2021 has had many highs and lows for the hospitality industry. COVID-19 restrictions were reduced as vaccinations were offered to the public which resulted in increased travel again. However, the hospitality industry and many other industries struggled with product availability and enough employees to help business operations run smoothly. This resulted in congestion at the ports, less frequent truck shipments, and longer wait times. COVID-19 brought about many changes to the hospitality industry that will likely stay for the long-term. This blog offers insight into some common trends that should be expected in the hospitality industry for 2022. This includes a continuation of local travel, workcationing remaining popular, short-term rental property demand, sustainability awareness, and an increase in technology.
Local travel became a common trend as restrictions slowly began to ease throughout the summer of 2020. Many people who were willing to travel were understandably hesitant to travel very far as many states and countries had their own rules and regulations pertaining to COVID-19. Obviously international travel will increase, but many experts in the industry expect there to still be a large volume of local travel or travel primarily within one’s own country. Many families have said they prioritize experiences and fun activities for vacations, and they have begun to realize that those needs can be met not too far from home. This will also be a good way to help support local businesses since many are still recovering from the pandemic.
Workcations will Remain Popular
“Workcations” are the combination of work and a personal vacation. This became an increasing trend during COVID-19 since many people were still able to perform their jobs without being in the physical office. Remote work granted more freedom to employees to work from wherever they wanted. As long as they had access to a laptop or some tablet and wi-fi, they could essentially work from anywhere. An employee could travel to a new location, work during the day, and then explore their new area during the evening. They need to stay somewhere, so properties like inns and bed and breakfasts could see a wave of new guests simply due to them being able to work remotely.
Short-Term Rental Property Demand
Short-term rental properties became very popular during the pandemic as people were looking for alternatives to hotels. Now that the height of the pandemic has subsided, short-term rentals need to step up their game to stay competitive with other types of properties. Some examples include adding in more amenities to their properties such as personal care items like shampoo, conditioner, and soap. Also, leaving small welcome gifts for guests and stocking up the kitchen with fresh food is a great way to increase guest satisfaction and get good online reviews. There are also consultants, like the Distinguished Guest, that help advise hospitality professionals on hospitality information and inspiration which can help think of unique ways for each rental property to stay competitive.
Sustainability for the hospitality industry involves taking steps to help preserve and sustain our needs for the present without sacrificing the needs of future generations. Simply put, many people, especially younger generations, are looking to support properties that are making an effort to help protect the environment. Some beneficial ways properties can improve sustainability is by limiting energy and water usage. This can be as simple as shutting off the lights, turning off ceiling fans when no one is using the room, and making sure televisions are not running when they are not being used. Also, water can be saved by watering the plants in the garden a few days a week instead of daily. The elimination of disposables like mini plastic amenity bottles and the addition of amenity dispenser systems can help promote sustainability. Composting is also a great way to promote sustainability compared to throwing leftover fruits and vegetables into a trash can.
Technology is Key
Like many industries, technology is expected to have a growing influence in the hospitality industry. A form of technology expected to rapidly expand is virtual reality. Virtual reality will allow potential guests to virtually explore a property prior to booking a reservation. This will help international travelers get a better idea of what the property and its surroundings will be like before they book a reservation. Properties also need to focus on having mobile-friendly services since so many people have smart phones. This includes having a mobile-friendly website and maybe even an app that will allow them to book a room, check in, and see their travel rewards all from their smart phone. A property with fast wi-fi is also critical because many guests will be working from their laptop and will need a fast internet connection.
InnStyle is Here for You
A primary goal of InnStyle is to be a one-stop shop for members of the hospitality industry and all their needs. They are here to help with any linen projects you have for the new year. InnStyle offers a large selection of bedding, amenities, bathroom supplies, lodging accessories, table linens, and much more. Please give them a call if you have any questions or comments about your property. They can be reached at 267-354-6020 or 800-877-4667. Their website is https://www.innstyle.com/.