2020 will go down in history as a year that challenged all industries and all communities, forcing them to adapt to a new reality. The travel industry, in particular, faced some incredible obstacles, and some areas of the industry suffered more than others. In fact, in many ways, the high-end homestay market blossomed due to the world pandemic, with travelers wanting to rent secluded, private hideaways with top-notch services more than ever before.
But our team didn’t just sit back and wait for things to happen. We made decisions, improved sanitary protocols, made changes to check-in and check-out procedures to reduce the amount of person-to-person contact to a minimum, and the list continues. Each team member was 100% proactive and forward-thinking in 2020, and together we made things happen. So, here’s a breakdown of what we achieved, the challenges we surpassed, and an insight into our hopes for an exciting and innovative 2021. Enjoy!
The greatest challenge of 2020 at Omnifique
Without a doubt, one of the most significant challenges during 2020 was how to successfully enter into expansion mode. We had to start from scratch because literally, nothing was in place at the beginning of the year, which was a little daunting, mainly because we were hoping to expand when the rest of the world was going into forced lockdown.
However, despite the extra external challenges that we had to assume owing to the world pandemic, we excelled in 2020 in so many ways. We developed a whole new process to locate new homeowners. We generated an increase in leads through calls, emails, and other digital market avenues. No doubt 2021 will see us push for expansion in different ways.
In 2020, we learned a lot about the travel industry…
First and foremost, we learned that the travel industry is incredibly dynamic. Few other sectors truly adapted to the new norm at the same level as travel and tourism. We were so thrilled to be a part of those cataclysmic changes. We also learned that there’s little need to actually be on vacation to travel. With the new work-from-home system, most of us can work from any part of the world, making travel possible at any time of year.
Another big takeaway from 2020 relates to safety and privacy. It’s a real gamechanger and, invariably throughout 2020, helped our guests decide to travel or not. It’s one of the reasons why we were so quick to raise the bar in terms of health, cleaning, and safety standards through increased sanitization processes and the powers of contactless technology at check-in and check-out.
Another big takeaway from 2020 relates to safety and privacy. It’s a real Essentially, people want to travel, world pandemic or not. Still, they also want to travel to places where they feel safe and secluded. Our 5-star homes offer just that, which is why we enjoyed such a spectacular year.
On a final note, we’d like to highlight the increased interest we saw in local destinations. So many of our guests really enjoyed getting to know areas of the US that had always been a mystery to them, normally choosing to go abroad for vacation instead of delving into the pleasures of home. We saw tendencies toward more extended stays, in remote, off-the-beaten-track locations, with WiFi that never failed. Gotta stay connected somehow, right?
What will be the most significant challenges of 2021?
In general, 2021 will be a year in which we will need to re-adjust socially in many ways. As members of the travel industry, we believe it’s going to be vital that we consider the psychological aspects of travel during strange times and that we pay attention to the changing needs of our potential homeowners and guests.
Logistically, we’re expecting that 2021 is relatively similar to 2020. This means that our ability to offer privacy and ensure health and security when away from home will be significant and set us apart from other companies offering similar experiences. There’s a kind of collective agoraphobia brewing, and it’s something that we might need to address over the coming months.
At the same time, 2021 presents a new and highly unique opportunity to reinvent travel, tap into new kinds of lifestyles, get ahead of social calamities, and lead the way forward in terms of industry developments. Staying ahead of the challenges presented to us in 2021 is perhaps the most significant and most important challenge of all. We’ll need to figure out how to focus on expanding while the rest of the world remains relatively static in nature.
What are the first steps?
We’re finalizing the Business Plan for 2021 and focusing on offering 5-star home rentals across 50 different locations. Monthly goals will be clear from the start, and tasks will be arranged to appeal to each member’s strengths on our incredible team.
We’re making a conscious effort before 2021 kicks in to have consistent branding across all digital platforms with a digital strategy set to fly. We’ve been studying the market for months, consulting with industry experts outside of our team, and anticipating possible hurdles that could pop up as we begin to move forward from January 1.
As always, our goal is to be better than we were yesterday and to be the team that makes things happen for guests and homeowners alike. See you in January!!!