It’s not too good to be true: experts predict a new Roaring Twenties is coming—and now is the time for hoteliers to prepare.
The last time the world had an international pandemic, the “Roaring Twenties” followed, a time characterized by exploration, connection, and boundary-pushing—with the hospitality industry experiencing an economic boom as more people became comfortable with cross country and international travel for the first time. As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout ramps up, experts from Forrester, The Atlantic, Bloomberg, and Yale University are all predicting the same thing: a new travel surge and a new Roaring Twenties.
If you want to ensure guests can relax and feel comfortable at your property during the post-pandemic travel boom, you’ll need to deliver the safe, convenient, and contactless experiences they’re seeking. And in order to do that, you need to first understand what exactly that entails.
What will these Roaring Twenties look like?
Social epidemiologist and Yale professor Dr. Nicholas Christakis discussed the post-pandemic social trends we can expect in a recent article with The Guardian. Christakis predicts that the 2020s will follow suit with the post-pandemic economic booms of the past. He describes a vision of the future “filled with experiences pined for in isolation: packed stadiums, crowded nightclubs and flourishing arts.” Just like in the 1920s, we can expect a period of liberal spending, an emphasis on living life to the fullest, and a desire to connect in person with like-minded people.
The difference between those Roaring Twenties and these will be mobile devices.
This travel rebound will bring a wave of guests who have gotten used to using smartphones for everything during the pandemic. Social connection will still be at the forefront of the New Roaring Twenties, but post-pandemic guests will want that interaction on their own terms and largely contactless. Mobile options allow guests the flexibility they will be looking for when concerts, conventions, entertainment events—and yes, travel—all return in full swing.
One of the benefits drawing travelers to home rental stays instead of hotels is the ease of booking, checking in, and checking out without being reliant on someone else. Beyond the desire for contactless is an even greater desire for simple convenience: guests want their stay to work around their schedule. As a result, mobile options will continue to be vital for increasing both safety and new bookings now and for the foreseeable future.
Guests in the 2020s want to connect—just not face-to-face.
In the age of Google searches, instant information has never been more accessible. Today’s travelers are used to quick communication and quick service. Now, hoteliers have the opportunity to harness the convenience technology provides, using automation, mobile messaging, and digital requests in order to provide the level of above-and-beyond service guests are seeking. With instant updates and 24/7 access to staff, they’ll never feel out of the loop or ignored.
Furthermore, guests are more attuned to what they like and dislike about their experiences, and with the rise of social media, they’re quick to share those opinions. And they’re quick to share those opinions. Allowing your guests to give quick, direct feedback ensures that your staff can not only dramatically improve service recovery rates, but also optimize future service. And as we all know, guests who feel their frustration and suggestions are heard are far more likely to book a return visit.
Don’t be left out of the 2020s travel boom.
The rise in smartphone usage provides you with the opportunity to meet your guests’ needs more effectively than ever before. Restaurants, rideshare services, and airlines always have a mobile option—and that has set a new precedent and standard for consumer experiences, never more so than in the post-pandemic era. Don’t get left behind: when vacationers, event-goers, and business travelers start booking again, make sure your property is their top option.
The 1920s brought with it an economic boom. Whether or not the post-COVID boom reaches the dizzying heights of the Roaring Twenties, there will be a surge. When it comes, success will largely hinge on how hoteliers utilize mobile technology.