The new era post pandemic has caused a ripple in the digital landscape around the globe. In an (International Data Corporation) IDC research report the new spending on digital transformation worldwide is expected to reach more than $2 trillion by 2022 compared to $1 trillion in 2018.
The result? A “new guest” – which consists of a digitally conscious customer that looks to the digital experience.
This new type of guest is aware and is looking to make the right choice, irrespective of the cost incurred. Hotels today are receiving more inquires and messages with August seeing up to 237 messages in a month per property which is a 40% increase year on year.
Interestingly the total share of messages inquiring about COVID restrictions has dropped by almost 40% since March, showing more awareness of the traveler, and at the same time, displaying their willingness to travel again which definitely provides optimism to the industry.
Staycations make up to 45-50% of the total messages received by every property each month, confirming that staycation is the preferred mode of vacation now.
What do the new guests treasure the most?
The new guest needs the right service and digital experiences to make them feel safe and guide them. It is also vital for brands to build a data security strategy into the customer experience due to the sensitive nature of the customer data. The new guest is aspirational and sensitive to the current situation, equipped with the right information, so brands need to place safety and health at the forefront of the experience and ensure that regulations are maintained to follow the social distancing protocols in physical experiences and that no false information is provided to the customers.
Paving the way for the “New Guest”
The new guest’s digital approach should be to build strategies that allow brands to understand and anticipate the needs of the guest. Brands need to leverage data using competitive intelligence and provide predictive pricing capabilities to understand the needs of the guest and find new ways to full-fill them. An optimized distribution channel and health and security strategy built into the customer experience, brands can create personalized online experiences for the new guest while allowing them to feel safe and guiding them. A customer-centric approach to digital transformation and distribution is what enhances a brand’s visibility and reputation.