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  • Writer's pictureWan Qing

Domestic Tourism: what’s in it for hotels?

As we approach one year with the coronavirus, some of us may be experiencing wanderlust. With strict travelling restrictions alongside the closure of many international airports, all we yearn for is to be tourists again. However, it seems highly unlikely that global unrestricted leisure travel will be possible in the upcoming year. Even with a vaccine in the talks now, chances are that international travel will only fully recover in 2022. So, what’s next?

How can hotels benefit from domestic tourism?

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the domestic tourism market is 6 times larger than the international tourism market. In precarious times such as these, it is no surprise that the domestic market is recovering faster than its international counterpart.

Domestic travel is more popular

A report by Tripadvisor and Phocuswright describes high interest in domestic travel across the traveller community.

Spending power

UNWTO’s Briefing Note details how domestic tourism expenditure is higher than inbound spending in many major destinations. Overall, spending on domestic tourism for countries within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development was 3 times the amount generated from inbound tourism spending. This is still the case when you limit the data per capita.

When making comparisons through per capita spending, it becomes clear that local consumers are willing to spend more than international tourists.

What do these statistics mean if you’re a hotelier?

There is huge potential in the domestic market. Hotels should re-strategise to attract local “travellers”. Building on the per capita spending statistics in the table above, hotels should now recognise local consumers’ capability and willingness to splurge on their staycations.

As hotels, your next step is to consider how best to attract these local guests to your hotel. This should be done whilst increasing ancillary revenue, as your hotel like most around the world have been, has likely been impacted by the pandemic.

“Safecation” branding

Hotels have an opportunity to rebrand and market themselves as the premier option for a “safecation” – a staycation that eliminates all pandemic-related worries. Here’s the action one of our partner hotels took to tackle the ongoing COVID-19 influenced circumstances. By using the Portier Platform, guests are able to interact with hotel staff via a single digital touchpoint.

Not only does this eliminate the need for physical proximity – crucial to avoid the spread of COVID-19 – compendiums are also digitalised to reduce the number of surfaces hotel staff need to come in contact with. It is also important for contactless payment to be made available – this technology is only made better by a hotel with digital concierge service, as well as check-in and check-out options.

The Portier Platform allows for a safe hotel experience that benefits both travellers and hotel staff, helping to reassure guests of the hotel’s active promotion of safe hygiene practices.

Increasing the experiential factor in hotels

“This is a time for hotels to get creative, test out different engaging concepts and value-add to their guests.” comments Sashi Rajan, the Senior Vice President of Advisory at JLL Hotels and Hospitality. We at Portier Technologies believe that we are your best solution to the 3 key points emphasised by Mr Rajan.

The Portier Phone enhances guest engagement levels in your hotel by introducing features like Push Notifications and Portier Chat to guests, to seize their attention and encourage a more satisfying communication experience.

Additionally, Portier elevates the guest journey and value-add through our philosophy. We believe in creating technology that empowers staff to go above and beyond for guests. Furthermore we strongly advise hotels to make use of this semi-lull period, and test new and innovative initiatives.

To sum up, there is a huge upside on domestic tourism – and hotels must acknowledge and act on this. Rebranding and upgrading hotels through technology is a crucial step all hotels should take, to fight against the effects of the pandemic. Local consumers are the saviours of the tourism industry, and a driving force of economies.


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