It has been two years and the world is finally starting to open back up once more. The impact of that reopening on the travel and hospitality industry will be incredible. It will also be unpredictable, as COVID-19 continues to complicate the situation. One thing that hotel owners can count on? Revenge travel.
Revenge travel, or revenge tourism if you prefer, is not a new phenomenon, although it has not been seen on the scale that the world will experience very soon. What is it? How can hoteliers prepare for its ramifications? We’ll discuss that below.
What Is Revenge Travel in 2021?
According to Forbes, “This travel mindset means that people are more eager to travel and less willing to cancel their vacation plans this year after the coronavirus shutdowns. Many people are tired of being at home, are fully vaccinated, and have been saving up cash and travel miles for their first post-pandemic trip. As a result, revenge travelers will be more likely to try a more exotic location, spend more money to travel, or a combination of both.”
HuffPost chimes in with, “Revenge travel refers to the idea that there will be a huge increase in travel as it becomes safer and things open back up. Many Americans and those around the world had their vacations altered or outright cancelled last year, so they are all looking to satisfy their travel itch at the same time. The term is also retribution against COVID-19 and how it is losing its power to control our lives, including cancelling travel plans.”
Let’s take things a bit deeper with the results of a survey conducted by Expedia Group:
- 9 out of 10 Americans have plans to travel during 2021.
- 44% of people worldwide will make more trips than they did in 2019.
- Younger generations will travel much more extensively than older ones.
- More than 1/3 of people travelling will take extended trips this year.
- The average amount saved for 2021 travel trips is $3,500, but Millennials plan to spend considerably more money.
- Major cities around the world will be prime destinations.
What Does the Trend of Revenge Travel Mean for Hotels?
The coming travel surge is good news for hotels around the world. However, it will also bring a lot of complications. In other words, you will see a major surge in occupancy rates, which when combined with multiple sources of booking, can become a nightmare for hoteliers without a hotel property management system.
Without the right hotel PMS, it can be incredibly difficult to accurately manage your bookings. Reservations and cancellations are not updated across all channels and platforms in real-time. That can lead to overbooking, cancellations not being processed correctly, double-booked rooms, and more.
The strain is not just related to reservations and cancellations, though. It makes it challenging to schedule front desk, engineering, and housekeeping staff correctly. That could lead to long wait times for rooms to be cleaned so guests can check-in, handle problems or requests during a stay, and handle requests guests make.
It puts an incredible strain on your resources and, if not handled correctly, can even damage your brand.
So, what should you look for in terms of property management features? What should a hotel management system offer?
Finding the Right Hotel PMS
With the world opening back up and people around the globe anxious to get out and start travelling, the main thing you need to look for in hotel management system software is the ability to manage guest inflow. With the wide range of channels through which guests can book a room with your property today, it has never been more crucial to ensure up-to-date information is available and that you have the tools required so you can work independently.
One of the most important features to look for in a hotel property management system is automation that ensures a real-time flow of information between departments in your hotel. That improves your ability to accurately schedule staff, handle guest requests, and keep track of reservations, check-ins, check-outs, and cancellations.
The system should also manage both front-office and back-office operations. Automated front/back office ops help to reduce manual errors, which are one of the most common issues hotels experience, ranging from staff forgetting to log a reservation to accounting problems. The front desk module should also come with a reservation chat feature that allows guests to easily reach out to a staff member if they are having trouble or need to ask a question during the process.
For check-ins, make sure that your hotel PMS allows you to quickly scan a guest’s ID and populate their information in the system. This streamlines the process, reduces long lines and wait times, and provides a better overall guest experience. Checking out should be just as simple.
We also need to say a word about distribution. With more channels than ever before, it’s critical that you have a distribution strategy, but also that your hotel PMS includes a channel manager to help you update rates and inventory across all OTAs in real-time. This can dramatically reduce your incidence of overbooking and double-booking, and also helps ensure you’re able to accurately schedule staff to deal with inflow.
You should also think long and hard about pricing. With demand surging, you’ll need to walk a fine line based on actionable data, rather than your gut reaction. Your hotel PMS should include a feature that allows you to manage pricing dynamically based on occupancy, not just seasonality or historic performance.
Finally, make sure that your hospitality management software is capable of supporting the entire guest cycle, from booking to check-in, the stay itself, and then check-out.
It’s Not Just This Year
COVID-19 revenge travel will be short-lived – a year, maybe two. However, don’t feel that it’s something that will come and go, and then things will return to normal. This is an opportunity for you to build for the future! With unprecedented levels of travel expected, you’re in a prime position to make an impression on new guests by delivering a great experience. There are several things you should know so that you can make that a repeat performance rather than a one-off.
First, create loyalty programs that help keep your guests coming back (and coming back to your website, not to OTAs or online travel agents where you have to pay commission for booking).
Second, focus on delivering a stand-out experience – remember that many of these people have been in lockdown for over a year. The right experience could turn them into lifelong guests who will return to your property year after year.
Lastly, make sure your online hotel management software offers tools to help boost your profitability and maximize revenue. It should create relational rates within the PMS, allow you to set up multiple rates and type support in a single day, set and change daily/monthly rates, all while tracking critical KPIs.
Hotelogix Is There for You
Are you prepared for this year’s revenge travel surge? If not, now’s the time to consider a hotel PMS. Claim your 15-day free trial of our innovative hotel management software and learn for yourself how powerful, intuitive, and easy to use it is.