Covid-19: Absence makes the heart grow fonder

It’s important to remember that while we are desperate for bookings and revenue to return, guests are also longing to check in.

Travellers everywhere are missing rolling (or folding…) their best clothes into a suitcase, scribbling a signature in a buttery leather bill folder to charge the third cocktail to the room (“I’ll worry about that later”), going up to bed to a thoughtful turn down service, and catching breakfast minutes before the end of service after a lie in – and still getting perfectly cooked eggs.

With the global population committed to staying home but dreaming of being elsewhere, we have the perfect opportunity to inspire guests to book a room once the restrictions have been lifted while digitally connecting on a deeper, more empathetic, more human level with our audience through this shared experience. Now is the time to win over new and existing customers. Show them what they’re missing, share your trade secrets, communicate kindness and generosity, and demonstrate pride in your product.

This is also an ideal time for re ection; with closed doors,hoteliers have a unique opportunity to deep dive into their product and purpose, and the time to plan and deliver an empathetic, thoughtful and creative response to the crisis. Things will get better, but the world is forever changed. Expectations have changed, the role of the hotelier has changed. Well-established industry vernacular has changed in meaning.

For example: we’ve languished in the landscape of wellness for a few seasons now, and I suspect the frothiness of this trend will subside slightly – that is the extensive spa menus, juice cleanses in the mini bar, free yoga on the roof terrace. The meaning of wellness will shift to a more vital form of self preservation: the concern for the immediate and non-negotiable health and hygiene of individuals and those around them.

Simultaneously, trend forecasters are expecting an unbridled resurgence towards hedonism following the cabin fever of recent months – an approach to leisure largely unseen since the eighties and nineties. Travellers will crave parties, drinking, drugs, sex more urgently than we have seen in decades.

The likely continuation of social distancing complicate the logistics of providing this, however a hotel can overcome these physical issues more easily than other businesses. The basic offer of a hotel is ideal in this landscape: booking a private, enclosed bedroom where food can be hygienically delivered to the door in the context of a world which is so open, crowded and where private space is at a premium.

In short, market demand is strong but the industry needs to tweak the supply in order to be compliant with health regulations, empathetic with guest concerns and reactive to new global trends.

Contact Hannah

If you are looking to develop an existing or brand new hotel concept,
guest experience or creative strategy, I’d love to help.



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