Higher leisure travel demand during the pandemic sent hotel rates soaring across all segments of the market, and luxury chains led the pack.
NB: This is an article from The Points Guy
But with the world mostly adjusting to viewing coronavirus more as endemic — akin to treating surges more like spikes in the flu as opposed to something requiring travel restrictions — the hotel industry is settling into a new normal. That means an opportunity to pursue shifts in business strategy — some of which you’re likely already feeling when you check into a hotel.
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The pandemic accelerated industry trends already in place before the health crisis. Labor shortages ushered in less-frequent housekeeping during a stay. Single-use, mini bottles of shampoo and conditioner are increasingly rare in favor of more environmentally friendly wall-mounted dispensers that can be refilled (so say sayonara to upgrading the soap offerings in your guest bathroom with mini bottles of Le Labo from your last vacation). Companies even look to run hotels more efficiently by sometimes operating two different brands within the same building.
But most of these changes happened outside the highest tiers of hotel brands. Don’t bank on that trend continuing.
Yes, even the very best hotels aren’t immune to the changing hotel landscape.
“My view is that we need to keep our ears wide open and understand what’s really most important to [our customers] because some of our luxury travelers don’t want daily housekeeping,” Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian said this summer at a New York University hotel conference. “So, we have to pay attention to that same level of conscious decision about practicing empathy, listening carefully and applying choice where it’s requested.”
Hoplamazian’s comments were made during a panel with Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta, as part of a discussion about daily housekeeping and the decision companies like Hilton had made to offer an opt-in model during a guest’s stay at many of the company’s brands. You can still get your room cleaned during a stay but you have to call the front desk and specifically request it.