2022 Prediction: Hospitality is bouncing back in a big way
At the end of every year, I like to take a moment to reflect on what has transpired in the previous months and make some predictions about what is to come.
I will be sharing a few of these musings between now and the new year, starting with what I foresee for the hospitality industry: a major rebound in 2022.
There are a few factors, in particular, that are poised to make next year a big one for the industry:
Vaccination and booster rates are rising.
Worldwide, 32.26 million COVID vaccine doses are administered each day, with more than 55% of the global population having received at least one shot. And, in the United States, millions of people are lining up to get their boosters. All signs indicate that these trends will continue, allowing consumers to travel with more comfort and confidence. It will also likely play a role in the further reduction of international travel barriers.
The economy is bouncing back.
In October, disposable personal income (DPI) increased .3% over the previous month — marking the fourth out of five months of increases since this summer. If retail sales are any indication, consumers are ready to spend, and are willing to splurge.
Consumers are restless.
After nearly two years at home, people are ready to hit the road (or air or sea). They have also become more accustomed to complying with social distancing measures — wearing masks, getting tested, etc. — that may be required by airlines, hotels, or destination countries.
The wedding boom is coming.
Driven by an excess of rescheduled pandemic celebrations, the wedding industry is poised for maybe its biggest year yet — and the hospitality industry is both a key player and beneficiary. From offering event venues to dining and lodging, hotels can expect to be booked throughout the year, if they aren’t already. The return of in-person conferences and conventions will likely have a similar impact.
For my fellow hotel investors, remember that great opportunities often come with great challenges. And after months of operating below booking capacity or with a skeleton staff, it is important to be intentional with how you navigate the impending influx of guests.
But, it is not too soon to celebrate that hospitality is back and has the potential to be bigger than ever.
Danilo Diazgranados is an independent investor in the global food and wine, financial services, real estate, and the hospitality sectors.