Despite being one of the hardest hit industries, the hospitality sector remains positive in its outlook, anticipating recovery to begin as early as Q4 of this year.

According to new research by Amadeus, 80% of Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) members expect to see signs of hotel recovery in their primary markets by Q4 2020.

Asked what they believe will be the most effective strategy in recovery plans, communicating updated safety measures (54%) topped the list while targeting the correct market segment came second (25%). Few believe special promotions (7%) or discounted rates (4%) would be effective as markets reopen.

The study also found that 76% of HSMAI members are starting to prospect new types of account business and traveller segments where they were not previously focused.

A new global customer segment of travellers is also emerging. Dubbed ‘Generation Clean’, this new cross-generational segment of traveller prioritises health and hygiene when hotel shopping in this new era. From the survey, 38% believe a change in health and safety will be the most significant trend during crisis recovery, and a further 47% also see this as the most impactful long-term trend.

Another trend is one of experience over convenience as the influx of online events now available is a clear indication that the experience economy is here to stay. After months of confinement, consumers will focus on trips that deliver meaningful experiences. Hotels have an opportunity to build packages for different traveller types, from the solo adventurer, couples, groups - and beyond - that appeal to this need.

The research alsoa found that the key to recovery for some hoteliers will be to branch into new priority markets, given the significant impact that COVID-19 will continue to have on destination choices in the near and mid-term future.

“Previously, New Zealand was not a key market for our property in Australia. Now that it’s one of the first markets that may offer booking potential, we are taking the time to understand booking behaviour and buyer personas and build strategies around this,” said Helen Radic, HSMAI marketing advisory board member, APAC.

Many acknowledge that hoteliers will need to significantly adapt their business models to capitalise on this according to a new series of eBooks released by Amadeus, based on the survey’s findings, in partnership with HSMAI, the Institute of Hospitality (IoH) and the Hospitality Professionals Association (HOSPA).

Sourced from Amadeus