Flexibility to overtake the hotellerie crisis in Covid-19 times

As we are leaving 2020 behind, we now face positive prospects, and the hospitality industry is questioning the future trends that will help the recovery of the sector. Last year was probably the most difficult and unexpected year to deal with and, as we have already reported, hotellerie had already started to adapt to a new type of local tourism demand.

As Hospitality.net highlights in the analysis of the hotel industry current situation, hygiene standards will continue to be the most required feature. Big hotel chains will probably be the preferred accommodation for city stays, as tourists are likely to consider them as a synonym of cleanness.
Notwithstanding, every accommodation supplier, from Airbnb hosts to local hotels, have improved their hygiene standards in 2020 and publicised them through their channels, as tourists are expected to pay always more attention to this for many years on. 

Communicating is important to make both customers and employees feel safe: websites, apps and social media are the right channels to inform about improvements and measures, but also make customers feel that a hotel is made of people which care about them. Moreover, 4hoteliers.com reports that 75% of people value if the online brand identity is inclusive, more informal, has a people-first strategy and takes a stance of the current social issues. 

Every accommodation sector is expected to grow in 2021, from affordable hotels in the city centres required by young people to outdoor resorts for the bleisure sector, as elderly will demand vacations outside the big cities, even when they’re travelling for business. Apparently, the pandemic made people appreciate more outdoor stays, nature, local produce (for examples, local meals served in partnership with local restaurants will make customers happy and also support the local economy, making a hotel more socially sustainable) and, most of all, wellness. 

On the other hand, the business travel demand will continue to decrease, as digital tools such as Zoom have become more and more popular during the pandemicBusiness hotels are in the need to reinvent their spaces, proposing loyalty programmes to the local markets, and offering working spaces within the hotel, for local smartworkers looking for affordable but functional places to work. Free spaces in the hotel could also be transformed in co-working spaces: flexibility is the keyword.  

Technology will be more and more important to fill the physical distance, and hotels should be able to use applications in order to efficiently manage every hotel compartment. But 2020 once again proved the importance of the green economy, so technologies should be improved sustainably: harness solar power, save energy, reuse the hotel greywater, save heat, improve air circulation, use more efficient lighting, and utilize environmentally friendly materials. 

At Twissen we observed that 2020 was a challenging year, but an interesting turning point to get ideas from, as new business models and trends that rose during the past year are now to be implemented and consolidated.