Luxury and amenities were once top of mind when we looked at booking hotels, ensuring comfort and things-to-do were taken care of. But since Covid-19 has shaken the travel and hospitality industries – and demanded that we pay closer attention to issues such as cleanliness and safety – things are a heck of a lot more different.
According to a recent report by Skye Suites Australian Hotels, over 1 in every 2 Australians (56%) say that space and safety are priorities when booking they go to book a hotel, post-pandemic.
Where once, luxury pools and a hotel’s ‘Insta-worthiness’ was a dealbreaker, the report has revealed that more than half of Australians are prioritising a hotel’s space and safety features, highlighting the changing travelling preferences while living in the ‘new normal’ age.
Sixty-eight per cent said location was still an important factor.
Other key factors that were found to be at the top of hotel wish-lists were a hotel’s ratings and service offerings, and flexibility and functionality.
Says Iwan Sunito, CEO of Skye Suites Australian Hotels and Crown Group Chairman, “We’re really encouraged by the results of the report and to see that we are already leading the way, offering these key qualities across our properties in Sydney, Green Square and Parramatta.”
Skye, like other hotel groups around the country, are designing and redesigning hotels with security and peace of mind for their guests considered high priorities.
Covid has particularly fast-tracked the desire and need for futuristic features but also, as the report supports, a stronger desire for basic needs such as space and safety, with guests being offered suites that are double the size of an average hotel room and following all Covid regulations, and balconies where available for fresh air and open views.
There appeared to be a difference in priorities according to generation. Older generations of Baby Boomers (61%) and those in the ‘Silent generation’ (70%) are more likely to say space and safety is an important factor, compared to Gen Z (49%) and Gen X (50%) who looked more toward the other factors.
Overall ‘Insta-worthy’ features (20%) and the architecture and design of a hotel (19%) were less important to people when selecting a hotel to stay in, however, Gen Z Australians are more likely to stay at a hotel with ‘Insta-worthy’ features (30%) compared to Millennials (18%).
Findings that provide an important snapshot of contemporary Australian hospitality, to be sure.
MAIN FINDINGS FROM THE SKYE SUITES AUSTRALIAN HOTELS SURVEY
Space and safety 56% of Australian’s chose space and safety as a top priority in their hotel decision making process, including facilities such as spacious hotel suites, large balconies with access to fresh air.
Location: an obvious, yet important factor for Australians currently booking hotels. While border and travel restrictions remain up in the air, travellers are nowadays more likely to have an exact location in mind that they want to travel to over casually browsing for hotel packages and specials.
Escape: two fifths (39%) of Australians opted for hotels that offered an urban oasis that won’t require them to travel far for shops, pampering and restaurants.
Hotel rating and service offerings: as travel has been limited this year, the report demonstrates 4 in 10 (38%) Australians are currently choosing a hotel based on the star rating and service offerings.
Flexibility and functionality: 36% of respondents say this is important, especially offerings such as business centre facilities, kitchenettes and adjustable bedding configurations.