The COVID-19 outbreak and resulting safety measures had an all-encompassing impact on luxury hospitality industry during 2020 - one which without any doubt will spill over into 2021 and maybe even 2022.
Some activities that luxury properties chose as a response to this extraordinary situation sped up luxury hospitality industry trends and will lead to lasting changes.
The evolution that has taken place at the community level - such as the shift in values, needs and demands, and the rise of consumer awareness of all aspects of the pandemic - has created new benchmarks for the industry.
1. Wellness remains at the top of travelers’ priorities:
There is a significant rise in request for health and wellness services at international luxury properties.
People value leisure, health, and sport as ways to an improved quality of life. And they want to do it in a safe environment.
Implement well developed protocols to make your guest feel safe.
What are the practical terms when it comes to wellness?
Outline every step of a guest’s journey from when they are booking until they arrive home safely.
- Send a booking confirmation email which talks about all the safety measures you have implemented including check in/out information, cleaning protocols, social distancing and activities that guests can safely do around your hotel. Creating exclusive experiences has always been a major part of this industry. This means you need to offer services that are congruent with your guests' luxury lifestyle.
- Go out of your way to make a difference for them by focusing on their needs and tailoring your service according to their demands. Offer unique ways for people to stay active and healthy in order to stand out from the competition.
- If you want to create a personal touch with your guests which makes them feel extra special, offer extended services such as yoga in the swimming pool and nutrition plans.
2. Longer stays and membership-based travel:
We anticipate high interest in longer lengths of stay because of remote working and remote school options in 2021 and beyond.
Longer stays - 14+ days - in exclusive resorts have more than doubled compared to last year. There is a high demand for travel from members of exclusive resorts that offer access to luxurious, private accommodation worldwide.
Meanwhile, we foresee an increase in longer visits to hotels post pandemic when employees can work remotely or are within commuting distance.
International hotels can also invest in attracting these people with different promotions and packages including tailored amenities like priority restaurants reservations, access to leisure facilities, inclusive daily breakfasts etc.
Don't forget to keep it fun as well. This means bring a touch of playfulness to have a balanced environment that fits every guest well.
3. Residential-style accommodations for the first post pandemic travels of families:
We are already seeing families searching for and booking spacious residential-style accommodation in domestic destinations.
Guests will seek out amenities and spaces that allow them to minimise contact such as contactless check in/check out, customized groceries waiting in the refrigerator, laundry facility in the unit and comfortable ‘home from home’ working spaces.
Travelers are desperate to book a getaway. They want to spend time outside their homes and experience a safe stay with a beautiful view, different from what they see every day.
There is a huge demand for larger self-catering accommodation, especially bookings for oceanfront suites and luxury resorts.
Overall, the pandemic has created an opening for longer term strategic approaches for both luxury hotels and resorts.
There is tremendous opportunity to use technology to enhance transparency in management of this strategy as well as the guest experience itself.