Destination Resorts & Clubs: Exciting Trends To Know in 2021

The sun is once again peeking out for the hospitality industry and it’s a bright future for destination resorts and clubs. Seeking a luxe lifestyle with gorgeous views, more and more consumers are getting away to a home away from home.

But things have changed — are changing — and new trends have emerged. It’s up to marketers and business owners to keep up with these trends and craft forward-thinking strategies that will keep them afloat above their competitors. In other words, you either ride the trending waves or get wiped out.

Luckily, we’ve got the low-down on what’s happening in the industry. Here are five trends destination resorts and clubs need to know for the future:

1. A Workcation Paradise

In a time where remote work has boomed, the workcation has risen to be wildly popular as people ask: why work in a cramped city penthouse when my office could be poolside with palm trees and a piña colada?

Workcation deals have been popping up all over as destination resorts and clubs tap into this growing trend. Often requiring two- or three-week minimums, these specialized packages are designed to lure in telecommuters with mentions of “workspace essentials” like high-speed internet and IT support, in addition to those classic vacation benefits.

In some cases, the workcation has extended to a more permanent paradise. With newfound flexibility, many consumers are now able to enjoy the perks of resort life on an ongoing basis. Going from guest to resident, we’re seeing more and more people invest in luxury real estate at vacation destinations as they look to avoid the hassles and potential dangers of traveling.

For destination resorts and clubs, this presents an opportunity to encourage members to extend their stay or commit long-term to a destination home. The added angle will call for some new creative strategies, so if you’re ever in need of someone to bounce your ideas off of, we’re here to help.

2. Safety First

It goes without saying that the pandemic brought with it heightened standards for health and hygiene. Today, priorities have shifted. Guests want luxury amenities and service, but they also expect high levels of cleanliness and safety. According to a recent survey, 78% of respondents said they’ve avoided staying at a resort, hotel, or casino due to COVID-19.

As this “new normal” persists, destination resort communities will have to pay special attention to the health of their members. Of course, you’ll want your guests to know about your resort’s gorgeous views or high-end services but don’t forget to mention what you’re doing to ensure their safety.

For one, health and hygiene policies should be easy to find, if not a key part of your marketing and messaging. For example, Hilton’s CleanStay program successfully encouraged guests to pick the brand for its dedication to cleanliness.

You’ll also want to be aware of how your brand is perceived, whether it’s from the photos posted online or the amenities that you’re promoting. Crowded restaurants or people-packed events may have been a marker of popularity and fun before, but could now be a turn-off to those concerned about safety. Properties with open outdoor spaces and natural environments, on the other hand, are now in huge demand by the affluent.

Getting an extra team of eyes and hands on board — via a creative agency like ours! —  is a great way to make sure you don’t miss anything important as you prioritize safety in your marketing efforts. After all, every good captain needs a solid crew to help them forward.

3. Diving into Digital Experiences

There’s no doubt about it. It’s a digital world and we’re all just living in it.

When social distancing measures were put in place, the industry quickly turned to digital technology for solutions. Contactless went from being a buzzword to an expected model, as mobile check-in and contactless payments became widespread.

But, even when the pandemic subsides, these digital solutions are expected to thrive. Once you’ve experienced the ease of checking in on your phone, there’s no going back.

Brands that continue innovating new digital experiences will be able to differentiate themselves as pioneers moving forward. Focus especially on all the ways the customer journey could be improved or transformed through digital tech.

Maybe you’ll want to upgrade how your members receive club news, like how Hilton Grand Vacations created an interactive digital newsletter. Or perhaps you’ve got ideas to improve their experience while they’re staying with you. Imagine your guests receiving bottle service no matter where they are on the resort or adjusting their room controls with just their phone.

And once you’ve got those innovations perfected, the next step will be to tell the world (or, more specifically, your target guests). That’s where we’ll come in. With our expertise and proven strategies, we’ll help you get your message heard and loved by the ones that matter most.

4. Let’s Get (Even More) Personal

We can guess what you’re thinking. Your members get the best of the best: a dedicated staff that knows them by name, custom services, accommodations set up just to their liking, and more. Is there really any room (pun intended) for increased personalization?

Yep, and we can thank time and technology for that.

Personalization has been a trend for a while now, with luxury consumers being early to experience and place value on it. But standards rise over time and receiving curated messaging and experiences are now expected rather than a nice bonus. More than half (63%) of consumers now expect personalization as a standard of service.

Additionally, as technology usage and data collection continue to expand, guests expect brands to make use of that data in a way that directly benefits them. According to Accenture, 83% of consumers are willing to share their data to enable a personalized experience. More than ever before, your guests expect to be treated like the unique individuals they are.

Destination resorts and clubs should take stock of the customer data they have and leverage those insights to add personal touches where appropriate. Consider all parts of the guest journey and note where personalization can make a meaningful impact, whether it’s through an email campaign, service action, or personal web experience.

5. Make a Splash with Short-Form Video

As the latest content trend to hit social, short-form video is having its moment right now.

Propelled into popularity by TikTok, the format solidified its place in the world of content when other platforms started getting in on the action with Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and Snapchat’s Spotlight.

For destination resorts, communities, and clubs working on their social media marketing strategy, short-form video is one kind of content that should definitely be considered. Its brevity makes it compatible with the shorter attention span of most Internet users today, while the informal culture surrounding these videos (amateur-like clips are welcome!) helps it break through the ad fatigue that many consumers are feeling.

There’s no shortage of workable content ideas when it comes to video. Spark wanderlust with scenic views from your resort. Film a day-in-the-life from the point of view of one of your members. Go behind the scenes with your staff and build a personal connection with your audience. With short-form video, the sky’s the limit.

Looking for some more tips on how to build a winning social media strategy? Check out our blog post all about that here.

Wave Hello to Your Next Creative Agency

Staying updated on the top trends is one thing, but knowing how to act on these trends and knowing the best strategies for your brand is a whole ‘nother game. Countless creative agencies will tout expertise, but PH3’s got the industry know-how on destination resorts and clubs. Just check out what we did for Dorado Beach Resort!

Learn more about what it’s like to work with us. And then, when you’re ready to crack open a cold one with us and talk, send us a message.