We’ll soon be ringing in the new year, and what a wild ride this year has been in the world of hospitality. At the top of everyone’s mind has been the need for recovery and adaptability to changing circumstances. The good news is that consecutive growth is forecasted for the hospitality industry, according to Bob Rauch, President of RAR Hospitality.  

So, what’s next for hospitality in 2022? Read on to discover the five trends we see coming our way.  

Digitalization of Hospitality

Creating a safe environment for guests and employees alike is something that is of utmost importance both presently and moving forward. New ways to automate processes and oversee workflows will be an integral part of that mission. 

OpenGeeksLab explains that hotels may begin to offer innovative technology solutions. This will include features like check-in automation, virtual reality tours, new booking technology, personalized guest service, and even smart rooms. 

Less is More 

With more millennials in the workforce now than Baby Boomers, the go-green sustainability movement has officially spread to the hospitality industry. The demand is clear: brands with involvement in environmental and social issues will be drastically supported, states group management solutions platform, Social Tables. What does this look like? In short, less waste.

For example, water conservation, single-use plastic reduction, and locally sourced foods and ingredients will be desired. Holly Friend of The Future Laboratory (one of the world’s largest futures consultancies) believes that straying away from the traditional hotel setup of shampoo and conditioner bottles, sewing kits, shower caps, and pamphlets will be replaced with luxury essentials and digital alternatives. 

Alone Together

International and business travel is anticipated to kick up in 2022 thanks to the U.S. reopening its borders to vaccinated non-citizens from 33 countries. Solo traveling will also continue to rise, creating a need for connection in unexpected ways.

Virtual lobbies will create a space for connection to whatever capacity the guests feel compelled. Small check-in desks in a lobby can create a more laid-back approach to welcoming guests. Easily accessible and informal hotel restaurants and bar areas allow solo travelers to find a place to relax and connect with other guests and staff. These shifts can create an entire sense of hotel community in these shared areas. 

Everything With Purpose

Travelers are more interested in the roots of their destination, thus creating another element of connection. Guests want to be able to hear about where they are and what there is to do from a local. This deepens the travel experience for the guest and allows for the staff to highlight community treasures. 

People crave purpose. So whether it be about sharing the local ingredients used in dishes served or about independent businesses within the community, guests want to know they are making a difference and contributing to a local economy. 

Home-Sharing is No Longer the New Kid on the Block

With the growth and immense popularity of short-term rental services like Airbnb, the hospitality industry has adapted and expanded. In the future, we can expect to see more creative and individualized properties, straying from the traditional hotel experience. Most people still believe that hotels are an overall better value than Airbnb. 

As we rapidly approach the new year, we can expect to see more business group travel and inflation pressures decreasing. With a continued rise in vaccinations, this will only boost people’s desire to travel. In regards to the employee shortage, it is also projected that by mid-2022 full employment will return. Although inflation has impacted consumers recently and supply chain disruptions are still a continuous wave to ride, hotel CEO’s still believe that by mid-2022, with testing and vaccinations in place, the hospitality industry will be back to peak 2019 numbers.