June 20, 2022
The rise in remote workers has allowed consumers to be more spontaneous, flexible, and travel more often when they can work from anywhere. Hospitality brands now more than ever should be on the cutting edge of digital. There are certain amenities that are now assumed in this digital age from contactless services everywhere to WiFi that can handle any surge in guests. Brands have a new set of digital factors to consider in this post-COVID world. Read more about what digital needs brands should consider in travel marketing planning with many travelers ready to jet set:
Leisure travelers: Many guests staying at their preferred travel dwelling are exclusively visiting for the location, experience, and surrounding attractions. These can be solo travelers, couples, or families looking to have an action-packed week, family visit, then go home.
How can hotels, resorts, and rentals cater to a new breed of traveler who expects digital superiority?
Remote Workers: many who are now working remotely are seeking both work and play in a desirable travel destination. This set of travelers are typically hard-working and want their travel stay to keep them busy during any downtime, but keep up with any high-tech trends. Some of the latest trends we’ve seen them prefer include:
Energy-saving sensors that save power in the room when it’s unoccupied.
Web and app surfing to determine deals that should be offered to different demographic groups.
Facial recognition technology for room or facility entry.
It goes without saying they prefer everything to be accessible on mobile.
Digital Nomads: A hybrid traveler who wants to enjoy the leisure advantages of the location but wants amenities that are pro-work from anywhere. Their expectations are slightly different from the remote worker. They might be willing to share a room, sleep on a couch, or who knows? Live in a school bus. They also might be expecting to stay for longer durations than traditional guests. They are very flexible travelers and expect amenities that adapt to this level of flexibility out of their travel arrangements.
Will guests need private rooms to take calls? Social space to enjoy the experience of the hotel? High-speed Wifi? Apps that allow you to check in and out of adjoining restaurants and bars, and the hotel quickly? Here are some ways the hospitality industry can adapt to the changing digital needs:
Going contactless with more than just check-in/outs: Seamless to remote workers often means no contact, and that was even the case pre-pandemic. If there’s something that can be done online, streamline that process. True, hotels, resorts, and rentals have every right to see an ID of the person checking in, but booking and checking out should be able to be done online at this point. If you really want to impress, there are online room service apps now. Hotel and resort kitchens have been consistently understaffed for the past few years, and it’s hard for them to maintain any kind of quality. So why not outsource and use an app such as 2ndKitchen? This app allows hotel guests to order through the app and pick up their food in the lobby or near the hotel. To get the service going, vouchers could be offered to drive incentive to make the most of this service.
Using social media to advertise digital only perks. When remote workers are browsing a site like NomadList, their first impression is the visual representation of the space. But are remote workers really following specific accommodations on social media? To attract visitors, locations need a strong social media presence, which should be strongly based on user and referral-generated content.
Re-sharing authentic content about the travel experience. If you’ve ever browsed TikTok, most of the travel content is made by people you’ve never heard of. Which these days, makes it feel more authentic. What could make your location memorable to a remote worker to lead them to share about your accommodation? Does your travel lodging encourage co-working and networking spaces? Co-working spaces are for more than just solo travelers wanting a change of scenery. These spaces could be used for events, casual get-togethers between co-workers, or even a serendipitous networking opportunity.
It’s 2022, get your WiFi act together. We digital nomads and remote workers live and die by our internet access. When surveyed, 47% of online accommodation browsers said that a stable, reliable WiFi connection was the number one thing they researched when choosing a place to stay. Hospitality brands should be able to handle daily peaks in hotel traffic without dealing with WiFi issues for all guests and their visitors. In my experience, this is the largest complaint I’ve reported about rentals, such as Airbnb and VRBO. The WiFi, although advertised as “high-speed” is unstable. If you don’t want negative reviews, make sure that speed and connectivity are up to par as advertised.
Another thing to consider: Discount offers for longer-term guests that meet their flexible needs. Long-term guests require less from staff (think check-in, check-out) and less overturn for cleaning services. If your potential digital nomad guest gets wind of the great perks of a long-term stay, that reputation could build into a significant impact on ROI.
There’s a lot to consider when the clientele is changing quickly. But with some research and adaptability, getting ahead of the curve isn’t impossible.
June 20, 2022