COVID Cleaning Standards
Nearly 40% of those polled said they intended to travel over the next 3 months. Additionally, participants in the survey had a lot to say about their requirements for clean and safe hotels and here are points for hoteliers to consider:
40% of respondents expect staff to wear protective gear, such as face masks;
More than 50% of respondents expect hand sanitizer to be available throughout the hotel and enhanced cleaning regimes;
Vacation rental guests similarly expect new cleaning standards, with more than 50% expecting hand sanitizer on property;
Nearly half also expect a company-wide cleanliness standard for vacation rentals comparable to hotels.
Economy Hotel Boom
Searches for 5-star hotels are down and the Expedia Group search data shows a 9-point increase from mid-April to mid-May in the number of searches for 2-star hotels. This shows that lower price points are a factor in booking decisions now more than ever. In fact, BVA BDRC research says that online travel agency interest has spiked up by 57% with 73% claiming cost savings as their primary reason. To meet traveler expectations on price, hotels should consider adding flexible rates and promotions to draw attention to their listings.
More and more Americans are considering traveling by car this year. This number is up 20% from last year. This move towards more individual travel is echoed across the industry with 25-35% decreases in train, ship and plane booking and a rise in RV purchases and rentals.\ Only 15% of consumers polled plan to book a flight for a trip in the next month, with around 1 in 10 showing interest within the next one to three months. Hoteliers have to consider how to market specifically to this larger group of road travelers.
Although most are interested in visiting family in the short term, 47% of BVA BDRC survey respondents also showed interest in natural destinations due to their remoteness. Sporting activities, both watching and participating, are the least likely trip type compared to their normal and past behavior, with 35% saying they are significantly less likely to plan a trip around one. To increase confidence among travelers planning trips to visit friends and families, hotels are encouraged to add refundable rates plans that allow for cancellations or changes without fees.