The 10 Best Predictions for Hotel Travel Trends in 2022

09 Mar 2022 by ReviewPro in Best Practices

As we’re gearing up for another unprecedented year, we are relying on our pandemic experience of the last two years to predict hotel travel trends. In our most recent trends webinar, we went through the expected turnout for 2022, and how to prepare. Read here our best predictions for hotel travel trends in 2022.

What Are the Travel Trends in 2022?

Modern traveler with laptop

When it comes to hotel travel trends in 2022, we can expect similar patterns to 2020 and 2021, at least in the first half of the year. These include:

1) Strong local and leisure travel. As long as leisure travel continues to lead the recovery, travelers will opt for local and drive-to destinations over long-distance and air travel. This will benefit smaller hotels, resorts, all-inclusive, and sun, mountain, and rural destinations.



2) Weak international, group, and business travel. For many hotels, especially large, urban properties and conference hotels, full recovery is not possible without these segments. If Omicron flames out quickly, as many hope, these segments could rebound much faster than anticipated.

3) Higher prices. To offset inflation and low occupancy, hotels are expected to increase rates in 2022. CWT forecasts hotel prices to rise 13% globally in 2022 over 2021, although this would still be below pre-pandemic levels. Higher prices are also expected in food & beverage, meetings & events, and other hotel revenue outlets.

4) More money to spend. Many people saved money by staying home during the pandemic and are now ready to splurge on travel. According to Expedia’s 2022 Travel Value Index, 54% of travelers say they plan to spend more money on trips in 2022 than prior to the pandemic.

5) Demand for flexibility. As long as uncertainty around pandemic conditions continues, travelers will favor hotels that offer flexible cancellation and refund policies. “Travelers say the ability to book travel at a reasonable price and make alterations to itineraries is a must in 2022,” Expedia reports.

TripAdvisor Travel Trends 2022
Source: https://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelTrendsReportJan2022

6) Preference for safe destinations. Seven in 10 travelers say that destinations with a low number of Covid-19 cases are important when making travel decisions, according to TripAdvisor’s 2022 Travel Trends Report. And 63% want to see safety measures in place at hospitality businesses even after Covid-19 cases have dropped worldwide. Yet, travelers may also avoid destinations with strict protocols that limit their ability to dine out, visit attractions, shop, and explore.

7) Growing demand for contact-free services. Travelers are growing to expect contactless services at hotels, giving them a greater sense of safety and more control over their stay. This includes digital communications, mobile check-in and room entry, digital food ordering and payments, and opt-in housekeeping.

STR market recovery graphic
Source: https://str.com/data-insights-blog/market-recovery-monitor-week-ending-15-january

8) More weekend travel. Strong leisure demand combined with weak business demand has resulted in higher weekend occupancy and lower weekday occupancy in U.S. hotels, according to data from STR. Large hotels that rely on business and conference travelers during the week, in particular, are feeling the pain. The good news is strong weekend business is driving up average rates and spilling over into weekdays.

9) Rise in off-peak travel. Global research from Booking.com found that 54% of people are more likely to travel during off-peak seasons now than before the pandemic, citing fewer crowds and less risk of contracting or spreading Covid-19. Further, almost 7 in 10 travelers said they would visit an alternative destination to avoid traveling during peak season.

10) Shorter booking windows and longer stays. With pandemic conditions still evolving, travelers prefer to wait and see before making trip commitments. In 2021, STR reported a dramatic shortening of booking windows in global travel markets, a pattern expected to continue in 2022. In November 2021, a World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) survey found that 52% of global travelers preferred longer stays than before the pandemic, with more than 1 in 4 favoring stays of 10 nights or more.

Best Practices on Dealing with Shifting Travel Patterns

Traveler in 2022 with mask and phone

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when dealing with new traveler types and behavior:

Monitor guest intelligence trends: keep an eye on your online reputation data via an online reputation management tool, to see what markets are growing for your business, how satisfaction levels are in your establishment, what parts of the guest experience are trending upwards, and which downwards.

Ask your guests: guest satisfaction surveys are essential tools to gain detailed guest insights. Your online reputation trends are great for a temperature check on your guest experience, but surveys allow you to dig deeper.

They also allow you to get feedback on newly implemented features and processes in your establishment. If you recently updated your check-in process or introduced an in-room app, surveys are the perfect instrument to measure the implementation success rate.

Digitize guest service: a growing need for contactless solutions pushes many hoteliers to digitize their services, like online check-in and check-out or guest messaging. It will allow guests to drive their journey from their phone, while for hotel staff, repetitive tasks are lifted.

Today’s travelers have different needs and expectations. To remain competitive, hoteliers need to show great adaptability and flexibility. The right tools and knowledge can help you to set up dynamic strategies, which will guide you through this year, and beyond.

 

Watch the full webinar here