Even though it’s one of the hardest-hit industries by the coronavirus pandemic, the hospitality industry should still not be down for the count. Professionals in the industry have been looking for new ways to stay afloat while still providing customers with enjoyable and safe experiences. This unpleasant situation parked innovations and new practices, so let’s see how the industry will adapt to “new normal” in 2021 and beyond.
Focus on hygiene
Today, even the idea of sanitation violations can shut a place down for good, so all parts of the hospitality industry have been focusing on hygiene in their facilities. Almost every hospitality trend right now contains elements of increased concern for fellow humans. So, in the future, we can expect to see disinfectant dispensers, protective gear for staff, and clear distance markers in every hospitality establishment.
This innovation is expected to become completely mainstream in 2021 and beyond. Even today we can book accommodation, check-in and check out, order room service, make reservations and pay for services without any contact with another person. Most of these commodities are performed online through conversations with chatbots or through forms. On the premises, people can scan QR codes to check-in and out, or send requests through applications. Still, the staff can leave personalized greeting cards and cooks can prepare custom meals to create that recognizable hospitality feeling.
While experts predict that hotels will recover in the future, not all of them will recover at the same pace. Economy hotels, hostels and micro apartments have both more demand and less maintenance and labor costs, so they will start to turn in a profit first. Plus, options like equipped apartments for rent in Hong Kong put a strong emphasis on safety and cleanliness, which is something all travelers are looking for right now. With regular housekeeping, linen change, night guards and other safety features, it’s easy to see why these micro apartments are attracting a large number of long-term guests even during these troubling times.
This piece of technology was always popular with techies, but it’s just now grabbing the attention of a wider audience. Today (and in the future) the main users of VR tech are realtors, museums and the hospitality establishments. Virtual tours of places allow people to explore the place they want to stay in without setting a foot inside. This technological advancement is predicted to reduce the number of wasted viewings and increase the number of direct bookings from post-pandemic travelers.
In the past, fast-food made up a huge portion of the hospitality industry. However, since more and more people are becoming focused on fitness and wellbeing, we get to live through a real healthy food and drink revolution. This means that some of the best restaurants need to adapt their menus and fill them with healthy, vegan, organic and gluten-free options. The trend also extends to hotels, hostels and serviced apartments that now provide healthy room service and buffets.
Better food and beverage delivery
Many food and drink establishments in the hospitality industry have to adapt their business to the COVID-19 situation, so they are putting more emphasis on delivery. By accepting online or telephone orders, delivering them quickly and paying without contact, people can enjoy a restaurant experience at home.
It’s important to find innovative ways to impress customers since one can’t do that anymore with the ambience in their establishment, so food and beverage spots are increasingly offering extras with their deliveries like candles, desserts, free food and coupons.
Another trend is one that doesn’t have much to do with the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the tourists’ or travellers’ growing desire to enjoy local experiences. People no longer want to enjoy the same experiences they have every day, just in another location. Instead, they want to see how people around the world live.
Thankfully, businesses in the hospitality industry are quickly catching on and starting to cater to these requirements. For instance, hotels of the future will provide local products in their restaurants and room service, while Airbnbs will start providing 100% authentic stays.
The field of hospitality can stay afloat if they make their services safe, practical and authentic for the modern guest. Those in the industry need to keep up with the latest trends in order to stay relevant in this changing world.