December 17, 2021
As we head into 2022, hoteliers are optimistic about the upswing in travel the New Year could bring. With hotel occupancy peaking at 60% of pre-pandemic levels in July 2021 (nearly double the amount of the same month the year prior), there have been promising surges, but there is still significant room for growth.
Globally, 53% of hoteliers expect 2022 to bring occupancy levels back on par with 2019. While the positive trends we are seeing are good reason for optimism, hotels must equip themselves to be as self-sufficient as possible to both make the most of travel surges and protect themselves from looming threats such as new variants of the virus.
Our report taps into how hotels can capitalize on expected trends as the world's appetite for travel continues to grow.
Travelers are in search of unique, transformative vacations, especially after a period that made everyone remember how unpredictable life can be. People are seizing the moment to go on trips they may never have another opportunity to experience, and bookings for far-flung destinations are soaring. With a 36% boost in safari-related searches for Tanzania, and Machu Picchu bookings increasing by 50%, people are itching to explore exotic locales.
By partnering up with Selfbook, hotels can also maximize the boom in guests searching for out-of-the-ordinary experiential holidays by embedding add-ons, whether a hot-air balloon outing at dawn or a guided Kilimanjaro hike, directly into the booking flow. Giving guests the opportunity to seamlessly explore the full range of services and additions that can be selected to enhance their trip – all without any redirects – means they can truly make this the trip of a lifetime.
Postponed weddings, graduation ceremonies, and honeymoons that were put on pause are starting to resume, with people ready to make up for lost time. The numbers are nothing to sneeze at: 2.6 million weddings are planned for 2022 in the US, breaking the record for an all-time high. The fanfare surrounding these celebrations, such as bachelor and bachelorette parties, is also surging – Las Vegas alone has seen a 61% increase in searches.
Group travel and coming together with friends and family is a priority for most, and is set to be on the rise from the winter holidays through wedding season and beyond. Thanks to Selfbook’s Direct Links functionality, which allows hotels to share customizable, directly bookable links across channels, hotels can generate interest in these people-focused trips by pre-loading group and special promo codes for larger parties into the links before sharing them in ads, email campaigns, and on social media.
Whether a five-star foodie voyage or an indulgent spa weekend away, holidaymakers are ready to treat themselves after years of at-home face masks and baking attempts. With some guests booking holidays with private chefs up to a year in advance, the indulgent side of the vacations ahead is apparent.
Trips with a focus on self-care, largely in the form of spa getaways, are also set to rise following an unusually high-stress period. After all, 84% of travelers mention the positive effect of a vacation on their emotional wellbeing, with three quarters of people saying it helps them relax more than anything else.
Those who have been dreaming up their ultimate getaway during lockdown now have the tools to put their plans to paper with Selfbook’s add-ons feature. Hotels can seamlessly display all of their culinary and wellness options directly within the booking flow, so planners at heart can easily map out every detail of their trip. Whether adding a cooking lesson, Michelin-starred dinner reservation, or massage to their stay, guests can click and add services to their heart’s content, elevating their long-awaited escape and making it the ultimate experience for the senses.
After spending two years cooped up at home in many cases, travelers’ adventurous spirit is letting loose through the destinations and activities they choose. Another way it’s making itself known? Guests are becoming more confident with their bookings, planning international trips well in advance.
That being said, people are still remaining cautious, particularly as the Omicron variant spreads. 78% of guests say simple cancellation policies might sway their decision when it comes to picking a hotel as they gradually regain their comfort with booking further in advance. Selfbook’s built-in cancellation capability enables guests to cancel their reservation directly within their account, creating an automatic benefit for customers who value the flexibility when booking their hotel ahead of time.
For guests who are still reticent to book far in advance, hotels can make the most of Selfbook's quick and easy booking capabilities to drive last-minute reservations. This is particularly doable thanks to Direct Links, which can be shared on Instagram and across other channels to spark spontaneous bookings among those who want to keep an eye on the news.
After a two-year struggle, it finally seems like hotels will be able to come out on top, so long as they have the tools and technology that can cushion them from potential bumps along the road to recovery.
Tap into the hospitality trends of 2022 and maximize your direct bookings, all while protecting your hotel, with Selfbook.
By Haley Crawford