The hotel sector is beginning to comeback from one of the toughest situations ever seen in the travel and tourism industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This summer we have seen the long-awaited restart of traveling after vaccination policies have been rolled out in the most immediate and important source countries for Southern European tourism. However, travel restrictions (or heavy bureaucracy) are still in place and challenges are still ahead for the last part of the year with regards to European corporate and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Congresses and Exhibitions) related travelers.
Leisure and holiday travel has picked up this summer compared to last year and we are seeing many of the domestic-oriented markets and high-end tourist destinations having an interesting rebound in the months of July and August.
Destinations which are more dependent on high volume, tour-operated demand will have to wait till next year to start seeing a substantial recovery.
We are all now looking at 2022 as the first normalized year after this crisis, hoping that both the corporate / MICE and long-haul travel resume, and that confidence is regained by the general tourism industry as airline and tour operators go back to business-as-usual. Hotel transaction volumes have kept low during the first half of the year but there have been some significant transactions in which pricing has kept robust amid some discounts versus pre-Covid times. The interest in the sector remains due to the confidence of the ever-growing, long-term trend of the travel & tourism sector.
Some of the key trends that have been accelerated with the Covid-19 pandemic are becoming more certain to stay with us for the long term are:
- Technology and digitalization will dynamize the recovery through a better segmented demand and drive price-yielding opportunities
- Staycation and hybrid working could decrease seasonality in leisure destinations
- Long-stay and flexible accommodation will be one of the most sought-after products both from clients and investors
- Wellbeing and sustainability are driving demand from younger generations
- Open-air activities and experiences are fundamental in hospitality operations