We are almost near the end of another year, and tourism is showing promising levels of growth. International tourism is well on its way to returning to pre-pandemic levels, with twice as many people travelling during the first quarter of 2023 than in the same period of 2022.
Over the last few years, more people have engaged in revenge travel and socialising, trying to compensate for the lockdown period. But these tourists of the new post-pandemic economy are showing new traveller behaviours and consumer habits.
What is really important for hospitality service providers is identifying the travel personality of each of these travellers.
The most common types of new travellers post-lockdown
- The cultural traveller:
The reopening of the international boundaries increased travellers who want to explore diverse cultures, such as museums or historical sites. For hotels and restaurants, this is a perfect chance to leverage partnerships with local attractions or designers, allowing guests to immerse in new cultures and communities.
- The escapist:
These are travellers who want to escape and unwind from the monotony of everyday life. They want something different: spending their vacations in jungles observing flora and fauna, watching life underwater, relaxing in a getaway resort, enjoying the beach, or basking in the luxury spa or a yoga retreat.
- The spontaneous traveller:
This one loves sudden and unplanned trips and enjoys heading into the unknown. However, while they may want to travel everywhere, these travellers are sometimes constrained by tighter budgets and travel intending to save money on their trips.
- The digital nomad:
These travellers try to tick off multiple goals in one tour. Whether they are on a business trip or visiting a personal event, they want to get the most out of the destinations they are at. An example is bleisure travellers trying to get a good holiday during a business trip.
- The solo traveller:
Another growing section in the traveller demographic is the solo traveller who chooses to venture into the world alone, and on their own terms. Their trip plans are either outlined to the last detail or only have vague details.
How a hotel can improve guests’ traveling experience
The hospitality industry has encountered multiple traveller and guest types over decades. For the travellers of this new age, it is a matter of providing tailored experience by understanding what matters the most to each type.
1. Personalised booking and check-in
For meticulous planners, smart technology allows them to book specific room types, request early check-ins, and customise their stay preferences well in advance, which is beneficial. This allows the hotel and the tourist alike to know what to expect as they check-in. Further, hotels can know the guest’s expectations before arrival and be ready with a curated set of amenities and services. Spontaneous travellers can benefit from last-minute booking apps, enabling them to find accommodations even on the go. These systems also collect guest preferences, purchase history and feedback, allowing the hotels to improve service delivery continuously.
2. Service customisation
Each type of traveller has different needs. Business travellers may appreciate the technology that allows them to set up a mobile office within their room, with proper workstations, shared workspaces, ergonomic furniture in their room and good connectivity. Solo and spontaneous travellers would prefer guest service applications that enable them to order their desired amenities from the comfort of their rooms. On the other hand, guests seeking relaxation can be given the chance to make reservations at their favourite spas, retreats and clubs using reservation and member management modules made specifically for these operations.
3. Mobile operations
Travellers on a budget or on tight schedules will certainly appreciate the convenience of mobile check-out, which allows them to settle bills quickly and efficiently. This would allow them smoother experience as they travel and seek accommodation. Also, smart technology can suggest local restaurants, sites and destinations based on individual culinary preferences, ensuring that cultural travellers have access to memorable encounters. Keyless entry systems integrated with mobile check-in modules can provide solo travellers with secure access—a feature that is been popular especially among solo women travellers.
4. Hotel apps and software
Interactive hotel applications and voice assistants have been proved to be used to assist travellers in searching for local stores, venues or markets. For travellers exploring natural environments, smart navigation and GPS apps can help them navigate remote areas or hiking trails safely. Hotel solutions can also be integrated with booking channels to allow adventure enthusiasts easily book activities like tours or diving. Hotel software applications that support multiple languages are a plus when dealing with travellers who loves to venture into offbeat destinations need translations.
5. Customer segmentation
Data analytics modules can categorise guests based on age, purpose of travel, spending habits, and preferences. As a result, hospitality businesses can create targeted marketing campaigns for each segment, offering promotions or services that align with specific needs. Further, these modules can predict demand patterns based on historical data, seasonal trends, and events in the areas, helping inventory planning, pricing strategies, communication as well as revenue maximisation.
Adaptability is the key
Each traveller type craves distinct encounters and travel with a different purpose. Technology emerges as the linchpin in meeting these diverse expectations. Hospitality businesses that dare to embrace the power of technology will not only meet the needs of today’s travellers but also pave the way for a thriving future in the industry.
Manoj K Mohanty
Senior Vice President - Sales, South Asia & South East Asia
He brings extensive industry experience and a track record of success in selling technology and services to global clients across hospitality markets. He has proven to be essential and crucial Sales personnel who is primary involved and contributing to acquiring new clients in South Asia and South East Asian regions.