Hotels could be in for a long recovery based on findings in a new survey of 1,000 travelers from market research firm Magid.
Earlier in the pandemic, hotels unveiled stricter cleaning protocols to assure travelers and chided vacation and short term rentals for lacking cleaning standards. According to the survey, the new cleaning protocols at hotels have not swayed travelers’ confidence or bookings significantly.
42% said they didn’t trust hotel brands to ensure health and safety standards. “None of this is working,” said Rick Garlick, vice president and strategy consultant at Magid. “People still believe that travel locations, buildings [and] facilities are petri dishes to spread Covid-19. People don’t trust hotels, cruise lines, airlines to enforce the very guidelines they say they’re going to implement.”
Another sobering finding from Magid: Travelers’ willingness to take a trip in the next 12 months dropped 29% between April and August—whether or not a vaccine existed. That loss could result in a loss of $75 billion for the industry.
Garlick warned, “They’ve [hotels] got to get the word out about everything they’re doing. The trust isn’t there.”
Meanwhile, travelers did not hesitate to book vacation rentals, which saw strong May and June bookings. Vacation rentals have been able to drive pricing compared to hotels. For travelers, it seems that the location and density of lodging are more important than hotels’ enhanced cleaning protocols hotels.