The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is expected bring new trends in the travel and tourism industry, emerging from the desire of travelers for safe but also vivid experiences.
Travel and hospitality professionals expect the sector to undergo significant changes as soon as the pandemic subsides and travel resumes.
Speaking during the virtual 22nd Annual Capital Link – Invest in Greece Forum, Lampsa Hellenic Hotels Senior Executive Director Chloe Maria Laskaridis said that today’s guest looks for five prerequisites when searching for hospitality services:
- The first is cleanliness. Today’s guests are very strict when it comes to cleanliness and hygiene, and hotels must take measures to make them feel safe
- Technology has always been paramount and will become even more important in the future
- Travelers place much more value on experiences rather than luxury. They wish for their room to be nice but they also want hotels to offer them experiences that they will remember
- People also look for longer stays as many continue to work remotely
- Wellness has been very trendy during the last two years and will continue to be as travel resumes.
Leisure travel to resume first
Along with the new trends, Laskaridis expects leisure travel to be the first segment to restart once the global pandemic subsides, with resorts attracting the interest of travelers.
“Resorts in the summer did much better than city hotels. People want to be outside, near nature, in less populated areas. Resorts will become more popular in the short-term compared to densely populated areas where people are still weary about Covid-19,” she said.
She also predicts that MICE tourism will carry on in a hydrid or digital form while cruise travel will continue to be an issue of concern for Athens’ hotels in the near future.
Looking ahead, Laskaridis said that Greece should seek for ways to improve some of the problems that affected its tourism industry even before the pandemic.
“Greece needs to improve its tourism infrastructure, extend seasonality, protect its natural beauty and the environment, and create a stable legal urban framework for investments,” she added.
Technology is essential
On his side, Avis CEO Andreas Taprantzis agrees that technology is key for the development of the Greek tourism industry in the post-Covid-19 era.
During the Capital Link Forum, he said the car rental sector is directly linked to the tourism industry, since around 15 percent of leisure travelers rent a car.
“If you take into account that we also serve groups of 3 to 4 people, it is clear that almost half of leisure travelers make car rentals. Touchless car deliveries and Covid-19-free services have become essential and this trend is expected to continue after the launch of [Covid-19] vaccinations,” he said.
“What is more, we believe that new travelers will appreciate the efforts of service providers to offer a more private and less-crowded experience,” he added.
Avis is a leading car rental company in Greece, operating a fleet of over 38,000 vehicles and a network of 80 stations. The company recently secured funding for the expansion of its fleet of electric and hybrid cars.