Significance of Strategic Planning in Hospitality and Tourism Industry

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The hospitality and tourism industry offers a unique opportunity for destinations to cultivate an identity rooted in culture, customs, industrial accomplishments, and other distinctive features. This sector significantly influences the intricate social and economic fabric of a region. The imperative for strategic planning in hospitality and tourism emerges from the necessity to attract new investors, facilitate the intelligent development of entertainment, and contribute to the well-being of residents.

In response to dynamic market trends, the hospitality and tourism industry necessitates strategic planning to adapt to changing consumer preferences. Post-pandemic travel trends have witnessed a surge in demand for outdoor activities, staycations, smaller group travel, and notably, workcations that cater to the rising trend of working remotely.

As of now, the global hospitality market has grown from $4,390.59 billion in 2022 to $4,699.57 billion, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7%, and it is expected to continue increasing.

Here, we have compiled a list of trends in the post-COVID era, which are expected to shape the future of the hospitality and tourism industry.

1. Bleisure Travel:

With the easing of the pandemic, millions of workers, once confined to remote or hybrid work models, witnessed the resurgence of corporate activities such as business trips. Notably, these trips have been rebranded as “bleisure travel,” a trend that seamlessly combines business obligations with leisure opportunities. This evolution allowed professionals to explore tourist destinations while effectively managing work commitments.

Bleisure travel is seen by 86% of employees as a key to career development and crucial to maintaining business relationships.

2. Personalisation :

Personalization stands as a crucial facet within the realm of hospitality and tourism. A business in this industry that provides customizable and flexible travel or stay experiences, catering to the specific needs of individual customers, significantly enhances its potential for customer satisfaction. Such personalized offerings not only increase the likelihood of repeat purchases or visits but also contribute to building lasting and positive relationships with customers.

3. Active Ecotourism:

an emerging trend gaining prominence is active ecotourism. This trend seamlessly merges the love for travel with direct engagement in conservation or local environmental support activities. Travelers are increasingly drawn to experiences that not only satisfy their wanderlust but also contribute positively to the destinations they visit. Active ecotourism aligns with the broader desire for sustainable practices within the hospitality and tourism industry. Travelers see this trend as a meaningful way to participate in and support the industry’s long-term sustainability goals. The incorporation of such eco-friendly initiatives not only enhances the travel experience but also reflects a growing consciousness about responsible and ethical tourism practices.

4. Well-being Travel:

A heightened awareness of both physical and mental well-being fuels the expansion of wellness travel. This trend places a primary emphasis on attaining, promoting, or sustaining optimal health and life balance through activities like spa and yoga retreats.

The global wellness tourism market grew from $821.75 billion in 2022 to $819.9 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -0.2%. The wellness tourism market is expected to grow to $1178.93 billion in 2027 at a CAGR of 9.5%

5. Staycations:

The staycation trend entails enjoying a holiday within one’s own country instead of travelling abroad. A prevalent staycation activity involves embarking on day trips to explore local attractions, catering to individuals seeking a brief respite from their routines while still adhering to post-pandemic regulations.

6. Transformative Travel:

Transformative Travel is about journeying with a purpose, seeking to make a meaningful impact on both one and others through purposeful engagements. Transformative travel takes various forms, such as volunteering trips and apprenticeship retreats, offering opportunities to contribute meaningfully while enriching personal experiences.

Strategic planning in the hospitality and tourism sector is a continuous process involving various functions. These functions are often dynamic in nature with ever-changing demands and environments. The organisations in the industry have to therefore adapt to market trends through continuous evaluation of the strategic plan and its effective implementation to achieve long-term goals.

In tandem with the industry’s resurgence, the job market within hospitality and tourism is experiencing a robust revival. Hotels and resorts are actively seeking skilled individuals to navigate the nuances of this new era. For those aspiring to enter the industry, this represents a sea of opportunities. The interplay between strategic planning, evolving travel trends, and the surge in job opportunities highlights the profound significance of strategic foresight in navigating the dynamic landscape of the hospitality and tourism sector.

If you are looking to get a head start in the global hospitality and tourism industry, Westford offers the MBA in Global Business Administration in International Hospitality and Tourism. This comprehensive, analytical, and integrated study program deepens your understanding of contemporary tourism management and its related sectors, including events and hospitality. To know more about the program, get in touch with us today!

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