New Study Reveals Some Surprising New Insights Into Guest Expectations in a Changed World
What defines a great guest experience in a post-pandemic world? It might not be what you think!
By Henri Roelings, Founder & CEO at Hospitality Net
A year ago, any hotelier might have told you that it was all about guest personalization. Another hotelier might have insisted that the key to a happy guest was striking the balance between high-touch and high-tech service. Another might have argued for unparalleled guest convenience. But today, a year into the pandemic that turned the entire hospitality industry on its head and brought the world as we knew it to a halt, the landscape has changed.
It was precisely this question which informed the development of a comprehensive new report sponsored by Knowcross. The study, created in partnership with Hospitality Net and Knowingli Market Research, is titled, The New Landscape of Housekeeping and Hygiene: Communications and Protocols are Key to Gain Travelers' Confidence, and available for free download.
Insights from over 400 respondents revealed an important takeaway: in the coming months, hospitality's long-awaited comeback hinges predominantly on safety, trust, and transparency.
Cleanliness has, of course, always been a critical pillar of great hospitality, but in the post-pandemic world, it will reign supreme. Travelers will, once again, resume their normal behaviour, but not without a heightened degree of caution. In fact, the report indicates that over 86% of respondents plan to book a hotel stay in the next 12 months. This is great news, as long as hotels are well versed in the reformed expectations of returning guests, and able to appeal to new safety considerations. To this effect, hotels must work to earn back the trust of weary travelers with enhanced cleaning protocols and safety guidelines that are actively communicated, shared, and understood.
Our findings indicate that over 93% of those surveyed expect each hotel to outline its safety measures. Moreover, when it comes to areas of concern, elevators and guest rooms are at the top of the list, with doors, gyms, and restaurants not far behind. Occupancy limits and touch-free tech are also priorities when it comes to building confidence.
It seems that the definition of loyalty has really changed amidst the pandemic. It's now as much about communication and safety. Once more guests get a taste of that, there's a whole baseline that is set for hotels and travel that we'll see moving forward. And this shift in guest expectations is not like a rubber band. It's not going to snap back any time soon even when we get through COVID. Of those planning to travel over the next 12 months, over 80% intend to look at health and safety protocols before choosing a hotel. Moreover, over 57% would pay more for a room that is certified clean. Understanding these expectations enables hoteliers to anticipate and respond to the enduring changes that will transform our industry.
To download the report, The New Landscape of Housekeeping and Hygiene: Communications and Protocols are Key to Gain Travelers' Confidence, click here.
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