Hotels are a cornerstone of travel and tourism, but the industry has been challenged by changing consumer preferences. Industries such as hospitality can benefit from blockchain technology to improve customer experience and increase efficiency through automation.
The “hotel companies” are struggling with the current state of the industry. They have a lot to worry about, but they also have a lot of work to do.
A new report from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) predicts that 2022 will see the hotel industry continue on a path toward recovery from COVID-19’s disastrous impact, but that the road ahead is sure to be bumpy and somewhat unstable.
The AHLA’s new ‘2022 State of the Hotel Industry Report,’ published in cooperation with Accenture, is based on data and estimates from both Oxford Economics and STR. The hotel industry is expected to recover fully in a few years, with forecasts pointing to 2025.
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Nonetheless, the forecast for the next year is optimistic, with hotel occupancy rates and revenue per available room (RevPAR) likely to reach levels seen in 2019. Ancillary income sources, such as conference space and food and beverage sales, seem to be less promising.
Over the last two years, hotels in the United States have lost a total of $111.8 billion in RevPAR.
Leisure travel is projected to lead the sector’s recovery, as it was in 2021, while corporate travel is expected to remain at less than 20% of pre-pandemic levels. Business visitors accounted for 52.5 percent of total room revenue in 2019, but that figure is expected to drop to 43.6 percent by 2022.
Traveler categories are changing as a result of continuing alterations in consumer and business mood, which is altering hotel operations. Bleisure travel, which combines leisure time with business visits or vice versa, is one such trend that has exploded in popularity as a result of COVID-19’s push for more remote work.
According to one research, 89 percent of global business travelers intend to include a personal vacation in their work visits in the future year, according to AHLA.
A couple is about to check into a hotel. (picture courtesy of South agency/E+)
“Over the last two years, hotels have experienced huge problems, and we are still a long way from complete recovery.” “The uncertainty around the Omicron variant demonstrates how difficult it will be to estimate travel readiness in 2022, compounding the issues that hotels are currently experiencing,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. “Our sector continues to be negatively impacted by the gradual recovery of business travel and fewer meetings and events. Our business is shifting with the rise of leisure and bleisure travel, and hotels will continue to evolve to satisfy the requirements of these ‘new’ customers.”
It is predicted that in this age of the “new traveler,” technology will play a critical part in hotels’ performance, and that properties will need to invest in innovative in-house and guest-facing technological solutions to meet today’s customers’ shifting demands and tastes.
“While travel and hospitality businesses continue to operate in an uncertain industry, all of these shifts signal a new age of possibility for building long-term consumer loyalty.” “They should react to the increased complexity and unpredictability in travel by providing a ‘travel partner’ attitude to their leisure and corporate clients,” said Liselotte De Maar, general director of Accenture’s travel sector. “Travelers today want a clearer, more digital service, not just in terms of pricing and quality of a place, but also in terms of cleanliness and sustainability ideals and effect.” If businesses want to prosper, they must continue to digitally innovate, reinvent their loyalty model, and rethink their employee offer.”
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