The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on the global economy, with no sector or industry spared. In the face of this healthcare crisis and the economic recession it has triggered, businesses have been forced to restructure and transform rapidly in significant ways. Business as usual is a thing of the past, and we’re all looking ahead to determine what the new normal will be.
While all industries have been effected, the hospitality industry has been especially hard-hit, thanks to hotels being shut down for lengthy periods of lockdown, and local and international travel put on hold – not to mention the fact that consumer spending on hotels is down 78.9% year-on-year. All things considered, it’s easy to think that the hospitality industry has seen the end of its golden age, and is facing one of the hardest roads to get back to business as normal. But is this really accurate?
It’s not optimism but inevitability that we will see a return of the industry over the medium term, based on the industry’s recovery in the past from major crises. The world is hungry for travel, whether it is for business or leisure, and the cabin fever of international lockdowns where people had to cancel vacations and family holidays will likely result in an industry-wide surge in the near future. But there is no doubt that, like other industries, there’s no going back to the old system. In light of this, what will the hospitality industry look like when travel returns on a large scale? Where will the success stories be? The reality is that this crisis has brought interesting opportunities to part of this industry – namely remote hotels.
The Post-COVID-19 Hospitality Market
It’s strongly believed that there’s opportunity to be had in the hospitality market, based on the following key factors.
Travel Will Return
Already, tourists across the world, from Asia to America, are starting to plan for their next trip. According to a recent Ernst & Young Consumer Behaviour Survey, 67% of consumers expect their spending to go back to or rise above pre-COVID levels despite widespread economic recession. People who have had to cancel or postpone holidays are feeling the need to spread their wings after having to stay home for extended periods – the only question is where will they go?
Local Travel Wins Out
It looks like the answer to that question is “not far”. According to a survey by TheVacationer.com, 57% of people said they preferred to vacation and travel locally for the next 12 months. This will likely mean a notable increase in road trips and vacations that are accessible by car, to local destinations and attractions.