How has COVID-19 changed the way we book hotels?
We are less inclined to stay at large branded hotels
Most of us have been forced for social distancing for long weeks (or even months). Travel was as well restricted, sometimes in the same country. Thus, our immediate preference is to reconnect with the loved ones.
This is what our survey is telling us. Comparing preferred accommodation before the pandemic and now, Small and boutique hotels are proven resilient to the change: approximately 50% of the travelers consider the intimate small properties in their preferred type of accommodation.
Branded and chain hotels are hit hard by the pandemic as the travelers’ preference dropped by 10pp, in favor of staying with family and friends.
We will spend more time to chose the right hotel and we prefer direct bookings
Travelers expressed the importance to gain the right information at the time of the booking as confusion and complexity were increasing. The proportion of travelers who would book directly with the hotel have tripled though (up to 22%) while using an online platform dropped by 15pp.
Travelling post-COVID is different. Although restrictions may be eased, everyone knows the experience will be different from the sanitary protocols. Thus most of us (54%) would spend more time doing some pre-travel homework to find the right accommodation.
The right accommodation is not necessarily more expensive, though. While a third of the travelers are willing to spend more to ensure a smoother experience, 39% consider the post-COVID experience as “valuable” as in the past. These proportions present a big opportunity for hoteliers to re-segment their audience and attract the right guests with the most appropriate offer.
We will pay more attention to the booking policies and hygiene measures
While the choice of the hotel is lead by the location, both measures and the cancellation policies are considered as very important criteria to book a hotel in this time of the pandemic. Travelers expect hotels to implement flexible cancellation and rebooking policy. These policies are now considered as the main criteria to select their hotel, along with the unbeatable location.
Hotels are also expected to communicate about their hygiene and safety measures. Most Travelers consider social distancing measures, sanitization protocols as a mandatory requirement that accommodation should comply within these times of pandemic.
About this survey
The Boutique Vibe asked their followers about their hotel’s preference. More than 400 travellers from 52 countries, replied about their travel perspectives and accommodation preferences in a “post-COVID” world.
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