Originally published on Amadeus Insights
By: Francisco Pérez-Lozao Rüter, President, Hospitality, Amadeus
There are two words that come to mind when I reflect on the past year. The first is challenge. Much like the rest of the hospitality industry, Amadeus has faced unprecedented hardships that have made this the most difficult year in living memory – financially, professionally, and emotionally.
And yet, with more retrospection, the next word I think of is resilience. When everything changed virtually overnight, our entire industry responded and evolved at lightning speed to meet the demands of our new reality. At Amadeus, we got to work collaborating with our partners and customers to help them, and the industry at large, navigate the crisis. At the same time, hoteliers tirelessly pivoted business strategies to adapt to evolving restrictions so they could welcome guests back to a safe and clean environment.
While there is still a long way to go before the travel industry finds its “new normal”, we’re encouraged by the upward trend in occupancy across many regions. According to Amadeus’ Demand360® data, global hotel occupancy increased to 60% in July 2021, nearly doubling 2020’s performance for the same month. This means that global hospitality occupancy has climbed 80% of the way back to pre-pandemic norms of around 75% for this time of year. This is very welcome news for hoteliers and a strong indicator that people are ready and eager to travel as soon as they are able.
Source: Amadeus’ Demand360® as of July 30, 2021
Additionally, we polled hoteliers worldwide this spring to find out how they are planning for the future. The results were enlightening, as 53% say they expect pre-pandemic levels of occupancy to return in 2022 – just a few months away! Additionally, 41% plan to spend more or the same on IT as they did in 2019, and 59% say they plan to hire new staff this year. Clearly, many hoteliers are feeling positive about what’s ahead as consumer confidence grows.
As for Amadeus, our commitment to the future success of this industry continues. Our latest achievements include:
- Product innovations: Over the past year, we’ve rolled out numerous product and feature updates to help our customers respond to challenges accelerated by COVID-19. We introduced socially distant meeting and event diagramming into our sales and catering software. We empowered hoteliers to further automate daily housekeeping and sanitization tasks within HotSOS. We’ve broadened the depth of market insight available in our business intelligence solutions, collaborated with hotels all over the world to deliver data-driven marketing campaigns, and evolved our reservations offering to help hoteliers simplify the booking process while tailoring promotions to build guest loyalty.
- Customer support: We introduced a new customer support model this year to offer 24x7x365 agent availability along with a standardized approach to tracking and processes. These improvements will enable us to serve our customers more effectively.
- 2021 Confirmit ACE (Achievement in Customer Excellence) Award win: Amadeus Hospitality won in the Voice of the Customer, Innovation and B2B categories. Confirmit, now a Forsta brand, recognizes clients with a proven track record of customer commitment and a unique approach to customer experience programs that drives change across the business.
- New hospitality research: To help hoteliers come back strong as demand returns, we conducted extensive research this spring to identify the new trends driving hospitality recovery, as well as update our crisis recovery eBook series based on what we’ve learned over the past year. The four guides separated by area of focus – Sales, Marketing, Operations, or Revenue Management – provide readers with proven strategies, valuable tips, and new perspectives from peers.
Personally, I cannot effectively express the appreciation I have for our team at Amadeus and the dedication and resilience they have shown in supporting the industry – all while managing new types of work/life challenges.
As I look to the future, I know rebuilding hospitality won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen at the same pace globally. Yet I truly believe that the human spirit and our desire to discover ourselves through travel will triumph in the end. Together, let’s pledge to drive our industry towards a brighter tomorrow.