Of all the industries devastated by the pandemic, hospitality was undoubtedly one of the hardest hit. The good news is that the sector is well on its way to recovery, and according to Forbes, the future looks bright.
While 2020 set a grim tone, 2021 is already seeing leaps and bounds of improvement for the industry – and it’s clear that growth in 2022 will only continue to climb. The sector’s revival has generated a number of new hospitality trends, coupled with the rise in demand for certain printed products like the ones we’re about to explore.
1. Custom Printed Key Cards
While hotel key cards have long been invaluable for hotels, lodges, resorts, and the like, demand for them decreased dramatically along with bookings in 2020. Now that reservations are on the rise, so is the demand for hotel key cards. While some hotel room doors are compatible with swipeable magnetic stripe key cards, most newer hotels are set up for RFID embedded plastic key cards. These contain a small microchip that can be programmed to open accompanying RFID-enabled doors. Supply chain issues can cause delays in production on these staples so be sure to allow extra time for your next batch of plastic cards to arrive.
2. COVID-19 Safety Products
COVID-19 has created the need for several new safety innovations in its wake. From custom printed door hangers to table tents and floor decals, this new generation of products can be used to encourage social distancing, confirm recently sanitized areas for guests’ peace of mind, and cordon off temporarily closed areas.
Contactless solutions are more valuable than ever which has caused QR codes to surge in popularity across all marketing efforts, particularly in the hospitality industry. These square codes, similar to barcodes that can be scanned with a smartphone, can be easily incorporated into printed pieces to provide a contactless method to display information and provide online ordering solutions.
3. Plastic Door Hangers
Plastic door hangers have long been a staple in the hospitality industry and are most popular in hotels for privacy, do not disturb, and housekeeping door signs. A new trend among hotels in a post-pandemic world is to keep their guests in-the-know regarding when a room has been sanitized using advanced disinfection protocols, if a room still needs to be cleaned, and the like. When checking out, guests can flip the sign around to alert staff that rooms need sanitizing. This added touch can go a long way in helping guests feel safe as they begin traveling again.
4. Table Tents and Signs
Custom signs and table tents have surged in popularity for several reasons. Plastic table signs and tents have long been used to communicate important messages to guests such as sharing Wi-Fi login details, encouraging towel reuse, and of course, the extremely popular no-smoking signs. The latest trends include signs that display which tables are closed for social distancing, display safety protocols, or used to display QR codes which make it easy for guests to view food menus, order room service, or get a drink at the pool. Table tents and signs are also weatherproof, durable, and easy to sanitize.
5. QR (Quick Response) Codes
When scanned, these square codes direct guests to a specific web link without having to type out a long web address. Such links could include wine and beer lists, video links, daily activities, social media, room service menus, and the ability to place orders for food and more online. While QR codes aren’t new, their popularity has soared due to the fact that smartphones and tablets are carried by most guests wherever they go. They can simply point the device’s camera at the code and be taken to the predetermined web page – and the fact that QR codes are contactless makes them useful post-corona. Many hotels worldwide are adding custom QR codes to various printed products including key cards, table tents, door hangers, and the like.
6. Custom Printed Parking Passes
From valet parking to VIP access for special guests, there are no limits to how parking passes can be used. Hotels can choose between parking pass decals and clings which staff or club members can purchase to adhere to their vehicle. They are also available in plastic hanging passes which can be displayed or removed as needed for valet parking, to highlight VIP status, to tag checked luggage with ease, and more. Hotels can also add unique numbering and/or barcoding to their parking passes.
7. Plastic Towel Cards
Shared with guests upon check-in, these easy-to-sanitize, durable, and fully waterproof plastic cards can be exchanged for clean beach towels when needed. Once a guest is done with a towel, they can simply return it and receive a fresh one in return – or they can get their card back to use the next day. Plastic towel cards help hotels to save on costs while reducing the occurrence of towel theft.
8. Gift Cards
Gift cards are everyone’s favorite gift to receive. They are most popular in restaurants but can also be a big asset to hotels. Guests can buy custom gift cards to be used for any service in and around the hotel, from spas to restaurants to nights at the hotel itself. Hotels & resorts simply load the card with funds, after which the guest can redeem these for any service on the property that accepts gift cards as payment.
Typically, gift cards are the same size and thickness as a credit card, but a thinner, less expensive alternative is also available. Thin plastic cards do not offer the ability to add a magnetic stripe, embossing, unique numbering, etc. but they do make a valuable promotional tool. Thin plastic cards are often distributed during check in and can be redeemed as a coupon or voucher towards complimentary breakfast, happy hour drinks, beach chairs, or other promotions throughout the hotel.
Why Print Robot?
Print Robot is passionate about producing high quality printed products at affordable prices. We produce a wide range of products for the hospitality industry including key cards, door hangers, table signs, plastic cards, and more. We offer FREE design services on most orders over $250 and proudly manufacture our products in the USA from our South Florida factory.