Is the Hospitality Industry Finally Putting COVID in the Rear-View Mirror? | By Alan Young

I know that everyone is tired of hearing about COVID-19 and its impact on the hotel and travel industry. I could not agree more. I am exhausted when it comes to the daily barrage of pandemic stories on the news, online, via social, etc. So, let us look to the future!

I have been talking with a number of our clients and industry colleagues, and it appears as if the hospitality business is indeed starting to pick up. When you sift through the bad news and proactively start going to reliable sources, such as the people on the hotel tech industry’s front lines, you do begin to hear about the increase in B2B business engagement. If businesses are starting to work together to plan for the future of travel, then most assuredly, we can expect an uptick in guests traveling on airlines and staying at hotels.

  • Retail sales in the US grew 5.3% in January from the prior month, beating economists’ projections. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected sales to grow 1.1%. The Commerce Department also revised December’s data lower, to a 1% decline from the previous 0.7%. But this does bode well for an increase in consumer confidence.
  • Economists in the US are swiftly upgrading their GDP and unemployment forecasts and pulling forward the date when the Federal Reserve will be able to lift rock-bottom interest rates.
  • Goldman Sachs is predicting the US economy will grow at the fastest clip in more than three decades.
  • Two factors drive the rekindled optimism: the health crisis is easing, and the US is coming to the rescue with staggering amounts of aid – hundreds of billions more than seemed to be in the cards just months ago.

When it comes to the travel and hotel industry, the news is starting to look good. This is just what our industry needs and wants.

  • Via the Daily Mail, Britons are banking on a staycation this summer: UK hotel and self-catering bookings for August are up 46% from last year, and the average length of stay is up by 56%, and the average price is up by a whopping 81%.
  • Via Reuters, Investors are watching next week’s earnings reports from hotels, cruise lines, and other businesses that COVID-19 has hard hit for indications of which companies could be the first to bounce back when the pandemic recedes. The fact that they are watching is a very good sign. It shows that there is interest in our sector and expectations are high for an excellent rebound.
  • The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) has seen great success with MIAMILAND. This comprehensive marketing campaign promotes Miami-Dade’s great outdoors, achieving 161,833 hotel bookings, nearly $100 million in hotel revenue, and strong regional awareness of Greater Miami’s many outdoor offerings.

The hotel technology landscape is starting to look much rosier as well. Sales are picking up, and the adoption of contactless technology, driven by the pandemic, is gaining traction. When reviewing the industry-specific channels, the announcements are promising. Fewer partnership releases and more business deals are seeing the “PR” light of day.

  • ROOMDEX, a pioneer in automated hotel upselling solutions, announces that Pacifica Hotels has activated ROOMDEX’s Upgrade OptimizerTM software in four hotels, including, Marina Del Rey Hotel (Venice, CA), Inn at the Pier (Pismo Beach, CA), Blue Sea Beach Hotel (San Diego, CA) and La Jolla Cove Hotel (La Jolla, CA).
  • INFOR announced that the five-star hotel El Palace Barcelona has chosen Infor Hospitality Management System (HMS) and Infor Sales and Catering System (SCS) to help provide a premium customer experience.
  • INTELITY®, the provider of hospitality’s most comprehensive guest experience platform, announced it has signed a deal with Bacau Bay Resort Coron in the stunning Philippine island region of Palawan to provide contactless service and seamless hotel experience to guests through the INTELITY platform.
  • ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, with its industrywide status as the leading innovator of hotel security access technology, has been selected by the Stock Exchange Hotel in the UK to implement VingCard Essence door locks equipped with Mobile Access.

There is so much more good news that could be highlighted in this article, but these are just a few of the stories going out over the last few weeks.

It is time to look ahead when it comes to the travel and hotel industry. Yes, we have been beat up by COVID-19, but we are definitely not down and out. By all means, keep an eye on the rear-view mirror so we can learn from the experiences we have endured but let’s look ahead to a much brighter future.

Alan Young

About Puzzle Partner

Puzzle Partner Ltd. is a boutique marketing agency focused exclusively on complex B2B initiatives for the travel and hospitality technology industry. We are experts at combining strategy and tactical execution in a way that doesn’t just maximize a company’s potential; it redefines it. By delivering influential content, marketing services, and public relations rooted in the skills of our team and tested through real-world experience, we help our clients gain visibility, raise their profile and ultimately increase their sales revenues. We incorporate a holistic blend of paid, earned and owned media, along with creative services, into an integrated communications strategy to drive brand awareness ahead of competitors and deliver impactful business results.

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