The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted and changed the hospitality industry forever. Today, the world’s best hospitality management university Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) announces their forecast for the up-and-coming trends expected to shape hospitality in 2022. As the global industry adapts to COVID-19 protocols, two EHL professors, Dr. Weisskopf and Dr. Masset, have investigated what next year
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted and changed the hospitality industry forever. Today, the world’s best hospitality management university Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) announces their forecast for the up-and-coming trends expected to shape hospitality in 2022.
As the global industry adapts to COVID-19 protocols, two EHL professors, Dr. Weisskopf and Dr. Masset, have investigated what next year will bring to the constantly evolving sector as it continues its recovery amidst the pandemic, adjusting to the new demands of the refined customer.
‘With the new year comes new direction for the hospitality industry. At EHL, we believe that an increase in consumer awareness will bring new opportunities and trends to the fore, particularly towards sustainability, health and well-being. The industry must evolve to remain relevant to the new demands and needs of travelers in a post-pandemic world’, states Dr Jean-Philippe Weisskopf, EHL Associate Professor.
‘I firmly believe that this crisis contains opportunities and that the firms that will be able to best adapt to the “new normal” (and to the trends discussed above) have great years ahead of them! Our role at EHL is to incorporate these analyses into our teaching in our Singaporean and Swiss campuses in order to best prepare the future leaders of the industry’, concludes Dr Philippe Masset, EHL Associate Professor.
EHL has predicted the following hospitality trends for 2022:
- Bleisure travelers & hotel workspaces
With a hybrid model of working, bleisure is expected to increase in popularity throughout 2022. Defined as the practice of extending business travel for leisure purposes, or otherwise combining work and leisure during a business trip, hotels will need to cater to these demands and needs.
- Holistic hospitality, health & well-being
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to linger it is apparent that the health and wellness industries will remain integral in 2022. Alongside stringent health measures to protect individuals from the virus, the wellness sector will continue to see high demand to heal the mind, body and soul through holistic hospitality.
- Digitalized guest experiences
Throughout the last two years, traditional customer-facing services have become contactless in order to reduce the transmission of the virus with mobile check-in or check-out and contactless payments. As technology innovation continues to evolve, hospitality institutions will need to adapt to remain ahead of the curve, for instance fingerprint or face recognition will soon become an expected convenience for guests accessing their hotel rooms, much like how it is expected with smartphones.
As a way to improve customers’ experience, personalization is a trend that continues to grow each year across the hospitality industry. By leveraging on customer data through the use of technology, establishments will be able to create customized offerings to make them relevant and appealing to existing and potential guests.
- Experience economy & essentialism
In 2022, experts predict a rise in travelers looking to spend their money wisely, purposefully by making a positive impact on the planet. Not only will guests consider choosing to holiday with conscious travel operators, but they will look for unique experiences that give back to the local community or surrounding environment.
- Asset management strategy
The practice of asset management within the hospitality industry remains integral but today it has evolved into a more intricate process of analyzing data and operating results. The separation between management of hotel operations and real-estate assets allows companies to focus on their business model and improving efficiencies across the board.
- Solo travel
After various lockdowns, 2022 is set to see a rise in solo travel, as individuals seek freedom and adventure in their own way. Establishments will need to tailor their offerings by breaking down barriers between hotel staff and guests, considering interior design choices to evoke homeliness and create an informal atmosphere.
Guests will consider booking through responsible travel operators or establishments that aim to maintain and protect the planet. As well as partaking in community initiatives whilst on holiday – ethical and environmental – eco-conscious considerations are set to shape decisions made at the hospitality management level.
- Virtual & augmented reality
Having seen the success of using both VR and AR, companies are transforming their travel experiences. The hospitality industry will need to capitalize on features such as virtual tours to create a digital environment for consumers to picture themselves in before they book their holiday – a trend that is expected to only rise.
- Traveling less (& Staycations)
Despite international travel resuming, COVID testing requirements, quarantine protocols, airline price hikes and complicated bureaucracy has made some travelers opt for staycations or forced them to consider traveling less than pre-pandemic levels for longer periods of time. As well as these reasons, vacationers may also choose to venture for a holiday closer to home for budgeting or environmental reasons.
For more information on EHL’s predictions for next year, please visit 2022 Top Hospitality Industry Trends (ehl.edu).