Without a doubt, COVID-19 continues to create seismic shifts in the hospitality sector. Hotels, resorts, venues and restaurants have overhauled their operations to ensure guest safety, but as domestic travel slowly returns, what are the specific challenges that are shaping the new normal? Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group Hotels and Resorts, says there are a number of business and leisure travel trends emerging from the pandemic, some of which he believes are here to stay. “Choosing a resort that follows strict COVID protocols is at the top of every holiday-makers list and we are not alone in the extreme measures that we have implemented to ensure guest safety. Over the past 12 months though, we have also noticed other significant shifts in guest behaviour,” Shaun explains. “From bookings to choice of accommodation to communication, traveller’s venturing out into the world definitely have new expectations.” Shaun shares five guest trends that are dominating travel experiences in 2021 and will continue to influence the hospitality sector for the months and years to come: 1. Increase in online bookings Consumers have become more tech-savvy with the trend towards digital and contactless services gaining momentum. These changing attitudes have impacted the hospitality industry too and we have witnessed firsthand an increase in the number of online bookings. This works in favour of the guest as we can communicate with them directly, provide reservation confirmation emails, pre-arrival communication and information on all guest safety touchpoints. 2. Self-catering surpassing hotel stays Hotels have historically…
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Source: Nomad Africa Magazine