As we enter the slowest month of the year, April, it seems as though the travel industry is in trouble. While international travel will start to pick up again in 2020, domestic tourism will remain a priority. The current situation is not good for hotels, as they employ many people and rely on revenue from travelers. They are under pressure from a wide range of factors, and must remain flexible to stay afloat. Luckily, there are several tips you can follow to ensure that you book the best travel deal.
Consumers are feeling the pinch as prices for airfare, gas and other items climb. While not affecting bookings, rising airfares and hotel rates are putting pressure on the travel industry. As of January, domestic airfares were nearly the same price as flights to Jamaica and Cancun. Meanwhile, US hotel rates are rising at the fastest rate on record. The rise in travel costs is being blamed on high hotel occupancy and rising energy and labor costs.
Cancellation policies for traveling and hotels can be quite flexible depending on the hotel. The COVID-19 virus is continuing to disrupt travel for the foreseeable future, and many hotel brands have extended their flexible cancellation policies to accommodate travelers with this ailment. For this reason, the cancellation policy for your specific hotel may be different than the cancellation policy for an airline. It is always best to check the website of the hotel brand you’re considering to see what kind of flexibility they offer.
Consumers in the U.S. spend 1.13% of their income on hotel stays. Many hotel rewards programs have graduated status levels that offer different earning rates and redemption options. WalletHub’s analysis of the top hotel loyalty programs includes earning rates for two years. The results include both category and editor’s ratings. Editor’s ratings are based on the sum of program scores in the five major categories, rounded up to the nearest decimal point.
Flexibility in bookings
Many travel service providers now offer flexible bookings. This is a great benefit for travelers because it means they can change or cancel their bookings without having to pay expensive changes fees or deal with travel company wrangling. In the past, companies were slow to respond to traveller demands for flexibility, but now, travel companies like Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines are starting to respond to the changing needs of travelers. While the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the process of introducing flexible options for travellers, it is still far from perfect.
One of the greatest benefits of personalization is that it goes above and beyond the customer’s expectations. When the staff at a restaurant knows the couple’s anniversary is approaching, they might offer complimentary drinks and a private table to celebrate the occasion. However, capturing this information can result in a longer form that may not be as informative as it should be. Moreover, the customer’s personal data can be used to select travel experiences and attractions that would suit them the best.