9 leading hoteliers share expectations & predictions for 2022

    sundeck looking across the pool and out to sea in marbella
    730 565 Pauline Brettell
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    9 leading hoteliers share expectations & predictions for 2022

    As January slides seamlessly into the rest of the year, and 2022 is starting to look optimistically (dare we say it) like some normality might be on the horizon, we speak to some of the movers and shakers in the world of hoteliers and hospitality about their expectations and predictions for the year ahead…

    sundeck looking across the pool and out to sea in marbella

    The beginning of the year is always awash with trend predications and expectations, and as we emerge, a little bleary eyed from the enforced hibernation of a global pandemic, with the baton of optimism firmly in hand, we spoke to nine hoteliers from very different corners of the globe, and asked them to share some of their thoughts on the year ahead for hospitality.

    Periklis Gompakis, Sales & Marketing Director of the MarBella Collection, Greece:

    hotelier Periklis Gompakis, Sales & Marketing Director of the MarBella Collection, Greece

    Image credit: MarBella Collection

    “2022 is shaping up to be a year like no other, bringing together new trends inherited and accelerated following the last two years with a series of post-pandemic consequences in a global socio-economic context. Sustainable and mindful travel is expected to co-exist with increased flight costs and inflation rise. Staycation, bleisure, and workcation patterns are here to stay, resulting in less frequent travel but for more extended periods. Upward trends for both multigeneration and solo travel will resume, focused on the luxury five-star resorts and private residences or villas, mainly for Europe and the Mediterranean. High-end holidaymakers will continue to expect personalised services and seek tailor-made holiday experiences, keeping a balance with enhanced digitised hotel services offering. No slowdown in new hotel openings is anticipated, although the significant disruptions in the global supply chain and the labour shortage hotel firms are already facing.”

    Nick Prattas, Vice President & Managing Director of Windjammer Landing, St Lucia:

    windjammer landing st lucia

    Image credit: Windjammer Landing

    “This year, we are already seeing amazingly positive signs for the resort. Bookings up an incredible 22 per cent compared to 2019, with enquiries continuing to come in thick and fast. With the demand bouncing back for long haul travel and the rise in multi-generational trips, St Lucia is firmly back to being a bucket list destination. We are also implementing many new advances in technology, service and food and beverage at Windjammer Landing for 2022, which alongside the Caribbean Tourism officials report, will look to be one of the best years for us and the Caribbean.”

    Sean Moriarty, CEO of Quinta do Lago, Portugal:

    Sean Moriarty, CEO of Quinta do Lago, Portugal

    Image credit: Quinta do Lago

    “Destination of choice is key in the decision making, and confidence in the location is already paramount for 2022. Destinations that have continued to invest will always stand out in the luxury market and will attract repeated and new travellers and investors. Low-density areas are also becoming a target for shorter breaks rather than city break style trips. Furthermore, people will look for more places where nature is respected and protected – where the brand has strong sustainability initiatives. We are also starting to see longer holidays and rising trend in real estate, where buyers’ second home is becoming their primary residence, due to the flexibility in remote working.”

    Kate Hughes, Operations Director of Lepogo Lodges, South Africa:

    safari lodge bedroom at Lepogo Lapalala

    Image credit: Lepogo Lodges

    “Once South Africa was removed from the red list, we saw a steady stream of international enquiries for 2022. Many for family groups rather than individual couples, and longer stays of four – six nights rather than the two – three we saw before. However, there is still a level of uncertainty in booking, and flexibility is key which, of course, we are happy to provide. We believe this year will bring guests keen for adventure and bucket list trips after the last two years, travelling in family groups and staying in one place for longer than moving every few days.”

    Simon Ball, Founder of Tuscany Now & More, Italy:

    Simon Ball, Founder of Tuscany Now & More, Italy

    Image credit: Tuscany Now & More

    “With 90 per cent of our stock sold for 2022, we are anticipating that travel this year will be even busier than pre-pandemic times. Since people have not had the opportunity to travel in two years, we’re noticing a growing interest in villas with services and properties that offer privacy and peace. The reality is that our future is in the hands of various governments and political powers, therefore we must trust that they make the best decision to help the travel industry and our economy bounce back.”

    Julian Hudson, General Manager of The Fellows House Cambridge, Curio Collection by Hilton, UK:

    Julian Hudson, General Manager of The Fellows House Cambridge, Curio Collection by Hilton, UK

    Image credit: The Fellows House Cambridge

    “Looking ahead to 2022, we are anticipating the return of business travel to Cambridge and that our luxury lifestyle long-stay apartment offering will be a refreshing alternative to hotels guests may have previously visited. The Fellows House Cambridge, Curio Collection by Hilton is a hybrid option of hotel facilities combined with your own apartment and place to call home, even just for the night. For our long stay market segments (7+ nights), we are forecasting this to be at least 45-50 per cent of our business mix, and we are the only operator in Cambridge that our guests not only get discounted prices based on length of stay but are also rewarded with points via the Hilton Honours programme.”

    Howard Hastings, Managing Director of Hastings Hotels, Northern Ireland:

    lounge and bar area in the europa hotel

    Image credit: Hastings Hotels

    “Last year we enjoyed an excellent staycation boom from the Republic of Ireland. Travel from GB will be boosted in 2022, both due to the post-pandemic sustained marketing for Northern Ireland in GB and the reduction in air passenger duty from April, making it cheaper to arrive here by air. There is also much pent-up demand from the US – the direct flights cancelled during the Pandemic are being reinstated (Dublin – San Francisco has now resumed), and new ones have been added (Dublin – Vancouver direct starts in June). So we expect to see a strong rebound in 2022 from North American visitors. It is also anticipated that 2022 will be a record year for the number of passengers on Cruise Liners coming to Belfast, so we look forward to welcoming the influx of guests in the near future.”

    Roberto Sortino, Managing Director & Founder of Villatravellers, Sicily, Italy:

    Roberto Sortino, Managing Director & Founder of Villatravellers, Sicily, Italy

    Image credit: Villatravellers

    “I’m hopeful and optimistic that travel will return in full force in 2022. I think that the trends we saw in 2021 – longer term stays, a desire for space and privacy, and an interest in really getting to authentically know your destination – will continue this year. Villa holidays are a great way to enjoy a sunny and secluded getaway, and Villatravellers has a wonderful selection of villas to rent, and we also offer extra experiences that let you see the real Sicily in all its glory. We hope that travellers will continue to be curious and enjoy precious time with family and friends this year.”

    Raffaella Scalisi, General Manager of the Courmayeur Mont Blanc, Tourism Board, Italian Alps:

    swimming pool in the snow at Courmayeur Mont Blanc

    Image credit: Courmayeur Mont Blanc / ©Bazzana Aiace

    “In 2022 we predict a gradual restart to tourism, with long-haul trips from flourishing markets such as the US hopefully resuming in full swing in the summer season. As travel continues to return and grow, Courmayeur is confident in its ability to handle high amounts of tourism during peak season, while still preserving the area’s essence of a typical alpine village. Additionally, as sustainability is one of our highest priorities, we are proud to boast a pedestrian-friendly city centre and offer tourists plenty of options from public transportation to biking to reach the nearby Veny and Ferret valleys.”

    > Since you’re here, why not check out the Hottest hotel openings in February 2022 ?

    Main image credit: MarBella Collection

    Pauline Brettell / 03.02.2022


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