The 2022 travel trends hotels need to know about
The last few years have totally shaken up the predictable patterns that you’ve relied on to run your property. At Impala, we work with hoteliers around the world, and we know that they’ll rarely let an opportunity slide by untapped. So we’ve combed through the data - and checked in with the Impalans talking to hotels every day - to discover the top trends they believe you need to know about right now.
1. Digital Nomads
As if advances in technology hadn’t already amplified opportunities for remote working, the pandemic has dramatically increased the number of digital nomads. Digital nomads live and work remotely, sometimes staying in a single location for as long as six months. We were at ATM recently, and fielded hundreds of questions about this topic.
These long-stay guests have a variety of needs, but ultimately, seek a stay that’s comfortable and convenient. Self-catering options allow at-home living, but properties with amenities like fitness centres, swimming pools, and close proximity to shopping, dining, and entertainment are also a draw for digital nomads. Hotels can tap in to this audience through specialist room sellers like RemoteDream.
Bleisure – the blending of business and leisure travel – has been an emergent trend for years - which only continues to grow. Unlike digital nomads who are living and working remotely, bleisure travellers are professionals who parlay either solo or group business trips into a holiday. Some enjoy R&R alone while others bring the family along for a quick jaunt.
The distinction is small but significant. Catering to bleisure travellers means offering the right blend of comfort and convenience while still allowing them to indulge in the amenities they desire. Hotels should showcase the best of both worlds to maximise bleisure traveller bookings.
3. New Destinations
As tourism continues bouncing back, many travellers are interested in passing over their usual vacation spot for a place they’ve never been.
It’s vital to understand that “new” destinations will be an evolving term. For example, 2022’s trends include extravagant trips to the Indian Ocean and Antarctica as well as adventures to less popular destinations like Oman and Malawi. Hotels should be aware of how their destination is perceived in different source markets: for example, Brits perceive a trip to Mexico as much more luxurious than Americans do. Properties can segment their sales and marketing: target traditional source markets by showcasing what’s new in the destination; attract guests from new markets by showcasing the destination as a whole.
How long do you hold your nerve before discounting rooms?
4. Strong, Last-Minute Demand
Covid restrictions got travellers used to making last-minute bookings - so they’d avoid having to adjust their plans. But the trend of late decision-making may be here to stay: holidaymakers report that the convenience of seeing the weather forecast and finding the best deal for their trip means the “book” button is being pushed nearer to departure.
This puts hotels in a tricky spot: how long do you hold your nerve before discounting rooms? Late-booking travellers are certainly incentivised by discounted rates, but their primary motivation for making last-minute reservations isn’t price alone. It’s a new world of revenue management, and one that will take a while to become predictable, but the initial evidence suggests that, for now at least, you don’t need to worry about unsold rooms until much closer to the day.
5. Emergence of Super Apps
Super Apps – single apps that offer a number services within their platform – are changing our daily digital lifestyle. Imagine it as a single-stop destination where a user can not only manage their bank account, but book hotels, flights, and car hire, and purchase event tickets, message friends, order groceries, and virtually complete their to-do list without ever leaving the app.
Stay ahead of what's next
Impala's Open Distribution platform means you can adapt your distribution strategy - fast.
Super Apps have grown exponentially in Asia, and with PayPal, Uber, and other dominant Western apps moving into the space, hotels need to stay aware of this emerging trend and how it affects the way rooms are booked. Make sure they’re part of your distribution strategy.
At Impala, we believe the best way to seize the opportunities that these trends offer is to build a strategy and distribution infrastructure that is flexible and fast to adapt. Open Distribution allows hotels and room sellers to explore new channels and pivot on a whim. No matter where the next bleisure destination is or which Super App takes the world by storm, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the herd with Impala and Open Distribution.