Sincerely, BLLA

How Hotels Can Be Part of the Work From Home Phenomenon

There have been 2 undeniable changes to our society during the pandemic: people are working from home more, and traveling less. As travelers continue...

There have been 2 undeniable changes to our society during the pandemic: people are working from home more, and traveling less. As travelers continue to wait for border openings, wade through COVID paperwork for all international trips and experience an increased level of stress around travel, there’s serious doubt over whether business trips will ever really return. 

76% of companies are continuing with remote work policies, signaling no need for business travel – why expense the trip if the team can work remotely? “The hotel sector recovery has a long way to go,” said Sam Ward, UK hotels leader at PwC. Last year Europe’s Travel and Tourism industry suffered a 51.4% decline, equating to a €987 billion loss. 40% of hotels in Barcelona have shut completely. 

Tourism bodies have called for more support following the devastation of COVID-19, and it’s predicted most businesses in the tourism industry won’t see pre-Covid levels until 2023 at least.

“There’s a slight improvement over 2020, but still nowhere near the 2019 numbers,” said Leslie Bruce, president and CEO of Banff Lake Louise Tourism (BLLT). Countries within Europe and the Caribbean are pushing for new tourism campaigns to try and win back travelers, whereas some have already chosen to show how remote work friendly their country is with new digital nomad visa options

Remote work is now mainstream. AmEx allows employees to remote work, Amazon is allowing individual teams to devise their own plans around where they work, and it’s estimated 70% of the workforce will be fully remote by 2025

As of September, 45% of full-time employees work partly or fully remotely – if this continues, there will be several million people within the US who are now able to travel and work remotely. This means they can keep extending their hotel stay – so long as there are work facilities.  

In Outsite we’ve already seen this happen, people may visit a location with a loose travel itinerary, but choose to extend once they feel confident working remotely. The average stay is 2 weeks, and this is increasing. In August, we had our most profitable month on record. 

It’s not just tourism boards and visa companies who can profit off the remote work boom. If hotels can pivot to attract remote workers, they will be able to grab a slice of the predicted $13.5 billion the remote industry will be worth by 2025. Marriott have already created a ‘work anywhere’ product, transforming their spaces into offices.

Airbnb are also on the money, their newest features are a response to the work-from-anywhere trend.  There’s now more transparency on whether a place has fast WiFi or a workspace. “Zoom may not be helpful for business travel but it’s good for family travel, and longer weekends that blend work and leisure, made possible by part-time remote work, also will be part of the future,” remarked Airbnb

For hotels to survive this winter, they need to start considering the remote worker on family trips. Look at holiday travel, this is a perfect opportunity for remote workers to turn a family trip into a long weekend. If hotels can supply a workspace, they will be rewarded with guests staying for longer. 

How do you make a hotel ‘good’ for remote workers? You can build out a workspace, make sure your WiFi is reliable, and create comfortable, quiet spaces for calls. Most importantly, you should be marketing this. If most of your audience already work remotely, you may already have a market ready to go.

If you struggle with marketing to new segments, this is where Outsite can help you. We work directly with boutique hotels to transform them into coliving spaces. We have an audience of more than 100,000 remote workers who are always excited to hear about new location launches, making filling your space a breeze – even during winter.

Outsite is a member of BLLA – view their listing in the Marketplace here

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