Restless travelers are ready to bring back leisure tourism and according to a recent study, the numbers are confirming it. Airports are busy again, hotel rates are on the rise, and beach destinations have been as close to “normal” as we’ve seen since early 2020.
Tourism and hospitality will not return to “business as usual” for quite some time, but the idea of revenge travel is giving the industry hope. The concept of revenge travel is simple: People have been locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are ready to get back to spending and traveling with a vengeance.
Frequent flier miles have added up, cancelled trips are being redeemed, vaccinations are more widespread, and people are ready to go. Consumer wanderlust has only been amplified by the pandemic, but the way they travel may differ for a while. Domestic travel will be the first to see a surge, with locations in driving distance taking the lead.
But will revenge travel be enough? Simply put, no.
Marketing to travelers has changed and how companies will gain long-term business has shifted. The emphasis is now on reassurance, making people feel safe, highlighting flexible cancellation policies, cleaning protocols and unique features that allow for social distancing and open air.
Ideabar has partnered with Dania Pointe, a premier mixed-use development, as they prepared for a resurgence of the tourist market. Across 102 acres of retail, restaurants, event space, hotels and luxury apartments are complimentary masks and hand-sanitizing stations to give visitors peace of mind.
Outdoor adventures have been popular for the past year and will remain so as people continue to play it safe, spending as much time outside as possible when traveling. Beaches, national parks and state recreation areas have seen a spike, while indoor spaces and hotels are slow to keep up. Properties and resorts with an open floor plan, outdoor spaces and al fresco dining are seeing higher booking rates, leading many hotels to rethink their design.
2021 has been a year of renovation in the hospitality industry, from adding outdoor lounges and patio dining to reconfiguring lobbies for better flow and social distancing. The importance of keeping hotel guests safe and healthy has become the number one priority. Enhanced cleaning protocols are in place and the traditional pen and notepad in the room have been replaced with sanitation kits and single-use cleaning wipes. Touchless technology allows for check-in from your computer or a mobile app where room keys are accessible. Sustainability continues to be an important factor for guests, and many of these new initiatives are in line with existing conservation plans.
Through a national and local multi-channel campaign targeted to key drive markets, Ideabar reassured prospective guests on behalf of Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. Our team led the development of all resort reopening needs after the temporary pandemic closure. Agency services included overall strategy, ad planning, media buys and collateral design that included interactive pieces, signage, masks and safety videos. In 2021, the resort’s average room rate was up year-over-year for Q1 with a majority of guests being first-time visitors.
Business travel will be the slowest to return as many companies have shifted their plans completely, cutting travel expenses, reducing staff and shifting to remote work options and virtual meetings. The business sector will be one market to keep a close eye on as more offices reopen and events, conferences and trade shows continue to take place.
Ideabar has offices in West Palm Beach and Atlanta, two cities known for leisure tourism and business travel. Our experienced team is ready to help you redevelop your tourism strategy, build awareness, drive business and deliver ROI.