The need for personal space and the avoidance of contact with others is next on the list when it comes to new priorities among travelers. Therefore, solutions that can deliver on this combination will be welcomed. COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of new technology in many areas of our lives and hospitality is no exception. Contactless guest experience solutions such as those provided by Criton and AeroGuest, among others, are desirable at this time as consumers seek to minimize physical interactions. Furthermore, technologies which allow consumers to use their devices to enhance the guest experience, for example, enabling keyless access or online check in, are likely to benefit and expand during this period as consumers embrace new approaches to minimize their interactions.
Finally, while consumers feel hotels can generally be relied upon to take the necessary steps, they are less confident about the behavior of their fellow travelers. Therefore, there is potential for accommodation providers to focus more on explaining to guests what is expected of them and to provide information which acts as reassurance that if others don’t comply there are procedures in place to rectify.
Desire for travel remains as strong as ever, and there is hope that science will triumph
Travelers are missing their vacations and, sadly, for many they are missing their friends and families even more. Encouragingly and understandably for separated relatives, the desire to travel is as strong as ever. Domestic travel is likely to remain dominant and will help to drive recovery. However, for many, and especially those keen to connect with friends and family, there is an appetite and willingness to venture further as soon as possible. The potential for the vaccine to help combat the virus and allow tourism to resume was recognized and cheered, albeit with a little hesitation as there was a sense of wonder that change might be imminent. COVID-19 has shifted consumer expectations irrevocably, and the implementation and communication of COVID-safe measures such as enhanced cleaning should continue. Travelers expect that these new higher standards will become the norm, even with the advent of the vaccine.