We have witnessed COVID-19 shift the travel landscape in the last year. With new travel regulations in place and a new way of living implemented world-wide, trends have shifted.
The industry is creating ways to comply with new traveler needs, whether it is safety, social-distancing, or promoting remote-work stays or “workcations”. Hospitality organizations are continuously adapting to traveler needs for safety and hygiene to promote their rooms. Leading to the replacement of face-to-face communications with contactless services. Other organizations are promoting remote-work packages to entice travelers to visit as they work from abroad.
Here’s what 2021 has in store for the travel industry!
The travel and tourism industry has forced some of the biggest hotel chains to shift to digitalized services. Travelers now seek safe accommodation when choosing their next destinations and hotels. Some hotel chains such as Hilton, IHG, and Accor have modified their standard operating procedures to accommodate the safety of their guests during their stay.
This includes minimizing all touchpoints of their journey from contactless check-in and check-out, digital room keys, e-newspapers, and online chats. Buffet-style dining has also been replaced with digital-menus being presented through QR coding in hotel rooms and dining venues.
More than 4 in 5 travelers claim that technological advances for safety will increase their will to travel in the next 12 months.
Hotel service has always been appraised for personal, face-to-face experiences amongst hotel staff and guests. However, as the pandemic introduces new policies and safety measures, hotels will now have to resort to contactless services and communications to ensure guests’ comfort.
Workplace culture completely shifted as companies adapt to virtual workspaces and platforms as a result of the pandemic. A nomadic traveler is a term used for remote workers and has been around years before the pandemic. Nomadic travelers are now increasing in numbers as travelers seek a change of scenery with the pandemic hitting close to home and canceling vacation plans.
Nomadic travel includes remote-workers traveling to islands and destinations that offer calm and open spaces to work and learn about new cultures. However, with the pandemic forcing millions around the world to shift to online workspaces, nomadic travel is now on the rise. Hospitality companies and visa regulations in some countries have begun to adapt to this trend, offering nomadic travelers a long-term workspace in some of the most beautiful places in the world.
Studies show that 10.9 million Americans were working remotely in 2020. With a new digital-work age moving businesses online, the hotel industry introduces work abroad packages to encourage travelers to visit. This includes offering these nomadic travelers complimentary Wi-Fi, work facilities, as well as offers on business center services. Travelers can now enjoy working while enjoying some time-off their usual spaces at home.
With many travel regulations in place and fears of contracting COVID-19 embeds in travelers, domestic social-distanced vacations are on the rise. Travelers are now seeking getaways that are close to home. From hiking mountain trails, visiting near-by lakes, or packing up an RV for the ultimate road trip!
RV rentals have increased by almost 1,000% from April to June 2020 nationwide according to RVShare.com. RVs offer many Americans a secluded getaway that promotes social distancing while still enticing adventure and a change of scenery. This has been a common family-activity in recent months with homeschooling and remote work still in place in many places in the US.
The US also offers travelers a selection of vacation homes, luxury escapes, and mountainous vacations that are only a few hours away. As of February 2021, 86% of summer travel searches pertain to domestic destinations and summer vacation rentals are already up by 27%.
With the pandemic still in place in 2021, travel trends and regulations will continue to shift to accommodate traveler needs. May it be regarding hotel bookings, domestic travel, or new hospitality solutions.
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