Hotel Management Network lists the top five terms tweeted on lodgings in Q4 2021, based on data from GlobalData’s Travel and Tourism Influencer Platform.

The top trends are the most mentioned terms or concepts among Twitter discussions of more than 150 lodging experts tracked by GlobalData’s Travel and Tourism Influencer platform during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021.

1. Resort – 434 mentions

Luxury hotel chain St. Regis’ plans to open new resorts globally by 2025, Travel + Leisure’s 2021 list of best resorts in the Caribbean and MGM Resorts International selling the Mirage casino resort were some of the popular discussions related to resorts in Q4 2021.

The Points Guy, a US-based travel website and lifestyle media platform, shared an article on St. Regis’ plans to open 11 new resorts in the Caribbean, North America, North Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific by 2025. The expansion is aimed at attracting customers and offering Marriott Bonvoy members access to locations where the brand does not have a strong presence. The new resorts include the St. Regis Kanai Resort on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico scheduled to open in 2021, and the St. Regis Los Cabos Resort in Quivira, Los Cabos, which is scheduled to open in 2022. The hotel chain will also open the St. Regis Aruba Palm Beach resort in Aruba and the St. Regis Cap Cana resort in the Dominican Republic in 2024. Other resorts include the St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island, the Pearl in Qatar and the St. Regis Sanya Haitang Bay Resort in China.

Tiffany Dowd, president and founder of social media marketing agency for luxury hotels and brands Luxe Social Media, shared an article on the best resorts in the Caribbean from travel magazine Travel + Leisure’s 2021 World’s Best Awards. The magazine has listed 15 resorts, which include Kamalame Cay, Jade Mountain, Anse Chastanet, Jumby Bay Island, Sugar Beach, Curtain Bluff, Royalton Negril, Ladera Resort, Malliouhana, Auberge Resorts Collection, Casa de Campo Resort & Villas, Necker Island, Couples Negril, Couples Sans Souci, and Royalton Blue Waters. The resorts offer a range of services such as in-room dining, water sports, and family-friendly entertainment.

Another discussion on resorts was on a tweet by a website covering news on the hotels and lodgings industry, about an article on MGM Resorts International’s plans to sell the Mirage casino resort located in Las Vegas, US. The sale is aimed at maintaining the company’s existing exposure in Las Vegas and diversifying its business globally. MGM Resorts currently operates ten properties in Las Vegas, including the Mirage. A strategic review of the company’s operations revealed that the Mirage is currently not among the list of properties that will be allocated capital in the near future. MGM Resorts considered a sale to be the best option for the property and its future business plans, the article highlighted.

2. Coronavirus Disease 2019 – 366 mentions

Luxury resort company Sandals Resorts International providing free quarantine and Covid-19 tests, increase in demand for air purification and filtration systems from hotels, and losses incurred by the hotel industry in 2021 due to Covid-19 were some of the trending discussions in the fourth quarter.

Frommer’s, a travel publication, shared an article on Sandals Resorts International announcing its Sandals Vacation Assurance programme that includes free quarantine and Covid-19 tests. The company will provide travel insurance without any additional charges and reimburse all fees for a 14-day quarantine if a customer is required to quarantine at one of its resorts. It is also providing free Covid-19 tests approved by the guest’s home country, making the process of returning home easier. The new rules will be applied to customers who booked their trips by 31 December 2021, for travel through 31 December 2022. The company’s new policies also include a $500 airfare credit for cancelled trips, and a full replacement vacation in case a trip is cancelled midway or before it starts, the article added.

In another tweet, HOTELS magazine, a trade publication focused on the hospitality industry, shared an article on the increase in demand for air purification and filtration systems from hotels due to the pandemic. Hoteliers are installing specialised air purification systems to assure guests of their hygiene protocols and boost consumer confidence to generate more business. The portable nature of the systems is enabling hoteliers to install them without changing their existing infrastructure, the article detailed. The Crowne Plaza Albany – The Desmond Hotel in New York, for example, installed a US Food and Drug Association (FDA) approved air purification system that cleanses the air and surfaces and features technology that was initially designed for NASA.

The term was also mentioned by American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), a non-profit organisation representing the lodging industry while tweeting about an article on how the hotel industry is expected to lose $59bn in 2021 compared to 2019 due to a rise in Covid cases and a drop in business travel. The findings were revealed in a survey conducted by AHLA and hotel data analytics firm Kalibri Labs, which also found that pandemic-induced job losses in the hotel industry in 2021 would amount to more than 500,000 jobs compared to 2019. Furthermore, the survey reported that business travel is not projected to reach pre-pandemic levels until 2024, the article noted.

3. Restaurants – 84 mentions

Hotel and restaurant operator Makeready Hotel & Restaurant Brands incorporating point-of-sale (POS) systems at its restaurants, restaurant and hotel workers quitting their jobs due to staffing challenges, and changing restaurant preferences among customers were some of the popular discussions in Q4.

Richard Burns, a specialist dealing with TV systems and broadband internet for hotels, healthcare, and hospitals, shared an article on Makeready Hotel & Restaurant Brands standardising point-of-sale (POS) systems at its restaurants using technology from Silverware, a technology solutions provider for the hospitality industry. Silverware’s POS services offer fixed and mobile POS, contactless guest ordering and payment solutions, inventory management, and reservations systems, which help restaurants increase productivity and profitability. Contactless transactions are expected to remain a mainstay amid the pandemic enabling guests to place orders remotely. It also streamlines the ordering and delivering process in addition to reducing labour costs as staff interactions are minimised, the article highlighted.

Veronica Stoddart, a travel editor and content strategist tweeted about an article on restaurant and hotel workers quitting their jobs. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey conducted by Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that a total of 892,000 workers in the hotel and food services industries quit their jobs. The quit rate is more than double the national average rate of 2.9% with employees in the hospitality industry quitting their jobs at a rate of 6.8%. Another study conducted by National Restaurant Association found that three out of five fast-food restaurants and four out of five full-service restaurants claimed they closed parts of their dining rooms due to staff shortage. Workers are also facing other issues such as pay gap and workplace harassment, which led them to leave the sector, the article noted.

In another tweet, AHLA’s official publication LODGING Magazine shared an article on Deloitte’s The Restaurant of the Future: A Vision Evolves survey, which revealed the changing restaurant preferences among customers. Conducted in September 2021, the survey included 1,000 adults in the US who ordered from a restaurant in the preceding three months. The survey found that approximately two-thirds of customers (64%) do not plan to resume their pre-pandemic dining habits in the next six months. Furthermore, 61% of consumers were ordering either takeout or delivery at least once a week, which is an increase of 29% compared to 2020 and 18% compared to pre-pandemic times. The survey also found that convenient off-premises dining is becoming a permanent element in the restaurant experience, the article highlighted.

4. Booking – 76 mentions

International travel booking volumes surpassing pre-pandemic levels, hotel and travel company Marriott International making booking process less opaque, and online travel company Expedia reporting higher bookings in Q3 were some of the trending discussions in the last quarter.

A website covering hotel industry news and trends shared an article that reported that booking volumes for international travel surpassed 80% of pre-pandemic levels. International guests accounted for 44.84% of global hotel bookings in August 2021, increasing from 33.22% for the same period in 2020. Furthermore, international travellers made 49.03% of hotel bookings in October. The lifting of the world’s strictest restrictions in regions such as Asia Pacific were some of the reasons behind the rise in bookings. Local hotel bookings in Fiji, for example, increased to 67% rising from 23% in 2019 following confirmation of their reopening to international guests in November. The booking volumes in the US reached 89% of 2019 levels while those in Canada reached 97% of pre-pandemic levels, the article highlighted.

In another tweet, Frommer’s shared an article on Marriott International making its booking process clearer following a lawsuit settlement over unfair resort fee practices.  The company noted in a statement that its fees will be easier to comprehend in the future and that it has made the necessary technical improvements to its website and booking system to reveal the total cost of a stay. The lawsuit in Pennsylvania focused on how drip pricing was used by the company to introduce resort fees to clients, which is a method of deceiving customers into spending more. The company has charged more than $220m in additional fees since 2012 using the method. The lawsuit settlement noted that consumers should be aware of such hidden fees while booking.

Booking was also mentioned in a discussion on Expedia’s Q3 net income and profit levels being higher than Q3 2020 levels according to an article shared by Tim Peter, e-commerce and digital marketing specialist. Expedia reported a net income of $362m compared to a loss of $221m in Q3 2020. The company’s revenue in Q3 was $2.96bn compared to $1.5bn in Q3 2020, while gross bookings reached $18.7bn in the quarter. The recovery of corporate and international travel and increase in bookings from the company’s home-sharing platform Vrbo contributed to the increase in profits, the article highlighted.

5. Business travel – 63 mentions

Covid-19 Delta variant impacting group and business travel, recovery expectations of business travel in 2022, and Omicron variant raising concerns for the business travel industry were some of the trending discussions on business travel in Q4 2021.

Tim Peter shared an article on how the emergence of the Covid-19 Delta variant is hampering group and business travel. Commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE’s Hotels Research lowered its estimates for US hotel performance on a national level for Q4 2021 due to the impact on business travel. Although CBRE earlier predicted business travel to recover, the rise in Covid-19 infection rates delayed return to office plans and the recovery of the segment. CBRE predicts business travellers to reduce business trips to minimise exposure to Covid-19, the article highlighted.

In another tweet, Richard Burns shared an article on a report by the travel and tourism forum World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) on the recovery of business travel in 2022. Business travel is expected to reach two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels in 2022, according to the report. Recovery of business travel is expected to be the highest in the Middle East region at 32% in 2022, followed by Asia Pacific at 41%, the report highlighted. Furthermore, the rate of vaccination per location will have a significant impact on the recovery of business travel, the WTTC research highlighted.

Business travel was also discussed in an article shared by a website focused on the hospitality industry on the concerns over the potential impact of the Omicron variant on business travel. A survey conducted by the business travel and meetings organisation Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) revealed that a majority 82% of the respondents were very concerned about revenue impact on companies in the business travel segment. Furthermore, 61% were concerned about the safety of business travel amid the rise in Omicron cases. Business travel suppliers and travel management companies also reported that a part of their bookings was impacted due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, the article highlighted.