Comment by Karim Malak, easyHotel CEO (www.easyhotel.com)
2023 is likely to be another interesting year for the hospitality industry as cost-of-living pressures mean customers gravitate towards better value services, set against a backdrop of rising operational costs. For hotels to thrive in this period of economic downturn, adaptability is going to be key. Brands must tap into the needs of the customer and provide affordable experiences. Too many brands have started out as budget hotels and since gentrified their offer, becoming less affordable in the current market and less clear about what they offer. It’s important to have an offer which still lets customers travel and explore because there is still a demand for travel – a recent poll cited 76% of people surveyed still wanted to travel in 2023.
Research shows that customers are willing to pay more to stay in low-carbon, low-emission hotels. Carbon-zero flights and net-zero hotels will only increase and customers are being more discerning about hotels they choose to visit, looking for places which will either neutralise or reduce their carbon emissions. Low-carbon traditionally is not always associated with low price, so brands will need to work doubly hard to demonstrate that customers can enjoy affordable prices and low-emission solutions. It is important to implement proactive, and authentic low-carbon solutions, rather than lots of unspecific measures to compensate for higher emissions. And this doesn’t just apply to individuals – as we get closer to key Net Zero deadlines, more businesses will be looking to travel sustainably, from the choice of transport to the carbon rating of their hotel. Hotels that can adapt to the changing landscape and provide concrete low carbon solutions for their guests without compromising on comfort or cost – will be most likely to succeed and attract customer loyalty.