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How the pandemic changed travelers—and people: 4 insights for hospitality marketers

by | Nov 18, 2021 | Marketing, Public Relations

There’s no doubt that the pandemic modified travel—but that’s just part of the story. New research from Hilton unpacks how the pandemic changed people. The hospitality chain’s newly released 2022 Traveler: Emerging Trends and the Redefined Traveler dives into an important truth: in two years, people’s lives were dramatically altered and it radically changed people.

The report examines the macro trends and changes that have emerged and will continue to thrive in 2022. Using insights from Dr. Kate Cummins, travel psychology expert, and industry leaders from across Hilton, the report explores four consistent themes that summarize the new, pandemic-changed traveler, which is fueling several emerging travel trends.

How the pandemic changed travelers—and people: 4 insights for hospitality marketers

The latest travel and hospitality trends include:

Amid chaos, people found efficiencies—and will be looking for the same in travel

People expect efficiencies and convenience after on-demand services, grocery deliveries and other time-saving measures became a part of everyday life. Hilton anticipates shifts like contactless payments and digital check-ins to become more appreciated than ever before.

Overall focus on wellness will span beyond the gym

The wellness vertical has moved beyond the spa and the gym. From bringing your dog along for the trip to creating spaces with more natural light and indoor plants, mental and physical wellness is a focus that will continue to grow.

How the pandemic changed travelers—and people: 4 insights for hospitality marketers

They nurtured new and existing passions and will have more refined tastes and preferences

After months of baking sourdough breads and planting victory gardens, people have new hobbies and passions, and they’re expecting to pack their passions while traveling. Culinary and integrated experiences are expected to be in high demand.

A new sense of caring has emerged and is expected to strengthen

Today’s traveler is more in tune with people and places, caring more about sustainability, local communities, people and brands that align with their values.

Catering to this change, travelers can expect a rise in pet-friendly and sustainable travel options, unique food and beverage experiences and menu changes, and more offerings catered to guests’ health and overall wellbeing—and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The report outlines changes to guest preferences across the entire hotel experience, backed by internal booking and revenue data, guest feedback, third-party research and more.

How the pandemic changed travelers—and people: 4 insights for hospitality marketers

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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