Seville seeing a rise in bookings in 2021
Even thinking about the possibility of travelling again makes consumers feel happier and more hopeful.
In fact, pent-up demand is so strong, 56% say they are willing to book a trip despite a risk of future cancellation, according to new research from American Express.
However, priorities have shifted. Post-pandemic US consumers favour local or domestic destinations and experiences over international travel, with a desire to avoid major tourist spots.
This holds true in Europe, where 'second cities' and lower-profile areas are experiencing a rise in demand over the usual hotspots.
The pandemic has also accelerated the trend towards more sustainable consumption.
68% of consumers are trying to be more aware of sustainability-friendly travel brands to support, with 54% believing it’s more important to reduce their own carbon footprint since COVID-19.
So how are travel & hospitality brands tapping into these new mindsets, and keeping customers loyal?
MISSION by SH rewards – courtesy of 1 Hotels
Hotels, airlines and hospitality brands are overhauling their membership programmes and loyalty schemes in a bid to attract the post-pandemic traveller.
In the luxury space, heightened exclusivity is the focus.
Targeting the US market, newcomer Manifest offers private jet travel and curated adventures in the homeland through its exclusive membership club.
Members-only Exclusive Resorts protects its luxury residences and ability to provide a highly personalised service by welcoming a maximum of 100 new families into the fold each year.
Cause-driven loyalty schemes, such MISSION by SH offer different 'Give Back' options for guests to offset emissions from their travel plans, helping eco-conscious travellers feel good about their trips.
Meanwhile, locally-owned hotels are taking a different approach to rewards, encouraging travellers to explore immediate neighbourhoods and promoting local businesses after a year of lockdown and closures. Copenhagen-based Brøchner Hotels’ Go Local campaign offers discounts and other perks at nearby restaurants, independent brands and wellness spaces to both guests and local residents.
Ummara – courtesy of Rojkind Arquitectos
Concerns around health, hygiene and wellbeing coupled with a desire to connect with landscapes and calming urban spaces are shaping the latest hotel and resort design and amenities.
Natural surroundings will play a key role as both architecture and guests are immersed in the landscape. Rojkind Arquitectos’ design for Ummara, a new holiday resort to be opened in Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe, seamlessly blends into the desert mountain backdrop.
Kruger Shalati’s converted train carriages on Skukuza Bridge turns social distancing and nostalgia for travel of the past into a luxury experience.
Meanwhile, city-centre hotels and residences are transforming themselves into urban sanctuaries.
Wellbeing spaces and services, including treatment rooms, traditional baths, mediation, yoga, and guided nature walks are intended to re-introduce calm to the city.