3 Trends That are Shaping the Hospitality Industry

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After a few tough years, things started looking up in the hospitality industry. Lift the travel ban. More than 30 million Covid vaccines are given worldwide each day. Airlines are getting busier by the day.

And while there are several reasons to be optimistic, here are a few that will determine the direction for the future of the industry:

pent-up demand

After nearly two years in the house, many consumers are eager to get away. Because of the high levels of personal savings and credit and loyalty program points, they are willing to splurge.

According to an American Express survey, 57% of travelers want to spend more on a “once in a lifetime” vacation than they did before the pandemic. In addition, nearly half are now likely to book residences that offer luxury experiences and amenities.

Hotels and resorts — many of which closed in the early days of the pandemic or are operating at reduced capacity — are more than happy to accommodate them. Some brands are so optimistic about luxury travel that they are investing heavily in the market. This summer, Hyatt spent $2.7 billion to acquire Apple Leisure Group, doubling the company’s presence in global resorts and making it the largest luxury hotel operator in Mexico and the Caribbean. The acquisition also expanded Hyatt’s presence in 11 new European markets.

There’s even a super hotel that will open into space in 2027. The views, in particular, will be out of this world.

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The rise of technology

At a time when technology has become an increasingly important part of pre-Covid hospitality (like free wifi or the ability to easily book online), the pandemic has taken things to the next level.

Now, the hotel’s digital offerings play an important role in attracting guests and enhancing their on-site experience. For example, virtual and augmented reality are increasingly being used to provide tours of properties before booking. This gives potential guests more insight into the hotel’s amenities than anything previously available.

User-friendly apps now provide a seamless experience from room reservations to services at the property and check-out. These services are now the industry standard.

The pandemic has also increased consumers’ appetite for and knowledge of contactless service experiences. This allows hotels to digitize some of their standard processes, such as check-in or concierge services. As we continue to navigate Covid-19, this may be key to protecting guests and staff from exposure to viruses.

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Focus on sustainability

From groceries and building materials to travel plans, people make purchasing decisions based on the impact it will have on the environment. In line with this trend, ecotourism is hot. As travelers look to take a responsible tour of new parts of the world, the hospitality industry will be able to expand to meet demand—and save important dollars for local economies and conservation efforts. Take Gabon, for example, where a series of luxury sustainable lodges are about to make the country’s sheltered, forest-covered terrain more accessible than it used to be.

Travelers are also looking for hotels that operate sustainably. This includes using green building materials, reducing waste and reducing carbon emissions. A new hotel in Copenhagen, for example, built its new facade using materials recovered from internal demolition. In addition, many cities and countries have pledged to reach carbon neutrality, which will require companies to meet new environmentally friendly standards.

2022 will be a defining year in the hospitality industry. These factors, as well as other trends, will increase occupancy and innovation, bringing travelers to new heights. As a space investor and avid traveler, I look forward to doing my part to help move the industry forward.

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