The hospitality industry faced many challenges right after COVID, such as loss of income and hotel-industry-challenges-why-technology-is-critical-post-covid”>labor shortages. However, the industry has demonstrated new ways to adapt to issues such as labor shortages by adding digitization to the customer experience and blending business and leisure into one, which has been coined “mullet travel.” How important will hotel digitization and mullet travel strategies be for hospitality success in 2023?
Hotels have already launched plenty of digitization changes to front- and back-end operations. Self-service kiosks and expanded mobile payment options are just a couple of the digital changes making the experience more flexible for travelers. And as for mullet travel, what does that really mean? The coining “mullet travel” is replacing the term for bleisure. COVID helped catalyze the transformation, as many business trips now resemble the mullet hairstyle—business up front, fun behind the scenes.
For insights into how hotel digitization and mullet travel could impact hotels this year, Katie Steinberg, Senior Manager of Client Services at MarketScale, provided her thoughts on how the hospitality industry is emphasizing customization of the customer experience through these strategic focuses.
“I would say two of the biggest trends in hospitality in 2023 are going to be the digitized guest experience. You see this with one of our partners here, Aavgo. They have a touchless kiosk where you can check into the hotel or digitize payment systems. Guests want to be able to do things quick and fast and not have to sit in line waiting for the concierge to check into their room—so even touchless key cards or having the key card on your phone instead of needing the key to check in the hotel room.
The second would be more mullet travel. So, mullet travel is the new term for bleisure, which is business and leisure travel, as there are so many who work remote. Hotels have really capitalized off this and noticed that if they have more free Wi-Fi or coffee shop areas in their hotel, that they will have more leisure mullet travel guests. Work from home has not gone away for a lot of companies. The consumer or the traveler has really capitalized off that and ended up working remote in hotel rooms and areas around the hotel. Really, there is customization of the overall experience for the guest.”