The global hospitality industry must “take note” that safe travel is here to stay due to the Covid crisis.

The message was highlighted in Accor research to shed light on trends which have emerged since the onset of the pandemic.

The majority of the company’s guests (88%) say they would choose a hotel over options in the sharing economy.

Two-thirds (68%) said they would travel for leisure over the coming months, prioritising natural – mountains, forests, national parks – and seaside destinations (46% and 43%).

But more than half of business travellers (53%) think they will travel less frequently than before the Covid outbreak.

For travellers more broadly, hygiene, physical distancing and hotel policies play the largest role in choosing where to stay.

The highest priorities are strict sanitation and safety standards (77%), no change fees (69%) and having no cancellation fees (68%).

Three–quarters of Accor customers say they would feel comfortable saying in a hotel, compared to less than 55% who are ready to use public transport.

The report said: “While it is paramount that hotels rethink and address the realities of travel post-Covid-19, it is also a time to address and bring to the forefront the digital transformation that was underway before the pandemic – from contactless check-in/out to the personalisation of the hotel experience.

“Although promising vaccines have emerged, recovery timelines continue to be debated, meaning the industry needs to reconsider and fast-track these new models to transition from the initial impact of Covid-19 to a more resilient future.”

Accord chief commercial officer Patrick Mendes said: “There is no question that 2020 has been one of the most challenging years in modern history, not only for the travel industry, but for everyone the world over.

“Fortunately, we have all adapted to the current situation and it is through this collective resilience that we feel cautiously optimistic about some level of recovery in 2021.

“We have all been through transformative shifts this year, and we’re ready for things to move in a positive direction as soon as possible.”