With revenge travel in full swing this summer, our latest Hotelier PULSE Report shows that business optimism continues to increase across hotels worldwide. We sat down with Sascha Dalig, Director for Central Europe at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts to discuss his expectations for hotels this peak season and why flexibility is still crucial for hotels to cater to adapt to guests’ needs.
As summer kicked off, our RevPAR was just 10% behind 2019 levels, which is great to see.
How optimistic do you feel about business performance in 2022 and why?
I am feeling very optimistic about our business performance this year. As summer kicked off, our RevPAR was just 10% behind 2019 levels, which is great to see.
After all the lockdowns and restrictions these past two years, it’s also been wonderful to get back to conferences and in-person meetings where you can really feel what our industry is about. I was at a concert a few weeks ago, and to be there with 25,000 other people just having a good time on a summer evening was simply fantastic!
However, this level of optimism is tempered with some degree of caution due to a number of factors including inflation and rising energy prices. But for now, it’s great that the world has reopened after the previous two years we’ve all been through.
How are you responding to the increasing international travel demand this summer?
Although international travel is increasing, we’re still seeing some level of uncertainty in terms of flight delays and cancellations. This impacts on whether the guest can arrive or leave our destinations, and is something we never experienced before prior to the pandemic. Therefore, flexibility remains key to respond to international travel markets.
One of our top priorities to adapt to the needs of our guests is to offer flexible cancellation policies and the ability to change dates or other reservation details. We anticipate that there will continue to be flight disruptions over the summer, preventing guests from arriving to or leaving our destinations. Accommodating guests after these negative experiences will be a challenge, and so we must continue to be as flexible as possible and provide excellent service.
Transparency on our website is also essential, because it is the first place where we can inform guests about what they can expect from our hotels. We’re also really promoting our loyalty programmes to attract guests and loyal members to our brand.