Travelers in 2021 no longer want the same travel experiences as their friends and neighbors. They want a unique vacation handcrafted for their trip. Travelers are moving away from large chain resorts and towards individually owned and operated hotels. The trend of seeking out irreplaceable experiences and doing away with cookie-cutter trips has seeped into every aspect of travel from planning onward.
To find out what’s in store for The Future of Independent Hotels: Why Some Travelers Will Go the Extra Mile for a Unique Hotel Experience & Avoid Hotel Chains at All Cost, continue reading below.
What are independent hotels?
Today, independent hotels make up nearly 40% of the marketplace, but are becoming increasingly in vogue. What’s apparent is that independent hotels are more likely to offer novel experiences.
As small businesses, independent hotels are built around the concepts of passion and service. Many independent hotels are the products of a single person’s hard work and passion, and that is reflected in the quality of service and reputation at those properties. As hard as larger hotel chains try, they will never be able to replicate authentic passion.
Who’s booking independent hotels
When one reads of the latest trends in travel or otherwise, they often assume these trends are spearheaded by younger generations who, as studies have shown, prioritize experiences above all else.
While it may be true that younger generations prioritize travel over material possession, it is also true that travel spending is increasing across the board. In fact, in 2019, travel spending increased across all generations. On average, millennials spent $4,400 on travel, while Boomers spent $6,600, and Gen-Xers $5,400.
Based on these statistics, it’s safe to say that there is no single type of traveler or demographic booking independent hotels, but rather, travelers across the board are increasingly tired of hotel chains and are willing to go the extra mile to avoid them.
Why are travelers booking independent hotels?
The independent hotel is an experience worth writing home about. Compared to large chains, these hotels offer intimate settings that are first, and foremost, service oriented.
This passion for excellent service stems from the pride these hoteliers feel as small business owners. Every guest’s experience is valued the same, but each of their stories are unique. Travelers want to book hotels where they can create lasting memories, not just cookie cutter travel experiences.
This emphasis placed on experiential travel is a trend that appears to be here to stay. Independent and boutique hotels far exceed their larger competitors at creating one-of-a-kind, authentic travel experiences. So much so that even larger chains are rebranding individual properties to avoid brand association.
How can independent hotels compete with large chains?
Competing with massive hotel chains with seemingly endless resources is no easy feat for a small business. Hotel chains have the luxury of multi-department corporate staffing, and many individually owned hotels do not. Fortunately for independent hotels, they have the option to outsource their call center. Having a reservation department or call center that fulfills that level of service on every call is vital to creating a service-oriented experience, the kind travelers won’t get from digital booking platforms.