Travel after the coronavirus: will hotel guests return?

We're in turbulent times; the leisure industry is practically at a complete standstill thanks to the coronavirus. At the moment, it's still unclear for some countries when the hotel industry will be able to start operating again slowly. Not only do we ask ourselves the question when tourism will gradually pick up again, but we also wonder what travel after the coronavirus will be like. Will the hotel guests come back again? Experts in the hotel industry already have many ideas about this. We collected these ideas and brought it back to a prediction of four different types of travellers.

Four types of travellers:
(click on the topic to go straight to the explanation)


COVID-19 information hotel industry


Local Travellers

Tourists will still be a bit reluctant to travel after the coronavirus, let alone to book flights or go on a cruise holiday. That's why we expect tourists to go on holiday within their own country for the time being. A vacation by car, close to home, feels safer and there’s a lower risk of becoming ill. Also, in their own country, they know what the status of coronavirus is. 

We believe that at some point, the international guests will return to your accommodation. The number of reservations will eventually recover to what we saw before COVID-19However, we can't predict when the amount will be back to normal, only time will tell. Many experts make predictions as to when tourism will be at full strength again. Therefore, the predictions vary a lot: some specialists expect a full recovery after a year, and others indicate that recovery may take many years. 


Weekend Travellers

In addition to the fact that travellers stay within their own country, we also take into account that in the beginning, long vacations will not be possible or attractive. Usually, most tourists like to travel around a country for several weeks. We estimate that won't happen for a while. Instead, tourists will go on a vacation for a shorter period, think of a midweek or a long weekend. Naturally, travellers will look for attractive packages for their short stays. As a hotelier, this is a chance to take this opportunity and offer several packages to your guests. 


Revenge Travellers

Travelling has become a basic need, and many can no longer live without it. As soon as travelling around the world is allowed again, the forecast is that tourism will pick up again quickly thanks to ''revenge travellers''. This type of tourist wants to make up for the lost time and will start exploring the world again as soon as possible. The first signs of this phenomenon are already coming from Chinese tourists. We expect other countries will follow shortly too. 


Business Travellers

Business travel can be divided into two groups: the individual business traveller and the convention traveller. Individual business travel after the coronavirus is likely to increase rapidly, as many haven't seen their contacts face-to-face for a long time. Still, we'll probably notice that after the first peak of business travel, there will be a decrease again. Companies re-energised video calling, and now also recognise its ease of use and the costs that can be saved.

The return of convention travellers is a bit more complicated. Many conventions and fairs have been postponed to 2021 or even later. Also, it's plausible that events of 100 visitors or more will remain prohibited for the time being. Of course, these regulations may vary per country. However, business trips for visiting conventions and other events will take a while to pick up again. 


Hang in there!

There's a lot of speculation what the travel industry (and the world) will look like after the coronavirus. An exact prediction of travel after the coronavirus is something we owe you because, unfortunately, we too do not know what will happen. However, the entire SmartHOTEL team is ready to think along with you and answer your questions regarding online distribution.  Send us an e-mail or give us a call; we are always happy to help you!



About SmartHOTEL

For more than 16 years, SmartHOTEL has been helping hoteliers navigate the exciting world of online distribution. From our office based in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, our team serves independent hotels, hostels and chains worldwide by providing channel management and tailored online distribution solutions. A lot has changed over the last years, but our goal remains the same: simply connect hotels to the world. For any questions regarding our services, please contact us at or call +31 (0)182 75 11 18.


By Chantal Mieremet | April 29, 2020

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