The hotel industry was one of the sectors most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, global hotel industry revenues declined by 46% compared to 2019. This was a shocking blow as there were other industries that relied on it, from the small companies that supplied customized hotel employee name tags to the food and beverage suppliers.
However, there are signs that the hotel industry is beginning to recover. In the first quarter of 2021, global hotel industry revenues increased by 5% compared to the same period in 2020. This is a small but encouraging sign that the hotel industry is on the road to recovery.
But even if these small signs of improvement are encouraging, there are still many more challenges that require additional attention and investments from an already struggling industry. Here are some of the factors that are driving this slow but sure recovery.
More Countries are Opening Up
The tourism industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, but there are signs that things are starting to improve. More and more countries are starting to open up to tourism, and the travel industry is slowly starting to recover.
This is good news for the tourism industry, but it’s also good news for the hotel industry. The hotel industry relies a lot on tourism, but the effect may be minimal as travelers have more options than before. AirBnB has become more popular for many travelers with their enhanced cleaning procedures.
Exploring Technology and Personalized Customer Experiences
Hotels are starting to use technology in order to offer their guests a more personalized experience. This means investing in guest data and analytics, so they can tailor their services to each individual guest. This can include things like providing personalized recommendations for activities and restaurants, as well as offering discounts and coupons specific to each guest.
Personalization is now becoming part of the hotel industry, and it is benefiting both hotels and guests alike. Guests are receiving a more customized experience that is tailored to their specific needs and wants, and hotels are seeing an increase in customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The hotel industry is expanding its investments to lessen the impact of the pandemic and make the industry more sustainable and resilient in such crises. Some of the areas where the hotel industry is investing include:
- Developing new cleaning and safety protocols
- Enhancing contactless technologies
- Improving communication with guests
Some of the most common investments being made by hotels include installing new air filtration and purification systems, as well as increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting guest rooms and common areas.
In addition, many hotels are also investing in contactless check-in and check-out systems, as well as mobile ordering and room service to help minimize contact between guests and staff.
Clearly, the hotel industry is aiming to create a safer and more seamless experience for guests and give them the security their market expects from them. How these approaches can affect the industry is still unclear, but so far the industry is seeing signs of recovery.
Hopefully, it will not be long before occupancy rates reach pre-pandemic levels and hotel employees with name tags will return to greeting their guests. Despite the gloomy global economy, many in the industry are positive that the industry will return to normal in the near future.