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Luxury Hotels & Resorts: 2022 Trend Report

Americans are anxious to resume travel in 2022, and experts predict that luxury and boutique hotels will see the largest spike in bookings as travele...

Americans are anxious to resume travel in 2022, and experts predict that luxury and boutique hotels will see the largest spike in bookings as travelers seek out GOAT – Greatest Of All Time – experiences. For luxury and boutique properties, this means that guest expectations will be higher than ever before. The following infographic explores what the year of the GOAT means for boutique hoteliers and examines the key trends set to impact luxury and boutique hotel providers in 2022.

Trend 1: 2022 is the year of the GOAT

After nearly two years, people are eager to resume travel and are approaching their plans with a “Greatest of All Trips” (GOAT) mindset[1]. In fact, two-thirds of Americans are planning on taking big trips in 2022, and 40% of travelers say they’re looking to splurge in 2022 – spending $776, compared to $588 globally[2]. For luxury and boutique properties, this is great news. The bespoke nature of the boutique hotel experience is already well-primed to meet GOAT-type expectations, and they should expect an uptick in bookings as a result. In fact, surveys reveal that in 2022, 15% of travelers will opt to take more luxurious experiences – this includes both in terms of their flight and their hotel selections.

Trend 2: 2022 Will See Uptick in Workcations

When you can work from anywhere, why not work from a resort? That’s the question that many people are asking themselves as work-from-home and hybrid work conditions continue across the country. In fact, 61%[3] of remote workers expect to be working hybrid for the next year and beyond, and 27% anticipate that they will work fully from home. With this increased flexibility comes a blurring of the lines between what’s work time and what’s leisure time. So much so that the CEO of Marriott, Tony Capuano, has developed a new term for it – “bleisure”:

“Increasingly, we’re seeing folks that say, ‘I can blend trip purposes. I can combine leisure with business travel,’ And we think that’s really good news for our hotels across the country.”

Indeed, 43% of remote workers anticipate taking a workcation in the near future, thanks to increased flexibility[4] and 76% of those who plan to take a workcation say that the ability to split time between work and leisure will allow them to extend their trip by a week or more. For luxury and boutique properties, the occupancy implications are fantastic – more flexibility means more bookings for longer periods. But it also leaves open the following question: are boutique properties ready to support bleisure travelers with the bandwidth that guests need to work and play remotely across many devices and ubiquitously throughout a property?

Trend 3: Guests have BIG expectations, but Hotels are Chronically Low Staffed

Guests have GOAT expectations even though hotels are in “the worst recruiting climate in the industry’s history.”[5] For example:

  • 2020 – Hotels in the U.S. laid off approximately 6.2 million[6] employees
  • 2021 – Staffing levels remained around 50% of pre-pandemic
  • 2022 – More than half[7] of U.S. hospitality workers said they wouldn’t go back to their jobs, while over 1/3 said they aren’t even considering reentering the industry.

For properties that rely on personalized, one-to-one interactions with highly trained staff to convey some of its je ne sais quoi, this could be a tough challenge to overcome.

Trend 4: Investing in Technology Can Help Deliver on GOAT Expectations and Bridge Staffing Gaps

Here’s what we know so far: after two years of waiting, guests have sky-high expectations and they’re ready to splurge on a luxurious, bespoke experience. We also know that hotels are chronically low-staffed and at risk of not being able to deliver on these guest expectations. So, what’s the solution? One idea is a technology upgrade across the following three verticals:

  • Wi-Fi – 50%[8] of guests expect improved Wi-Fi at hotels now compared with before the pandemic. And for bleisure travelers, they’ll expect it to support all their activities – work and leisure – across all their devices throughout the entire property. By investing in secure, lighting fast Wi-Fi, hotels can deliver on this guest expectation and fully capitalize on the bleisure trend.  
  • Outsourced Reservations – 60% of consumers believe that one minute is too long to be on hold. Average handle times in hospitality are 3.5 minutes, causing deep frustration among prospective guests[9]. For hotels that had to eliminate in-house PBX personnel during the pandemic and have yet to find a replacement, this problem can have a dramatic impact on bookings and the guest experience. An outsourced contact center can help hotels, both large and small, handle reservations more efficiently and effectively, ensuring prospective guests will speak to a representative in less than 5 seconds and that hotels never miss a booking.
  • Virtual Guest Services – Virtual Guest Services can result in faster response times and room turnover, and an overall better guest experience for the guests already on the premises. By being able to handle basic guest requests, the smaller front desk staff can focus their time offering the personalized, one-to-one attention that luxury and boutique guests expect.

This infographic was sponsored by Cloud5Communications. For more information about Cloud5 and its Internet solutions and voice systems, connect with us at: https://cloud5.com/contact/


[1] https://newsroom.expedia.com/2021-11-30-The-GOAT-mindset-Expedia-reveals-2022s-biggest-travel-trend
[2] https://fortune.com/2021/10/09/what-is-revenge-travel-pandemic-covid-delta-variant/
[3] https://everhour.com/blog/remote-work-statistics/
[4] https://news.cision.com/simon-kucher—partners/r/new-study–there-is-plenty-of-pent-up-demand-for-summer-travel-and–workcations–are-the-new-trend,c3378109
[5] https://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4104327.html
[6] https://www.hotelmanagement.net/operate/why-hotels-should-stop-oversimplifying-labor-shortage
[7] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-08/half-of-u-s-hospitality-workers-won-t-return-in-job-crunch
[8] https://www.hotel-online.com/press_releases/release/tourism-after-lockdown-hotel-guests-expect-normal-in-the-new-normal/
[9] https://www.plumvoice.com/resources/blog/3-studies-show-shouldnt-put-customers-hold/

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