1. “I split my time between Paris, New York, and Tulsa.”

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A jet-setting lifestyle is not just for the rich and famous anymore – and frankly, my interest is piqued. 

Travel companies are looking for new ways to drive loyalty and repeat customers in a highly competitive landscape. One trend that has been picking up steam is the subscription model. Luxury vacation companies like Inspirato are offering Netflix-like experiences for travelers looking to live the digital nomad life. While millennials and gen-z are at the forefront of this trend, a recent article from the Observer suggested that we could see upwards of a billion digital nomads by the year 2035.  

To read more about this emerging trend, check out the observer article here.  

2. Cloning myself so I can travel everywhere, immediately. 

We’ve all seen the travel intention surveys. People are chomping at the bit to travel again.  

The up and down regulations due to the pandemic have made demand unpredictable and annual planning almost impossible. With the recent release of vaccines, Bloomberg reported hotel bookings have started to spike and hoteliers are feeling optimistic for now.    

But not so fast.  

Just one thing can get in the way. The economy. Furloughs and lay-offs have been the primary factor in the economic downturn – and with many struggling to make ends meet or get back on their feet, middle class travel may be slower to recover.   

3. Diversify, Diversify, Diversify. 

Hospitality companies – hotels, vacation rentals, and airlines – will all be looking for ways to diversify their offerings in order to future-proof their businesses. In our latest Vacation Rental Meme blog, we talked about Jetblue expanding their services into everything from cruises to vacation rentals to travel insurance. In the coming year, larger brands will start to blur the lines between hotels, vacation rentals, corporate housing, and travel experiences even more.  

As recently as this week, we saw Wyndham Destinations acquire Travel + Leisure Magazine. Brands like Marriott have seen incredible growth over the past year in their short-term rental side of the business.  These are not just survival strategies. They are thrivival strategies. I am sorry, that was terrible. 

4. (Contactless) Service with a (Digital) Smile 

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Your first instinct may be to hug every person you encounter once the spread of the virus is no longer a threat. Admittedly, I am not a hugger, but everyone that comes near me will be subjected to a side hug at the least. 

That said, the contactless experiences hotels and vacation rentals have adopted for the last year will likely remain in place. Germs and pandemic aside, leaning into contactless technology allows properties to reduce friction for guests and meet customers on devices and channels where they spend most of their time. In a recent Phocuswire article about technology trends in 2021, they dive into how digital personalization may be the way to replace the personal touch of hospitality – without jeopardizing the guest experience. Read the full article here

5. Like with television services, we will see the unbundling of hospitality technology 

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Over the years, we have seen a trend of consolidation within hospitality tech. Many companies are offering all-in-one software that promises to fit all needs in one swoop. In a recent session at Skift’s Short Term Rental & Outdoor Summit, Senior Research Analyst, Wouter Geerts, discussed the shift to democratization in hospitality tech – specifically in the short-term rental space where professionalization is picking up speed.  

A few months back, we partnered with the Sunshine Gals and Flip.to to discuss the importance of high-performing, specialized technology can take your revenue to the next level. Watch the on-demand webinar, Good Enough No Longer Cuts It: How to Transform Your Marketing For a Pandemic World.   

Stay tuned for the next installment of NAVIS’ Hospitality Industry (Meme) News, where we capture the latest buzz on the ground.