As the world begins to emerge from lockdown and promote international
travel, the hospitality industry, which only recently in 2018 accounted
for approximately 10.4% of the world GDP, is looking towards the new
normal. Meanwhile globetrotters, who have been predominantly secluded
within the confines of their homes for months, are starting to dream of
exploring exotic destinations once again.
However, reopening travel and kicking the hospitality industry into high gear will not be easy.
Sabre outlines 10 trends to understand and adapt to, in order to move up and out of the pandemic.
1. Hospitality continues to lead travel industry recovery
leisure travel still dominates with consumers opting for longer trip
durations as opposed to shorter getaways and are willing to pay more for
factors that reduce their exposure to Covid-19. There is a slow but
positive movement with business travel as some companies have started to
loosen restrictions on employee travel.
2. North American market closest to 2019 figures
North American market is the region that is the closest to reaching its
2019 occupancy levels. Factors such as widespread vaccine distribution
and travel restriction relaxation contribute to an increase in traveller
confidence within domestic leisure travel. Canada has been tracking
slightly behind due to the border closure, but with the reopening of the
border on 9 August, this is expected to change.
3. Occupancy levels remain low in APAC
region continues to follow strict protocols with the spread of the Delta
variant. The region was split with some countries expanding, and some
closing, the booking gap between 2019 and now. Occupancy levels remain
low and unemployment rates increased for the first time in 12 months in
the larger part of the region.
4. Requirement of vaccination proof becoming popular
companies, hotels, cruise lines and restaurants are requiring proof of
vaccination. As of August, a growing number of companies including
Google, Facebook and Disney announced their vaccine mandates beginning
in their US office and rolling out to other countries. Vaccination
campaigns continue to launch throughout Europe, while popular hotel
destinations are also now mandating their guests show proof of their
Covid-19 health status.
5. Delta variant causing recovery setback
continued reports indicating an overall willingness and optimism
towards restarting business travel, actual numbers show otherwise, due
to ongoing uncertainty around the Delta and other Covid variants.
well, 56% of consumers said they feel comfortable going on vacation, a
slight decrease from a record high of 65% in July. 52% of adults said
they feel comfortable staying in a major hotel chain while 46% felt
comfortable staying in boutique hotels.
6. Average trip durations are increasing
average trip duration has increased by two days (compared to 2019) as
traveller preference leans towards booking one long getaway over
multiple short tips.
7. The staycation is here to stay
of staycations soared in 2020 when international travel came to an
abrupt halt, and is still going strong in destinations such as
Singapore. Hoteliers across the world, have gotten creative in creating
experience-based hotel packages to attract leisure travel from locals.