8 post-corona consumer trends that will shape the hospitality industry in 2022 and beyond

8 post-corona consumer trends that will shape the hospitality industry in 2022 and beyond

The last two years were probably the most challenging period in the history of the hotel & accommodation industry. However, problem-solving is what teaches us and makes us better at the result. This tough experience cheered up all the players in the industry. As we can see, not everyone stood this challenge. But, those who adapted to the new reality have opened up plenty of new business opportunities and have refined their services.

In this article, we will figure out the main post-corona consumer trends for the hospitality industry. It's not too late to implement them into your business strategy. Moreover, it's necessary if you want to get ahead of competitors.

What are the main trends?

Let's start with the critical post-corona hospitality trends and define the main ones.

Flexible reservations

Instability was a synonym for the pandemic period. Due to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements, thousands of trips and flights were canceled at the last moment. These ever-changing conditions were one of the most stressful factors for everyone. And for those who used to plan journeys in advance, it was a horror.

As a result, traveler behaviors have become more cautious, and they started making bookings much closer to the travel date. It has led to a strong preference for flexible bookings with the option for refunds. The hotels that provided ultra-flexible change and refund policies made the best decision for this challenging time. This kind of policy brings them a significant advantage over the competitors who skip this. Flexible reservations are an excellent way to calm clients in this volatile world with COVID-19-related uncertainties.


A wallet, a cellphone, a key, and… a mask. During the last two years, a mask has become that thing we are afraid to forget, leaving home. According to Bloomberg, 85 countries now have no Covid-19 entry requirements. However, mask-wearing is still a subject of discussion, which is especially relevant for hoteliers.

Even considering the fact that vaccination rates are high, we should remember that vaccines are not preventing transmission and severe disease. Many experts recommend people keep on protecting themselves using masks. Hence, the hoteliers have to find a balance between a «back-to-normal life» atmosphere and safety measures.


The contactless experience became a must for the hotel & accommodation industry. Mobile check-in is a vital element of the contactless concept. It helps to simplify the check-in process and make it much more comfortable and safe. HotelFriend's Concierge App – is one of the best examples of mobile check-in apps on the market, so if you are looking for a hotel self-check-in solution, that's what you need.


How does it work? Guest needs to submit documents and put a signature via the mobile concierge, and that's it. When the guest arrives, he only needs to take a key at the reception. Moreover, it allows customers to take advantage of other options. Users can pay for services and manage their bookings through the Concierge app. They can also communicate directly with staff via Live Chat.

According to a Deloitte study, moving customer touchpoints online is one of the critical post-corona consumer trends in hospitality. Hotels had already begun to provide contactless services to bypass the front desk with mobile check-ins and keys. These options were implemented for safety reasons, but as a result, they have paid off more than expected. This solution reduced costs and turned these cost savings into revenue drivers. Hence, it became essential for leading industry players to invest in similar no-contact technologies.

digital menus


Hotel restaurants, lobby bars, and buffets are places where people gather. During the pandemic, every area of people's gatherings has become a headache for hotel owners. It became necessary to redesign eating places and reduce the number of touchpoints, according to Covid-19 guidelines. A self-service model, which we are all used to, was replaced by sit-down restaurants with spaced seating, QR-code digital menus, antimicrobial surfaces, and other attributes of the post-corona era.

However, it's unprofitable for many hoteliers to run a restaurant, so they choose another option – grab-and-go food stations that employees operate. And the third solution for this case is to install a small kitchen within hotel rooms. It's not the cheapest decision, but it ensures guests' privacy and a feeling of home.



For all hotel operators who care about their reputation and guests' trust, it becomes obligatory to get cleaning certifications from third-party regulators/authorities. For this purpose, it's necessary to hire a cleanliness expert who trains hotel staff on proper Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-approved cleaning procedures. It helps ensure the property complies with government and health department guidelines.

Besides, increasing cleaning, disinfecting, and ventilating frequency is essential, as well as installing hand sanitizing stations and removing items not easily cleaned from guest rooms. All hand contact surfaces must be cleaned frequently to prevent the virus's transmission.

Entertainment in Hotel


Almost any kind of entertainment is synonymic with large gatherings of people, so most of the entertainment options were limited during the pandemic. Considering that entertainment is a crucial element of the whole travel & hotel industry, finding a safe alternative to hitting the town or going out to the club was complicated. Actually, there is no such alternative, so hoteliers concentrated on improving in-house entertainment. The main goal of this process is to make hotel rooms a comfortable environment to opt for classic entertainment in times of quarantine – eating takeout and watching movies or series. As for the city attractions, event venues, clubs, museums, and other places, mask-wearing, and social distancing have become essential to visiting any of them.

Online training for the staff

Most major hotel chains quickly trained staff to adopt and scale new cleaning standards. In response to Covid-19, a large variety of certification programs and courses have appeared on the market. There are plenty of examples, such as «Clean and Safe», «Safe hotels CovidClean», SafeStay by American Hotel&Lodging Association, AHA Hospitality and Tourism COVID-19 hygiene training program. They have been launched to prepare the hospitality industry for doing business in the new market realities. Specialized courses and guidelines include essential work environment hygiene, cleaning, and sanitizing practices, so it helps to train the personnel to work according to new Covid-19 requirements.

Discounts for medical workers

A list of industry players, from hotels to flights to rental cars, offered discounts for health care workers. Here are a few examples that we've found:

  • HotelPlanner: 65% off for hotels, event spaces, car rentals, and group travel.
  • Hotwire: extra 10% off1 Hot Rate® Hotel or Hot Rate® Car deals with a discount code.
  • Priceline: up to 60% off the bookings through Priceline.
  • Sixt: 5% discount on the bookings for nurses and first responders.
  • Caesar's and Harrah's: nurses and first responders get 30% off for stays at Caesar's hotels.

How is it going in different countries?

The U.K.

According to U.K. Hospitality Report, travel & hospitality business revenue is about to rise by 30%. Members of hospitality and leisure businesses, who were surveyed, answered that despite all the difficulties, the industry confidence remains high: 66% of respondents feel optimistic about the growth of their business in the next 12 months. Another positive trend is that profit levels are smoothly returning to pre-pandemic.

Here are a few more interesting facts from the «Hospitality in 2022» study:

  • ● 40% of consumers now prefer to use technology to book, order, and pay – it's 12% more than in August 2020.
  • ● 78% of consumers are still concerned about germs.
  • ● 79% of leaders have increased pay to attract and keep team members.


As for Australia, from March 2020 to the end of 2021, this country lost $147 billion in domestic and international tourism expenditure due to the international travel ban. In February 2022, this ban was finally lifted, and Australia reopened to international visitors, which boosted the recovery of the country's hospitality sector. Regardless the factors like inflation and increasing cost of living, people have a strong desire to travel, so expected that in 2022-2023 the travel market in Australia will recover to pre-pandemic levels.


The revival of the travel&hospitality industry in India started from domestic tourism. Indian travelers started exploring less-known destinations in India while traveling abroad was banned, and this trend still exists. The popularity of domestic tourism allowed the local hospitality industry to reach the 50% mark of hotel occupancy in 2021/22.

Another significant milestone for the Indian hospitality industry is that the branded hotel room supply has crossed the mark of 150000 bookings in 2022. It's a tipping point because supply did outpace demand for the last two years, and now there is steady demand growth.

How the hotel industry has changed in the last years

Famous hotel groups are very concerned about their reputation, so following the post-corona trends is essential for them. Let's clarify their measures to protect their guests and staff.


An international chain of 5-star hotels, Hilton has dozens of hotels worldwide. In this case, providing the same rules for all hotels is impossible, so they follow local requirements related to COVID-19 restrictions. Hence, they ask guests to check if there are any guidelines from local health authorities.

In the early days of the pandemic, Hilton responded quickly to this challenge and provided effective safety measures. They created their safety program, CleanStay, in partnership with Lysol & Dettol. Besides, they implemented the opportunity of contactless check-in through the Hilton Honors app.


This famous hotel chain launched Marriot Global Cleanliness Council to tackle the pandemic realities. This program aimed to enhance hospitality cleanliness and safety standards and minimize risks to guests. As part of the program, Marriot rolled out new cleaning innovations. One of them is electrostatic sprayers with disinfectant, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) to treat known pathogens. Hotel staff can use them for cleaning and disinfecting guest rooms, lobbies, and other public areas. Moreover, the hotel chain provided ultraviolet light technology for sanitizing keys for guests and devices shared by associates.

As for contactless solutions, they provided an option of pre-check-in through the Marriot Bonvou app to avoid unnecessary contact. It also allows getting a digital mobile key for contactless room access. Mask-wearing and social distancing are no longer required for fully vaccinated guests.


Hyatt hotels worldwide keep on following preventive measures to care about guests and staff. The hotel chain has its own Hyatt's Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment, which includes:

  • ● Trained Hygiene & Wellbeing Leader or team at all Hyatt hotels
  • ● GBAC STARTM cleanliness and training accreditation process through the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) at all Hyatt hotels*
  • ● Experienced medical and cross-functional industry advisors

All Hyatt hotels are required to follow regional requirements. For example, in the U.S., masks are no longer needed for guests and staff, regardless of their vaccination status.


To improve safety standards, Radisson hotels partnered with Ecolab company. Ecolab provided them with training for hotel team members to educate them on the most up-to-date health and safety protocols. They increased cleaning and disinfection frequency throughout the hotels, installed hand sanitizing stations in public areas, and provided contactless communication whenever possible.

Regarding masks, they are no longer required for fully vaccinated guests and hotel team members, as well as social distancing. However, the hotel will consider it if it is required by local law.

Holiday Inn

As for Holiday Inn, they follow a different set of guidelines. Their Covid-19 minimum health & safety standards include a plan based on recommendations set by local and national Public Health authorities. Posters through the hotels remind guests of crucial health care rules during these times: handwashing, respiratory hygiene, and other preventative measures.

Holiday Inn provided additional training for cleaning staff to enhance cleaning and provided them with appropriate PPE as recommended by the WHO. They changed hotel cleaning protocols, enhanced rigorous cleaning and disinfection of guest rooms, and increased its frequency. In addition, they installed hand wash stations and hand sanitizer dispensers in public areas of the hotel.

Booking services

Booking services


One of the leading players in the travel booking industry created a page with all information about current travel restrictions. On this page, they added the interactive map, using which users can easily find all the information needed. A third party, Sherpa, provides the information in this tool. Besides, there is a FAQ with lots of helpful information for travelers.

Starting from April 6, 2020, the service advises considering the risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and associated government measures. The main point that clients should consider is that during pandemic times, booking an option with free cancellation is especially important. There is also a cancellation policy related to coronavirus: it's possible to cancel a reservation due to the Covid-19 circumstances, but the result depends on a few factors, including your destination, booking date, departure and arrival date, country of origin, and reason for traveling. If the client cancels due to one of these factors, the property must provide a refund, offer a free date change, or credit for a future booking.


Expedia created a COVID-19 travel guide, which includes articles about the most popular travel issues related to the pandemic: travel restrictions and health advisories, rules of safety traveling, refund and cancellation policy, etc. The travel booking platform also added a Free cancellation filter, which allows finding suitable options at the top of search results.

There is a similar option for flight search as well. Most airlines don't offer free cancellation, but, at the same time, many of them propose an opportunity to reschedule a flight without a change fee. Passengers only need to pay a price difference between the original and the new ticket. Expedia provided a No change fee flights filter in the list of filters on the left to simplify the search.


Booking's sister company has demonstrated its response to the Covid-19 challenge. In less than two weeks, they created a unique feature – EasyCancel. This tool allows hotels and properties worldwide to offer guests advanced booking flexibility and the opportunity to cancel bookings as late as 24 hours before arrival.

Moreover, Agoda created the program to support the accommodation partners. «And to help our partners drive more bookings, we would add a badge to properties that joined EasyCancel in different places in the reservation funnel. So the properties would stand out, and our guests would have better visibility to the program as well as more ease of mind when making a booking», – said Ido Hertz, Senior Product Manager of Agoda.

Besides this tool, there is an article on Agoda's website with detailed information about travel restrictions in different countries.


In March 2020, the world's biggest accommodation reservation service provided an «Extenuating Circumstances» cancellation policy for home and experience reservations. This policy allowed travelers to cancel a booking if they or the host contracted COVID-19. According to the rules, guests could pick a refund or travel credit options, and hosts were able to cancel without any charging fee or impacting their Superhost status.

However, starting May 31, the platform no longer applies this "extenuating circumstances policy" for reservations. Instead, the service returned the host's cancelation policy. The only exception is domestic reservations in South Korea.

Beyond the new cancellation policy, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Airbnb also provided The Cleaning Protocol – a set of cleaning & sanitizing standards that remain in place.


Even after COVID-19 fades, these post-corona innovations will persist, and hotel brands can avoid becoming a hotspot for any infection. The pandemic period was incredibly difficult for hoteliers, but it became a point of growth for many. These challenges in hospitality industry allowed hotel brands to improve their service, win clients' trust, and establish themselves as an authority due to these changes. Hotel industry players must accept this reality and proactively shift their thinking when it comes to cleanliness, social distancing, and the ways guests will expect to travel in the future. Stay informed about the latest trends in hospitality industry with HotelFriend!

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