The Return of Travel and New Markets in Hospitality

This month, we are circling back to talk more about hospitality, the industry that arguably took the biggest hit in 2020. In particular, we are excited to be talking about leisure and business travel making its comeback and the new markets that are flourishing as a result!

As the vaccine rolls out, reports are showing that travelers are once again ready to pick that bucket list back up. With so many domestic and international travel plans cancelled in 2020 and a larger number of people vaccinated, we are thrilled to see that families and individuals are once again ready to spend their time and money to travel! Because of last year’s uncertainty, many vacation ownership groups decided not to deploy their cash reserves. As travel restrictions begin to lift and travelers get back on the road or on planes, ownership groups and traditional hoteliers are ready to hit the gas on renovations, new hotel and resort developments, and in some cases are taking advantage of the opportunity to breathe new life into established brands.

But Is Business Travel Back?

Though we respect that some companies will continue to embrace a fully remote work situation post-pandemic and have found it to be an efficient model for the way they work, here at Banko Design we have to admit that we’re a bit fatigued by the remote work aids. We can only pay attention to so many virtual conferences. And we miss gauging our clients’ reactions to our designs in person! Surely, we can’t be the only ones.

So, though the demand for work travel hasn’t caught up yet with what we’re seeing in the leisure travel segment in terms of flight bookings and hotel occupancy, we definitely anticipate (and hope!) business travel returns by the fall of this year and with it, a resurgence of in-person meetings and conferences!

As a business that is based around creating beautiful and functional physical spaces, actually seeing color and touching textured materials and FF&E samples is far superior to virtual presentations. And we believe our clients deserve that full experience to get the clearest picture of what they are paying for.

New Markets in the Hospitality Industry

Historically, we’ve seen that crisis breeds innovation. This time was no different. With many cooped up and stagnant for so long, travelers want to get moving and safely explore the outdoors. This has led to a record rise in camping with studies showing that this increasingly popular pastime is here to stay. Subsequently, this new demand has opened the door to new types of profitable hospitality models such as parks with dedicated “glamping” structures that may include luxury tents or yurts, renovated air streams, tiny homes, former shipping containers and more all over the U.S and world.

But the perceived “grit” of camping is not for everyone, and that’s okay too! Another trend we’ve seen is a demand for wellness-focused amenities and increased cleanliness standards.  As a result of COVID-19’s transmissibility through close person-to-person contact in public settings, our population has become hyper aware of the cleanliness and care of shared spaces. The stress and burden caused by the pandemic to many has also led individuals to seek out more self-care in the form of mental and physical restorative practices. These two factors emphasize that travelers’ health and wellness is no longer optional as a hospitality operator, and travelers will continue to be selective on this facet for the foreseeable future.

From a design perspective, Banko Design can help keep travelers comfortable while keeping our development clients happy. How do we accomplish this? As experts in Senior Living design, we have always understood the importance of designing and specifying with cleanability and durability top of mind. That knowledge, combined with our significant Multifamily and Hospitality portfolio with a focus on service-driven amenities makes us the perfect firm to help you open an unforgettable boutique hospitality project.

Upcoming Conferences

On that note, more and more in person conferences are being scheduled for 2021, and we are here for it! In fact, our Banko Design Business Development team is confirmed to be at:

  • Hunter Hotel Investment Conference – Atlanta, May 10-12
  • ALIS – Los Angeles, July 26-28
  • Lodging Conference – Phoenix, Sept 27-30

So, hit us up because we’d love to meet up and chat about what you’re working on!

As vacation rental and hotel occupancies steadily rise, we are prepared to support our owners when they are ready to get started on new projects! Our team of talented designers includes members with years of experience in Hospitality that have worked with large, small, domestic, and international brands. We have a pulse on trends and strategy for this comeback, so let us help you with your program, budgets, design, and procurement!

Ready to give your hospitality guests a knockout combo of thoughtful, functional, and gorgeous design with a strong individual narrative? Reach out to our Business Development team at

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Banko Design is a turnkey interior design firm for the active adult, boutique hospitality, multifamily, and senior living markets with in-house FF&E procurement. Our talented team of designers and purchasing agents work with developers and operators to program, design, document, procure and install stunning spaces at any price point.