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As Americans Start To Vacation Again, Resort and Hotel Food Services Need To Be at Their Very Best

The Covid-19 pandemic sent the travel and tourism industry into a tailspin in 2020, leading to difficult

times for resort and hotel food services and other stakeholders in this field. Figures from the first year of

the pandemic crisis showed a 30% year-on-year slump in the total domestic trips taken in the United

States, as vacation rates fell to their lowest level since 1991. This translated to a 40% drop in domestic

travel spending compared to the previous year. International inbound travel was hit even worse, as total

spending fell by 75% on 2019's total.

The outlook seemed bleak for a while, with 40% of those who took a vacation in the second quarter of

2020 choosing to remain within 100 miles of home, while 72% of Americans said they did not plan to take

a summer vacation at all that year.

Optimism Rising Steadily in the Market

But the situation is changing. Statistics from summer 2021 showed that 85% of survey respondents

described themselves as "optimistic" about the potential for travel across the rest of the year, with 75%

saying they specifically intended to travel during the remainder of 2021. This optimism led to positive

movements in the market, as the leisure and hospitality sector led the way in job creation in October 2021.

Even with the arrival of the omicron variant in December, the mood remained hopeful. Millennials were the

most optimistic about travel in the coming twelve months, planning to take 4.4 trips on average in 2022,

compared to 4.1 for Generation Z, and 3.8 and 3.3 for Boomers and Generation X, respectively.

Hotel and Resort Food Services on the Frontline

So, as optimism increases and recovery appears to be strong, where does this leave the hotel and resort

food services sector? Let's take a look at a few of the factors that operators in this industry need to be

aware of.

Rapid Increases in Demand

With increased optimism comes increased demand. This is great news for hotels and resorts, which can

begin to target growth in the same way they did before the pandemic hit, but it also brings challenges.

Foodservice kitchen designs will need to support this increased capacity with layouts and foodservice

infrastructure that offer the scaling required for growth.

A Shifting Industry

Even though consumer demand has fallen over the past couple of years, the industry has not remained

static. As vacationers return to hotels and resorts across the country, business owners may find that the

landscape has shifted, with new players entering the industry and seeking to capitalize on the increased

optimism. As a result, these business owners will need to ensure they provide an industry-leading

experience to their customers, protecting their existing market share while seeking out opportunities for


This may involve investing in foodservice kitchen consultant services to help grow capacity without

harming the consumer experience. Business owners in the hotel and resort industry may also need to

refresh their current equipment infrastructure, working with leading equipment providers like Electrolux

Professional and Xpress Chef as they ensure top-notch levels of service.

Potential Uncertainty

So much optimism is undoubtedly a good thing, but the pandemic is not yet behind us. There is still a degree of uncertainty in the market, which means an element of caution is required. Hotel and resort food services teams will need to adopt a sustainable attitude to growth and development, continually monitoring the situation as vacation figures — hopefully — continue to rise.

Things Are Looking Up for Travel and Tourism

After some difficult times over the past two years, the situation appears to have turned a corner. With the

right approach to recovery and growth, hotel and resort teams should find themselves back on track and

looking forward to better times in the years to come.

Looking to bring the very best to your commercial kitchen? Set up a complimentary kitchen demo or consultation.


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