Enjoy Your Stay: Hospitality in a Post-COVID Era
Insight written by Ellie Johnston, originally published on March 30, 2021.
Without a doubt, there is a demand for a pivot in the hospitality industry post COVID due to travel restrictions and the overall decreased interest in traveling on behalf of the consumers. With a heightened awareness of safety involving one’s personal health and new protocols, there has been a 42% annual decline in travel spending since 2019, totaling almost $5oo billion in lost revenue. In order to make up for lost costs, this pivot is the perfect opportunity to target millennials entering the workforce who now have funds to travel, as well as their original customers, like families and business travelers. It is essential that companies in this space begin to cater to all generation’s concerns and budgets to ensure the success and future expansion of the industry.
To answer these concerns, lodging operations are heading toward a more high-tech experience with a focus on health and wellness to assure that proper protocols are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Companies have begun to provide an experience with access to apps that provide information and services to increase guest satisfaction and maintain social distancing guidelines. By creating a painless check-in process, and a tactical way to meet a guest’s needs with little in-person contact by utilizing online services, businesses have the ability to thrive in the current state of the pandemic.
In addition to generating revenue from a new generation in addition to previous target markets, companies have the potential of gaining free advertising. This is due to the avid use of social media among millennials and the trend to share experiences online and could contribute to a higher revenue margin. Once established, increased social media marketing could lessen overall costs for companies, which in turn would assist in making up for lost revenue. However, this can be make-or-break for some companies, as it is common to post about positive or negative experiences.
Circling back to some efforts made to transform this industry, we’ve seen an increase of health and wellness-based businesses that can provide overnight stays, as well as many other services to assist in raising overall mental health. Many of these businesses are actively seeking crowdfunding, along with support from investors to begin their journey. It is no secret that investors seek out opportunities in tech advancements, as they tend to produce higher yield returns, so if companies are able to make the necessary changes and provide a seamless transition into tech-based experiences, they will easily be an attractive investment.
Businesses that are able to survive the pandemic are impressive, but the ones that are able to utilize this new environment to change the nature of their services while still holding true to their values will stand out among the rest.
Ellie is a junior from Kensington, NH who is pursuing a major in finance and a minor in justice studies from UNH. During the school year, she is actively involved with UNH’s professional business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi as well as a Peer Advisor for incoming first-years at Paul College. This past summer she interned at Bottomline Technologies working with Marketing Solutions where she gained valuable experience in the fintech industry. She joined the Rines Angel Fund in hopes to gain insight and hands-on experience about start-up culture, entrepreneurship, investment processes, and private equity.