According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s 2022 State of the Hotel Sector Report, hospitality industry is expected to improve by a big margin in 2022, but the path to recovery will be bumpy, and a full recovery will be many years away.
Hotel occupancy rates and room revenues are expected to return to 2019 levels in 2022. This will be a 19% increase over 2021. The occupancy rate is expected to reach 63.4%, far exceeding the 44% achieved in 2020.
Nonetheless, this data does not convey the entire situation. The forecast for ancillary income, which includes food and beverage as well as meeting space, is less promising. Between 2020 and 2021, hotels lost a total of $111.8 billion in room revenue. Business travel is predicted to be down by more than 20% for the rest of the year, with just 58% of meetings and events likely to return.
Though there is lot of uncertainty about how things will likely progress in the coming months, there seems to be one thing that is looking certain: 2022 is the year of the “new” traveller!
The Rise of a New Type of Traveler:
There is a new term which you might start to hear more often – Bleisure travel. It is a combination of business and leisure travel. This kind of travel has risen during the pandemic. Hotels will need to undergo a seemingly huge transformation in their operations in order to serve the rise of this new kind of travel. This type of traveler has its own set of demands and expectations from the hotels. According to a survey of worldwide business travelers, 89% want to add a private vacation to their work visits in the next 12 months.
Technology and a dedication to promoting sustainability will be key to a property’s success in satisfying bleisure travelers and digital nomads. Hotels will need to invest in technology to fulfil the demands of both visitors and the current and future staff.
“Travel and hospitality brands still face an uncertain marketplace, but all these changes also herald a new era of opportunity to drive long-term customer loyalty. They should flex with demand and respond to the added complexities and volatility in travel by delivering a ‘travel partner’ mentality to their leisure and business customers,” said Liselotte De Maar, managing director in Accenture’s travel industry.