The hospitality industry faced many challenges in the immediate aftermath of COVID, such as loss of revenue and labor shortages. However, the industry has demonstrated new ways to adapt to issues such as labor shortages, adding digitization to the customer experience and blending business and leisure into one, which has been coined the ‘hitchhike’. How important will hotel digitalization and mullet travel strategies be to hospitality success in 2023?
Hotels have already initiated many digitization changes in front and back-end operations. Self-service kiosks and expanded mobile payment options are just some of the digital changes that make the experience more flexible for travelers. And as for the mullet ride, what does it really mean? The phrase “mullet trip” is replacing the term for entertainment. COVID helped catalyze the transformation, as many business trips now resemble the mullet hairstyle — business up front, fun behind the scenes.
To understand how hotel digitization and mules travel could impact hotels this year, Katie Steinberg, Senior Manager of Client Services at MarketScale, gave her thoughts on how the hospitality industry is emphasizing personalization of the customer experience through these strategic focuses.
“I would say two of the biggest trends in hospitality in 2023 will be the digitized guest experience. You see that with one of our partners here, Aavgo. They have a contactless kiosk where you can enter the hotel or digitize the payment systems. Guests want to be able to get things done quickly and quickly and not have to sit in line waiting for a concierge to check into their room—so even contactless key cards or having the key card on your phone at instead of needing the key to check into the hotel room.
The second would be more of a mullet ride. So mule travel is the new term for leisure, which is business and leisure travel as there are many who work remotely. Hotels have really capitalized on this and have noticed that if they have more free Wi-Fi zones or cafes in their hotel, they will have more Mullet travel visitors. Working from home hasn’t gone away for many companies. The consumer or traveler has really capitalized on it and ended up working remotely in hotel rooms and hotel surroundings. Indeed, there is personalization of the overall experience for the guest.”
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