Tips to help lodging providers prepare for return of travel

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Tips to help lodging providers prepare for return of travel

While it’s unclear when international travel restrictions will ease, travelers are looking to stay closer to home in the short-term

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  • Market trends continue to indicate that travelers are anxious to get away
  • To help instill traveler confidence and financial peace of mind, lodging providers should clearly communicate flexibility across all channels
  • Lodging providers should spotlight cleaning and disinfecting protocols to reassure travelers

Following a sustained period of uncertainty for the travel and hospitality industry, market trends continue to indicate that travelers are anxious to get away – and the majority of those dreaming, planning or booking travel are doing so for the near future.

Recent industry research data shows that as of March 1, 2021, the 0–21-day window accounted for more than 50% of global searches, followed by the 31-60-day window at 15%. While it’s unclear when international travel restrictions will ease, travelers are looking to stay closer to home in the short-term. In the U.S.  78% of searches were domestic, compared to 22% international, a trend that has been consistent in recent weeks.  

Here are 5 tips to help lodging providers prepare for the return of travel and attract potential guests as they gear up for their next trip:  

Offer Flexibility 

To help instill traveler confidence and financial peace of mind, lodging providers should clearly communicate flexibility across all channels – from websites and advertising to traveler communications and on-property. This may include offering full refunds and cancellations, or flexible reservation and date-change policies. 

  • Custom research found that 53% of travelers will feel more comfortable traveling if they have full cancellation and refunds on their accommodations – especially Gen Z and millennial travelers. 
  • Lodging data shows that travelers booked refundable rates 10% more often in 2020 than the year before. 

Reassure Travelers 

Insights from the study show that lodging providers should spotlight cleaning and disinfecting protocols to reassure travelers who are looking to return to trusted accommodations post-pandemic. Highlighting information on sanitizing and disinfecting measures throughout the property and in-room can help reassure travelers who are considering a trip soon or post-pandemic, as hygiene concerns are likely to have a long-term impact.  

  • 1 in 2 travelers have avoided using chain hotels, boutique hotels and resorts during the pandemic because of cleanliness concerns.  
  • Pandemic measures will play a role in future accommodation decisions for nearly 8 in 10 travelers – regardless of age. 
  • 83% of all travelers and 90% of the silent generation said it is important for accommodations to provide regular deep-cleaning and disinfecting, and 76% of all travelers would like to see a checklist outlining what has been disinfected.   
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