A long road to recovery
The hospitality industry in India continues to fight the pandemic with limited reduction in the prevailing risk of COVID-19 and resulting restrictions. The few positive points seen last year are currently tempered by prevailing conditions, but in the short term, drivable pitches should be the first to recover, as other countries ahead of the recovery curve have. seen.
Domestic tourism to revive the sector
So what can the hospitality industry in India do to prepare for the changes in the way people travel and what are the lessons to be learned from them? China, for example, has experienced such a boom in rural tourism that the government has included it in its 14th five-year plan. Non-urban locations in India could also benefit greatly if domestic travel were channeled within the country. Many state governments have taken initiatives to reactivate the tourism sector in order to protect local jobs and businesses.
Odisha announced new products such as glamping and caravan tourism that are well within social distancing standards while Kerala offered better air connectivity between tourist sites with airstrips at Bekal, Wayanad and Idukki . Globally, the future of the hotel industry remains promising with the decline in cases and the return of traveler confidence. Recent data released by STR in the US market demonstrates that vaccinations are important and although demand has increased to slowing levels, it remains skewed towards rural areas and out. At the very least, it should reassure us that some trends will remain relevant in the short term.
Global hotel investor sentiment remains optimistic
The results of the Hospitality Investor Sentiment Assessment revealed that more than 40% of global investors expect significant improvement in economic conditions expectations over the next 12 months. While investor sentiment should continue to improve, it remains diversified with slightly higher allocations to higher value-added and opportunistic risk / reward segments.
Interestingly, hotels had to offer the best investment opportunity, followed by serviced apartments, extended stays and finally resorts. Also in terms of location, capitals and gateway cities were preferred over secondary cities and resort destinations. Mumbai is one of the three most attractive cities for hotel investments in Asia, especially for American investors. While the biggest challenge for the hospitality industry remained the economic downturn, the general outlook for the current cycle of the hotel investment market has shifted to a more optimistic sentiment.
Understand new customer behaviors: company transparency and commitment to sustainable development
Most of the dominant trends we see today, be it safety and hygiene, automation and robotics, personalization and personalization, mobile and contactless, social media and chatbots to boost engagement have been around for a few years and have just accelerated. into the mainstream by the pandemic. While discussions about sustainability and green messaging are ongoing, many believe that environmental, social and governance factors of the hedge (ESG) will be key drivers for both socially responsible investors and consumers alike. As trust becomes the main motto, consumers place great importance on integrity and transparency, which holds hotel brands accountable for everything from employment practices to marketing messages.
The value of human interactions
In a world where the lines between reality and illusion are blurred, customers are willing to pay extra for trusted human interactions, relegating technology to the mundane. What is also expected to change is the way people will interact and make purchasing decisions before they travel. The digital experience influenced by color, sound and light through art and music will play an important role in selecting a destination and brands that adapt to this form of messaging will be the winners. As technology will continue to play a supporting role in optimizing transactions, improving engagement, and ensuring data security and secure payments, it is big data usage and adaptation. neuroscience in customer loyalty programs and tracking preferences that will radically change the way we travel. live.
An annual Travel Behavior and Attitude Survey conducted by the Expedia Vacation Deprivation Study found that 81% of travelers took regular vacations with a primary focus on mental health. Plus, they’re starting to see the holidays as a chance to fight stress and anxiety by “hitting the reset button.” Much research has been done on the value Millennials place on experiences such as cultural immersion versus ‘things you can buy’. This may be explained further by neuroscience, as studies have shown that just anticipating a vacation can make you happier. Additionally, a recent study found that life satisfaction increased 15 days before travel, and emotional benefits lasted for about a month after returning home. Maybe millennials are into something after all?
– The author, Amruda Nair, Founder and Director, Araiya Hotels & Resorts. Opinions expressed are personal
(Edited by : Ajay Vaishnav)