In 2020, countless industries across the globe felt the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. These challenges were especially felt by industries that rely heavily on foot traffic, people being able to be closer than two meters and travel.
Overnight, the hospitality and accommodation industry had to shut their doors and find ways to continue to operate amidst unprecedented restrictions and safety measures.
While hotels turned into quarantine epicentres and restaurants had to quickly adapt their menu to a takeout menu, the values and expectations of their consumers were also fast-changing. Now, as venues begin to reopen and restrictions continue to ease, the hospitality and accommodation industry has a set of new trends that are here for good.
Here are five innovative trends that hospitality and accommodation businesses are quickly adopting to keep up with their customers and continue to keep their doors open.
Contactless service has been around for some time, but over the last 12-months has played an important role in reopening venues. Now it’s custom to check in virtually, pre-order from a mobile app and pay with contactless payment. Restaurants have also started to remove paper menus and replace them with digital menus that patrons can access by scanning a QR code. Contactless technology is allowing hospitality and accommodation to access data they never had before. Looking ahead, accommodation may switch to digital check-in, getting rid of key cards for good.
One of the biggest trends in the hospitality and accommodation industry at the moment is sustainability. People are becoming more attuned to environmental and social issues. Because of this, they are choosing brands that they interact with more carefully.
They would prefer to invest money in businesses that care about the planet and sustainability. Restaurants and hotels are now switching to recyclable plastics, reusable containers and ethically sourced materials like toiletries, bedsheets and produce.
The industry is also choosing to represent more brands that are Certified B Corporations. T2, a sustainably sourced tea brand, is shaping the way brands can embody an approach to better reflect consumers in the hospitality and accommodation industry.
Their products meet the highest standards of sustainability and ethically sourced products to help our planet.
With the inability to travel outside of Australia, there’s been an uptick in staycations.
Now, people are choosing to stay closer to home for both environmental and budget reasons.
With more and more brands promoting shop locally and buy locally, people are more inclined to build their own mini oasis in their backyard or on their balcony.
For the hospitality and accommodation industry, this means improving branding to reflect a more informal and homeliness atmosphere that promotes locals to enjoy a staycation from their venue instead of home.
The new generation of Gen X and Y has different needs from the hospitality and accommodation industry.
With a rise in the independent traveller, people are opting for purposeful experiences where they spend wisely and positively impact the local community.
A great example of this trend is farm stays. They are looking for experiences that blend the divide between locals and guests.
Now farms are converting into quaint B&B’s that promote their sustainability, farm to table initiative, and in some cases, allow the guests to get involved in day-to-day responsibilities.
Technology is playing such a significant role in the shift to automation within the hospitality and accommodation industry.
AI-powered chatbots are great for customer service during the booking process and in answering common questions.
People are on their phones now more than ever, so quickness is imperative to businesses automation and technology choices.
For hotels, cloud-based integrated solutions are essential to keep up with the changing times.
While the hospitality and accommodation industry experienced unprecedented challenges in 2020, the result was several beneficial trends that are here to stick around for good.