Recent research carried out by TravelNest gave insight as to how the coronavirus pandemic is influencing travellers’ accommodation preferences. The survey, conducted in May, asked 350 UK-based participants about their feelings towards future travel once restrictions are lifted.
Most interestingly, only 33 per cent of respondents plan to stay in hotel accommodation. Instead, the majority would now choose alternative accommodation to reduce social contact –irrespective of a hotel’s social distancing measures.
But limiting unnecessary social interaction is not their only priority; cleanliness and hygiene are too. On a list of important amenities and services, more than 80 per cent of respondents selected a ‘professional deep clean before my stay.’ Similarly, access to cleaning supplies and a checklist for cleaning procedures to be available before reservation are also necessities.
However, while robust cleaning and hygiene procedures are highly valued, guests expect them to be standard – they are not prepared to pay extra for them. Consequently, accommodation providers will need to absorb any additional costs themselves or augment their rates to include it.
Although the research focused on respondents’ thoughts about personal travel, it’s conceivable attitudes will carry over to business travel. The shift in accommodation preferences could, therefore, encourage employees to insist on alternative serviced accommodation for company travel.
Looking to the future, benefits like the ability to control social mixing and deliver (and guarantee) a high standard of cleanliness for each stay may well see serviced accommodation secure a larger share of corporate travel programmes.