The fact is the Covid-19 pandemic has caused long term damage not just to our economies but to our care-free approach to the hospitality and entertainment industry. Nobody could have predicted the widespread effect that the virus had back in March 2020, when the entire world was brought to a stop with local and national lockdowns shutting down everything from restaurants and hotels to shops and parks. And so, as the industry strives to rise back up and start channelling all it has into reopening safely while still reattracting guests through the doors, what exactly is it going to take to win back the loyalty of our customers – and what needs to change in the hospitality industry in particular?
While many individuals around the world are no doubt thankful that lockdown hit during the Springtime when they could at least enjoy spending time outside, for Hoteliers and holiday resorts this posed one major risk almost as early as day one. How likely was it that this pandemic would last until the crucial June-August Summer holiday months?
The summer trade is big business all over the world, with hotels in every major destination benefitting from tourist travellers, holidaymakers and staycationers to give them a huge annual boost in cash flow. And while lockdown is easing in all top destinations, what exactly does that mean for travel this summer?
Meeting the health and safety requirements
First and foremost, it means that hotels and resorts are working harder than ever to ensure that their location is able to meet the stringent health and safety regulations in place. From wearing masks all over the resort, to keeping on top of regular deep cleaning and maintaining social distancing, hotels need to be able to show their customers and visitors that their location is safe to visit – while still retaining the attractive nature of it being a holiday destination designed to be enjoyed.
While international travel is unlikely to rise up to anywhere near its normal level this summer, the opportunity for staycations has never been greater; with families and individuals fearing travel but also bored of their own homes and looking for a change of scenery. That’s why it is important, now more than ever, that hotels hit the sweet spot of providing something unique and innovative that will capture potential guests’ hearts and satisfy the worries at the back of their mind.
How to capture the hearts and minds of potential customers
One of the best ways to do this is to provide the kind of stay that allows guests to maintain social distancing and enjoy the company of their own party without the interruption of other guests. Though this may pose a challenge to the many largescale holiday resorts who cater to hundreds of guests every day and rely on large quantities of vacationers at any one time, for those who offer a premium and luxury isolation as part of their holiday package, all this means is finding even more new ways to give guests the privacy and intimacy they crave – and are willing to pay for.
From luxury treehouse stays to floating suites on the water, promising guests their own small bubble amid the world of your resort is a way of not only keeping hotels ticking over with an influx of guests, but will also elevate the status of your resort or hotel to one with a luxury option that satisfies the desire for privacy and the need for social distancing.
Now is the time for hotels and resorts to respond and do what they can to serve the inevitable crowds of locals and nationals who are looking to get away from home – without travelling abroad. The staycation population is one which has never been higher than it is right now, and it is up to us as an industry to provide them with the premium experience they are craving amid the uncertainty that Covis-19 has left us with.