Travel looks different than ever before – here’s what Australians are really looking for in hotel bookings in 2021…
A year ago Australians wanted their hotel stay to have it all – high ratings, luxurious swimming pools, and insta-worthy standalone bathtubs.
But after an unprecedented shake-up thanks to a global pandemic, it appears Australia’s most important booking criteria is safety and space. According to SKYE Suite’s latest consumer research of 1024 Australians, 1 in 2 Australians now place the utmost importance on finding a hotel with ample space (think large foyers, courtyard and balconies) as well as first-grade hotel safety in the form of security, as well as COVID-19 hygienic practices.
Of course, in 2020, it makes sense. We want space, we’re tired of the indoors and lockdowns, and we want to be safe – especially Australian women. Interestingly 62% of females surveyed said that space and safety were the top priority in choosing a hotel, compared to only 42% of men who even listed it as a concern.
But it doesn’t end there. The hotel industry is faced with four more must-have features impacting on how Aussie consumers choose to travel:
An obvious, yet important factor for Australians currently booking a hotel is location. While border and travel restrictions remain up in the air, travellers are nowadays more likely to have an exact location in mind that they want to travel to over casually browsing for hotel packages and specials in unique locations. Proximity to the city, easy access to transport and being nearby tourist attractions and amenities is important for over two thirds (68%) of Australians when booking a place to stay, especially for babyboomers (70%).
Along with the number of people that mentioned space and safety as a high priority, two fifths (39%) of Australians opted for hotels that offered an urban oasis where everything is on their doorstep and won’t require them to travel far for shops, pampering and restaurants. This is a key point of difference for SKYE Suites who offer all-encompassing experiences for their guests with world-class eateries in the same precinct, secluded entertainment areas and state-of-the-art wellness facilities such as a gym, sauna and in-room massage offerings. The report shows that more and more, guests are opting for hotels that they can, but won’t want to leave. Surprisingly, it’s those aged 18-34 that value ‘Urban Oasis’ more than the older population who are at higher risk of infection.
Hotel rating and service offerings
As travel has been limited this year, the report demonstrates 4 in 10 (38%) Australians are currently choosing a hotel based on the star rating and service offerings meaning guests are looking for a lavish holiday once they can get away; A hotel offering services such as parking, concierge and room service will be more appealing to travellers. Offering 5-star luxury without the price tag, SKYE Suites continues to be a perfect getaway for guests wanting a luxury holiday in their backyard, a change of scenery to work from or just a simple all-encompassing getaway that is value for money. The 5-star rating seems to resonate the most with Gen Z, with 53% claiming it an important factor. It turns out, the older you are the less likely you are to factor in service offerings…41% of millennials consider hotel rating and service offerings vital, while 37% of Gen X-ers and 31% of Baby Boomers do too. Victorians are also more likely to say hotel ratings and service offerings is an important factor to them currently compared to Queenslanders (43% vs 33%).
Flexibility and functionality
Through COVID, came the evolution of home offices, workplaces and also hotel suites. Now, travellers are wanting flexibility and functionality in their hotel of choice and are looking for offerings such as office facilities, kitchenettes and adjustable bedding configurations. While this is the fifth most important factor for Australians when booking a hotel (36%), it was more important for those with children under 18 at home compared to those without (41% vs 34%).
Based on the survey findings, SKYE Suites has launched a range of packages in the lead up to 2021 to provide travellers with their top features all under one roof. Available across all three properties, the ‘Dream & Drive’ package allows guests to hit the road and drive into their next holiday getaway with ease including overnight accommodation, secure parking, daily breakfast, minibar access and a 12pm late checkout from $240 RRP. SKYE Suites are also running a romance package for couples at SKYE Suites Parramatta called ‘Love is in the SKYE’ offering accommodation, a bottle of wine, chocolate-dipped strawberries and breakfast for two from $248 RRP. For a gastronomy tour, try the ‘Spirits in the SKYE’ package created in collaboration with Archie Rose including accommodation at SKYE Suites Green Square, car parking, a late checkout of 12 noon and tickets to the Archie Rose Distillery Tour and Tasting all from just $209