Despite the current cost of living crisis – travellers will continue to prioritise travel. According to a survey by booking.com, 44% say that travel remains a top priority - yet they are more budget conscious than before with 62% of vacationers seeking more bang for their buck.
They still want to enjoy quality experiences and luxury accommodation; however, they will opt for more off-peak travel and become deal savvy – exploring lesser known and up-and-coming destinations.
The key is to try and add value to their experience. By tapping into these market trends - incorporating small service differentiators and key messages across marketing efforts –hotels can maximise their potential to increase staycation bookings as flight costs continue to remain high and also as we approach January - the most popular time of the year for booking a getaway (in the UK at least).
Top travel trends and how hotels can tap into them…
Greatest of all trips (GOAT)
The word GOAT is doing the rounds and ranking up millions of views on TikTok as people take the Greatest Of All Trips. Travellers are prepared to ‘go big’ and are levelling up in their food, experience, and accommodation quality expectations.
Hotels can highlight key tourist attractions across all digital marketing touchpoints. From website blog pages and social media content to inclusion within property pictures on OTA’s and booking sites. Hotels could even consider offering GOAT packages and excursions – partnering with attractions and experience providers.
Hotels have a lot of scope for innovation. They can start by thinking what truly unique and money-can’t-buy experiences can guests do at the hotel? An orchestra with dinner on the rooftop, in the wine cellar, a floating massage in the pool or a moonlight desert run? Can the hotel offer a photography and filming service for guests to capture pro content in the desert for their socials? Provide group adventure / nightlife / shopping tours of the city perhaps.
Complete culture shock
Mercure Hotel Bournemouth
Another major trend is the desire for travellers to get complete culture shock in 2023, with 40% of t wanting to be taken out of their comfort zones and completely immersed in local cultural experiences. They want to explore hidden gems that are off the beaten tourist track and participate in new and unique experiences.
Hotels can seek out partnerships and tie-ups with local cultural experience providers (or design them themselves.) They could get innovative and provide immersive excursions for guests.
Consider what everyday activities the hotel does that somebody from another culture or region would find fascinating, then turn this into an immersive experience for guests. Activities such as cocktail making, wine tasting, bread making, hunting, fishing and vegetable gardening were all once considered reserved for back-of-house participation only, so hotels can consider how you can take this to the next level. Food tasting pre-shift in a fine-dining restaurant? Learn how to pack luggage or style a wardrobe with the butlers? How to craft the perfect cup of tea? Or have traditional dinner at home with local team members?
Work from Roam
Experts say that with more than 50% of knowledge workers are predicted to work remotely. With more corporations formalising their hybrid working models - vacationers will travel more and stay longer.
Hotels can offer flexible long stay packages, enhanced in-room amenities, decent and free WiFi and working spaces – then they should promote these key words and all the benefits of working and living at that hotel, the proximity to local amenities, business facilities and so on across all marketing platforms.
As voice command continues to ease the search process and artificial intelligence improves customer service delivery, hotels should ensure that they are clearly listed and findable on google. They should optimise voice search words in their SEO activity and provide seamless, modern, and mobile friendly browsing experience
NFT travel is on the rise, with hotels starting to offer experiences in exchange for NFT’s (non-fungible tokens. This payment method is something for more hotels to consider, making it a USP now, before it becomes mainstream.
Business travel is back – but different
Adventure Parc Snowdonia
Business travel is back - and it has evolved. There’s a lot more corporate group travel with businesses motivated to bring remote teams together.
Hotels can highlight their group friendly facilities and experience, going as far as to create packages. Leisure, revenue, and events teams should come together to build team building experiences for the many corporate reunions of remote workers expected in 2023.
About London Rock Partners
Born in a post-pandemic hospitality landscape, London Rock Partners is a new approach to hotel management. They go beyond the tried and tested to deliver a standard of innovation to which the industry aspires.
Guided by their innate understanding of hospitality, they draw inspiration from the prospect of ‘what if?’ and 'what next?' to ensure consistent over delivery to clients.
London Rock Partners provides a full range of service hospitality solutions including:
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Author: Katie King
Hospitality Marketing Consultant | University Lecturer