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Top 5 Hotel & Motel Trends in 2021 & Beyond

The hospitality industry experienced monumental changes and disruptions in 2020 due to the global pandemic. As a by-product of COVID-19 hoteliers have needed to adjust the way their customers are served, and improve their risk management and adaptation capabilities.

Entering 2021, New Zealand’s objectives are focused on recovery, resilience, and ensuring the hospitality industry as a whole is sustainable. In order to bounce back, businesses have quickly implemented innovative trends that will evolve how hotels and motels operate in the future.

Here are the top five hospitality trends to watch in 2021 & beyond:

1. Pave the way forward with sustainability:

As the hospitality industry looks to transform the way it conducts business it must examine important practices around waste prevention, recycling, and neutralizing carbon emissions. This topic has become heightened by the pandemic as 70% of global travellers say they would be more likely to book eco-friendly accommodation ( and would be willing to pay more to ensure minimised environmental impact (TUI Group).

Astro Hospitality, one of New Zealand’s most reputable mid-scale, upscale and luxury guest room specialists, can help. Astro’s environmental partnership, The Hotel WEKA, supports sustainability efforts with a recycling programme that stops used plastic bottles and tubes from going to the landfill. Eco-conscious investments not only benefit the planet but also enhances the environmentally-conscious guest experience.

2. Emerging technologies provide a higher standard of service:

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has placed an enormous amount of focus on the safety, health and well-being of guests. While vaccines offer hope for the hospitality industry it has become clear hotels and motels need to utilize emerging technologies to provide a higher standard of service.

As hoteliers rehabilitate themselves back into the market a key to success is joining the digital revolution, which ensures facility managers can safeguard the building occupants. Some of the technologies increasing in popularity include:

    • Touchless access control systems to prevent the spread of germs.
    • Greater remote management capabilities across all building systems.
    • Smart HVAC and building energy management.
    • Optimised network infrastructures to improve internal processes.
    • Ultraviolet light technology to disinfect spaces and surfaces.

Prioritising the use of digital tools will help your hotel increase operational efficiencies, save costs and generate additional revenue via guest bookings.

3. Online reputation management (ORM):

In today’s digital era the internet circulates content more rapidly than ever. With the growing popularity of social media having a solid online reputation is critical in achieving a positive brand identity. A single negative mention can affect how a hotel is perceived. If the situation isn’t managed correctly businesses may be impacted by low occupancy rates and lost revenue.

Hotels that understand the importance of what’s being said are allocating time and financial resources to online reputation management (ORM) processes. Utilizing specific techniques and strategies ensures the hotel is taking control of the online conversation and directing people to the correct materials. Doing so enables them to stay ahead of the competition, increase occupancy rates and ultimately boost their revenue stream. 

4. Build a resilient, capable domestic workforce:

With New Zealand’s border control measures in place for COVID-19, there has been a vast reduction in the number of overseas travellers and migrant workers entering the country. Due to this business operating models have become vulnerable as these demographics provide a valuable contribution to the hospitality industry by filling skill shortages.

To propel the sector forward and flourish, hotels need to bridge the skill shortage gap by focusing on training and retaining professional staff. Building a resilient, competent, and experienced domestic workforce will help secure the success of the hospitality industry in 2021 and beyond.

Hospitality New Zealand (HNZ), the voice of the industry, is eager to assist and has created the Springboard Programme. Seeking to unlock the industry’s full potential this programme will give businesses the jump-start they need to go the distance.

5. Support Domestic Tourism:

New Zealand is one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Prior to COVID-19, approximately 80 million people were actively thinking about coming for a holiday. Following restrictions that were enforced in 2020, the global tourism expenditure took a major hit and was $8.1 trillion lower than predicted (McKinsey & Co).

As we know tourism plays a key role in New Zealand’s economy. Luckily in 2020, 60% (23.7 billion) of the tourism expenditure was generated from Kiwis exploring their own country. Whether it’s the peak season or the offseason, the key to increasing your hotel’s profitability, and ensuring the hospitality sector recovers, is to create superior guest experiences.

Astro Hospitality has worked with hoteliers throughout New Zealand for the last 20 years and is recognised as a leading partner. As specialists, Astro takes the time to research global hotel design trends and hotel industry changes around the world. Astro considers every aspect of your guests’ stay while in their room because it’s all about those touchpoints that will enhance their visit. Keep your Kiwi brand alive by working with Astro, and create unforgettable guest stays they will want to rave about on social media.

About the author

Sabrina Justen

Sabrina is a seasoned digital marketing manager with 10+ years of B2B & B2C experience in the tech and SaaS space. She is focused on building and implementing strategies that innovate, create awareness, and generate demand. Sabrina executes brand/product development through strategic alignment, passion, resolute focus, and inspired teams.