Coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed hospitality forever, but even in the short term there are a few focus areas that can make your property more attractive. Here are eight amenities that will draw the eye of today’s traveller.
One of the top trends we’re seeing is flexibility in where we work from. Even if people aren’t going full “digital nomad”, many are open to booking a few extra days at their destination, knowing they can bring their laptop and work remotely. Facilities and features these travellers look for include:
- Rock-solid wifi - strong, fast wifi is a key guest requirement.
- A workspace - a dedicated desk or table, with power outlets close by, a decent chair and preferably some form of separation from the rest of the accommodation.
- A coffee maker and plenty of beans.
As a result of the pandemic, many people have transitioned to home workouts - something they want to continue while travelling. Facilitating in-room fitness by providing basic workout equipment - such as yoga mats or jump ropes - can make your property stand out to health-conscious travellers.
This is a no-brainer. In fact, self check-in was a trend way before the pandemic, it’s just accelerated. In June 2020, Operto surveyed 1000 travellers on this topic and found that 81% like self check-in.
This doesn’t mean you need to lose the personal touch; you can leave a handwritten note, be available if your guests want help or advice, and offer clear information on anything they may need. Make sure you use a keyless entry system that is simple for guests while being automated with your booking system to make operations hassle-free.'One of the top trends we’re seeing is flexibility in where we work from.'
Is information an amenity? In a world that is filled with misinformation and changes every day, yes - it’s probably the most valuable amenity.
Let’s say your property is in a popular ski area. There couldn’t be a more frustrating experience for guests than to show up and realise that time on the mountain now has to be booked in advance due to capacity limitations, and they miss out on their snow holiday. If there’s an attraction that most of your guests come for, keep them updated with the latest protocols. Providing information around your cleaning protocols is also a necessity these days.
Local food delivery
Food is a huge component of travelling for many people. But with the pandemic forcing restaurants around the globe to shutter their doors, culinary experiences have been limited to take-out and delivery. Creating a restaurant guide with information on nearby hotspots that deliver can save your guests the hassle of searching around.
A well-stocked kitchen
For guests who prefer to cook their own meals, a well-stocked kitchen - with cooking basics like oil, seasonings and sauces - can be a real drawing card. To really surprise and delight guests on arrival, consider a small welcome pack with a few snacks or fresh kitchen items.
Local craft products
With more people travelling to driveable destinations, this is an opportunity to showcase your location, benefit from word-of-mouth marketing and leverage the popularity of ‘buying local’.
If there are craft producers in your area, consider partnering with them to offer your guests samples and a way for them to buy the products they like. This is a chance to get some high-margin upsells and raise your revenue per stay. Keep in mind, your guests are from nearby, so you’ll have to be really local to impress them.
Unique design and luxurious touches
More than ever, people are booking based on the property itself, rather than the area or proximity to attractions. People just wanting to ‘get away’ - maybe looking at a nearby destination that they’ve been to before - will be searching for a property that stands out, where the stay itself is the experience.
Set yourself apart with unique design (A-frame cabins are performing exceptionally well in the Pacific Northwest, a region in North America) or luxurious touches (jacuzzi, anyone?). Make sure you show off your property’s unique selling points with great photos.
- With a heightened focus on remote working and schooling, a work-friendly setup will be key for accommodations moving forward
- Offering basic workout equipment - such as yoga mats or jump ropes - can help you to stand out to health-conscious travellers
- While it was a trend before the pandemic, contactless entry is even more important now. According to an Operto survey, 81% of travellers like self check-in
- Creating a restaurant guide with information on local hotspots can save your guests the hassle of searching around