free furniture? Well, we believe some of the trends we thought of as "weird" and "unusual" in the COVID era are going to be with us in the long term.
As mentioned, hotels took safety protocols seriously in 2020. Still, in 2021 the protocols are there even if the virus isn't! Perhaps we are just subconsciously accustomed to the hygiene protocols, but it's proven that the protocols do magic either way! Looking at the trends, the quality of safety protocols will presumably be maintained by the hospitality properties as more people ask for them.
Sustainability & Flexibility
A COVID silver-lining is that it really did teach us a thing or two about sustainability. Climate change talks lit up mid-2020, which ultimately caused a lot of controversies. Anyway, we, as hospitality workers, are just as responsible when it comes to sustainability. Without the beauties of our planet, there's nowhere to travel to.
Furthermore, guests are now looking for more customized options when it comes to traveling. As hospitality workers, it's necessary to adapt yourself to your customers' needs and their demands. To the point that the customers themselves choose the features of your property. This is where engagement and communication become a must-do!
When will the industry fully recover?
The good news is, the hospitality industry is already looking alive! But as for the travel and tourism industry, it is not expected to recover until 2024 fully. In the U.S, the hotel occupancy rate is set to increase from 44% to 61% in 2022, which looks like a significant improvement. But it is still 5% short compared to the 66% occupancy rate of 2019.
Domestic travel is going to be the first step in the recovery process of the travel industry. As hoteliers, you can expect a greater number of people knocking on your doors compared to 2020. However, we're still in doubt about international travel as regulations are still pretty vague in reality.
Presumably, multicultural events will fuel international travel in the second phase of the recovery process. Smaller events at first and bigger events, like concerts and live shows, are expected to ignite the international travel engine. Hopefully!
A look into trends & expectations
Well, it's awkward to think about it, but many hospitality workers, unlike us, lost their jobs in 2020. As a result, managers and business owners generally opted to go for automation, bots, property management systems, and more software-based systems to replace the workforce. Therefore, a lot of investment in brand new technologies and ideas is expected in 2021. SmartLocks, PMS, Personal Sustainable Gadgets, and eco-friendly options are anticipated to be the frontrunners of 2021 game-changers.
Remote work was cool. Let's keep it!
In the pandemic era, remote work was also a fiery topic. But, on the other hand, it was considered a privilege to work in a world where almost everything was not how it was supposed to be! Either way, the idea of "workation" (working while traveling) saved companies and pretty pennies. So, one of the things we're eager to hear more of is how businesses will adapt to this magnificent new idea we're all accustomed to.
At first, it might sound impossible for the hospitality industry to become remote. However, with contactless technology and the magic of property management software, you can omit reception from your workflow and manage your property from afar.
Technology roots deep in the hospitality industry
Here's what we've learned thus far from the trends and the needs of travelers. We will need to be more flexible, hygienic, and adapt to the technology as the travel industry rises back on its feet. We believe all that is doable by adapting to the technology.
Contactless check-in, Smart Locks, property management systems can all be found on a single platform in Goki.
In summary, no one knows for certain what will happen in 2021 for the travel and tourism industry. However, the hospitality industry is set for success as more ideas and technologies flow every day. As a result, the hoteliers can expect their business to boom a bit in 2021, but we're not sure how many guests will knock on your doors yet!