News / Featured, Hospitality Trends

Deloitte’s 2022 Travel Outlook Report: Four Key Takeaways

Deloitte’s Global State of the Consumer Tracker has been tracking consumer sentiment, including travel purchase intent, since April 2020. Its findings revealed some major forces that will shape the path to recovery in the coming months and years. We’ve summarized some of the report’s most interesting details so you don’t have to.

1. The Leisurely Return of Corporate Travel

While video fatigue has settled in for many, face-to-face interaction may be on the rise in 2022. According to the 2021 Deloitte Corporate Travel Survey,” travel that helps establish and foster client relationships is the most essential to success and least replaceable by technology. Trips to visit client prospects and networking opportunities will likely come back strongest in 2022, while internal training and meetings will continue to rely heavily on virtual connection.”

2. Travel’s Remote Work Opportunity

“Untethered from the office, workers with flexibility are expanding the travel pie.”

According to Deloitte’s research, remote working elevates a unique set of needs for these “laptop lugging” travelers.

  • A quiet and comfortable space, perhaps away from the rest of the travel party
  • Fast and reliable Wi-Fi
  • Convenient access to wellness-related amenities like healthy meals on the go, and fitness equipment and activities.
  • The ability to reschedule in-destination activities to accommodate work.

Self-identified road warriors view hotels as a home away from home and an office away from office. Robust business travel is the next important step in the recovery of the hospitality industry. Competing for business travel is likely to come down to one factor moving ahead: Labor.

3. Rental Surge to Continue

“In summer 2021, 28% of rental travelers stayed at one for the first time during the pandemic. By the holiday season, the number rose to 43% of rental customers choosing a private rental for the first time during the pandemic.”

As Deloitte points out, increased interest in alternative accommodations will likely continue to push hospitality leaders to evolve. So what can properties do to elevate their offerings to compete against this trend? By providing high-level services such as housekeeping, room service, 24 hour gym access, spaces to work, and other valuable amenities. In the end, it’s all about the guest experience, which is what distinguishes a hotel from just a place to sleep. 

4. Staffing Struggles

“As of October 2021, there were 300,000 fewer workers in the hotel industry than two years prior.

Many have shifted housekeeping to a by-request-only model, and cut back on food and beverage amenities, including room service and restaurants. Guests’ acceptance of these cutbacks (sometimes while still paying resort fees) will wane as travel frequency accelerates.

Automation could help to address hotels’ labor challenges, but there are no quick fixes. Increased adoption of contactless check-in eases the need for reception staff, but cleaning rooms and operating restaurants still require human labor. If these challenges persist—and indicators are that they will—expect hotels to begin experimenting with itemized charges for amenities, such as fitness centers, and services, including housekeeping. And as these once-standard parts of the hotel experience become unbundled, they can also be leveraged within loyalty programs.”

Hotel staffing challenges predated the pandemic and will continue. In order to grow, hotel leaders must have a nuanced labor strategy.

In the face of ongoing and persistent labor challenges, more hotels and hospitality venues are turning to staffing agencies to supplement their current staff. Contingent labor, or temp staff as it’s sometimes called, can be a beneficial part of your property’s overall labor strategy. These Six Proven Strategies can help you get the most out of your staffing relationships.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted several industries, hospitality and travel industries fell quite hard. In 2021, Deloitte published three reports delivering a deep dive into guest/travel demand – including one on corporate travel. Read the report’s findings here.

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