The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across our global economy with the restaurant and hospitality industries being hit the hardest. After all, these industries rely on person-to-person interaction.

Here are some of the emerging hospitality trends that will be at the forefront of 2021:

Sanitation along with health and safety will continue to play a significant role. Once a behind-the-scenes process, cleaning standards may now be a differentiator. Visible cleaning, social distancing, and safety measures are top of mind for guests.

Many hotels are limiting their room cleaning services to 2x/week vs. every day for long-term guests. Although it may seem counterintuitive to decrease cleaning, it actually will help limit the contact your guests have with your staff — and help keep both parties safer. Some are even “sealing” rooms after cleaning, putting stickers on doors and doorframes to assure guests that no one has been in the room since it was cleaned.

Strict cleaning practices and a focus on guest well-being is a must for the future.

New marketing approaches
According to PR Newswire, panelists from the Traveler Trends and Drivers of Behavior post-COVID-19 webinar agreed that “for the near future travelers are going to be cautious and stay closer to home, preferably in less dense, more rural, outdoor orientated destinations.” Car travel has become the preferred method of travel as the airline industry has experienced a decline similar to post-9/11. With these changes, hoteliers and lodging owners must refocus their marketing approaches. Advertising a location as road-trip friendly, expanding check-in and check-out times, and highlighting health and wellness are how some organizations have transformed their marketing.

Others have capitalized on remote working and learning by combining it with travel. Having the resources to offer a ‘change of scenery’ to promote well-being, some hotels have launched ‘schoolcations’ or ‘work from a hotel’ concepts. Part of these packages includes private workspaces with associated amenities including printing and high-speed wifi.

Touchless tech
Traditionally, checking-in to a hotel was probably the most face-to-face time a guest had in a single hotel visit. In order to reduce contact, hotels have been moving to contactless check-in. Not only does this process allow a guest to check-in from anywhere its also enhances efficiency. It removes the need for paperwork, long lines, and unnecessary contact. Virtual check-ins make things easier for both ends allowing for a convenient and seamless process which results in hotel staff having more time to focus on guest service rather than the administrative side of their jobs. In addition to efficiency, this technology also provides new avenues for marketing, the ability to run on a leaner staff, and the opportunity to gather data to track trends.

Other touchless tech trends include smart hotel rooms which allow guests to control every aspect of their rooms right from their smartphone via an app, thus cutting down on surface contamination.

These are just a few of the recent shifts the hospitality industry has experienced in recent months. As we look into 2021, it’s safe to say the emphasis of the industry has dramatically changed from twelve to eighteen months ago. In the end, whether you are part of a major hotel chain or own a quiet B&B, those who proactively adjust their business strategies to include some of these new trends will emerge stronger post-pandemic. More importantly, they will gain a competitive edge in today’s rapidly evolving climate. If you are ready to take the next step, WVC RubixCloud can help provide financial clarity in a time of need. Connect with us today!