Issue No.07 — Wanderlust

01 of 04
July 2021

Venturing into post pandemic consumer mindsets and priorties

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INSIGHT

Even thinking about the possibility of travelling again makes consumers feel happier and more hopeful.

In fact, pent-up demand is so strong, 56% say they are willing to book a trip despite a risk of future cancellation, according to new research from American Express.

However, priorities have shifted. Post-pandemic US consumers favour local or domestic destinations and experiences over international travel, with a desire to avoid major tourist spots.

This holds true in Europe, where 'second cities' and lower-profile areas are experiencing a rise in demand over the usual hotspots.

The pandemic has also accelerated the trend towards more sustainable consumption.

68% of consumers are trying to be more aware of sustainability-friendly travel brands to support, with 54% believing it’s more important to reduce their own carbon footprint since COVID-19.

So how are travel & hospitality brands tapping into these new mindsets, and keeping customers loyal?

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Bookings rise in 2021 for Seville

STRATEGY

Hotels, airlines and hospitality brands are overhauling their membership programmes and loyalty schemes in a bid to attract the post-pandemic traveller.

Members-only Exclusive Resorts protects its luxury residences and ability to provide a highly personalised service by welcoming a maximum of 100 new families into the fold each year.

Cause-driven loyalty schemes, such MISSION by SH offer different 'Give Back' options for guests to offset emissions from their travel plans, helping eco-conscious travellers feel good about their trips.

Meanwhile, locally-owned hotels are taking a different approach to rewards, encouraging travellers to explore immediate neighbourhoods and promoting local businesses after a year of lockdown and closures. Copenhagen-based Brøchner Hotels’ Go Local campaign offers discounts and other perks at nearby restaurants, independent brands and wellness spaces to both guests and local residents.

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MISSION by SH rewards – courtesy of 1 Hotels

DESIGN

Growing concerns regarding health, hygiene, and wellbeing, coupled with a longing to connect with serene landscapes and tranquil urban environments, are driving the evolution of hotel and resort design and amenities.

In this evolving landscape, natural surroundings emerge as pivotal elements, integrating seamlessly with both architecture and the guest experience. For instance, Rojkind Arquitectos' design for Ummara, a forthcoming holiday retreat nestled in Mexico's Valle de Guadalupe, harmonizes effortlessly with the surrounding desert mountains.

Elsewhere, Kruger Shalati's repurposed train carriages atop Skukuza Bridge not only offer a luxurious escape but also ingeniously transform social distancing and a yearning for nostalgic travel into an unparalleled experience.

Simultaneously, city-centre hotels and residences are reinventing themselves as urban sanctuaries, prioritising the restoration of wellbeing. These spaces feature amenities such as treatment rooms, traditional baths, meditation areas, yoga studios, and guided nature walks, all aimed at reintroducing tranquillity to urban life. Reflecting this trend, Aman debuted its inaugural urban Aman Residences in New York in spring 2021.

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Ummara – courtesy of Rojkind Arquitectos