The pandemic has permanently changed the way we approach travel and, more specifically, what we’re looking for when we do travel.
Hotels.com has released their 2022 Amenity Report — a comprehensive analysis of all of the searches on the site from the past three years — to determine the most sought-after amenity. The findings? Probably not what you would think.
“The pandemic impacted nearly every aspect of our lives, including how we search for our next hotel stay,” said Mel Dohmen, senior brand manager at Hotels.com. “The amenities we love and are looking for in 2022 reflect everything we’ve felt and experienced over the past few years.”
“From hotels that helped us relax and take the edge off to those that complemented new hobbies like cooking and skiing, there’s a lot to learn about where travelers are going this year based on how they search for the perfect hotel stay,” she added.
That said, the most-searched-for amenity at the height of the pandemic was … a bathtub. Even now, searches for bathtubs are already up 25 percent in 2022 from 2019. Further, people also spent more time researching spas (which was up 35 percent), properties with cribs (up 65 percent), childcare (up 45 percent) and connecting rooms (up 20 percent).
Alternatively, people seemed to spend less time researching free Wi-Fi (which was down 50 percent), properties with business facilities (down 40 percent) and properties with gyms (down 30 percent), though there has once again been an increase in the latter going into 2022.
At face value, it’s all relatively surprising — particularly when considering how many people are still working from home and (or) taking routine workcations. But at the same time, for many the pandemic has also reinforced the importance of slow, meaningful travel, which is exactly what these findings point to — travelers looking to unplug, unwind and spend time with loved ones.
Further, it stands to reason that people are putting more thought into their accommodations than they were prior to the pandemic. For those who still have reservations surrounding travel, or those traveling to areas where COVID is still especially pertinent, they may be planning to spend more time in their hotel room than they may have prior.
It might make the importance of a, say, nice bathtub in the room feel a bit more urgent than it once did.
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