Tiny hotels represent big opportunities
Tiny hotels represent big opportunities
19 JUNE 2020 7:32 AM

With so many would-be travelers wanting to feel more secure in taking a leisure trip, hotel companies should seriously consider the concept of tiny hotels.

As every hotelier has seen over the past several months, the coronavirus pandemic has devastated hotel demand.

Corporate business, both group and transient, and small group business is mostly if not completely gone thanks to both caution on the part of companies as well as state and local regulations on gatherings. Leisure travel is returning somewhat, but it’s limited so far.

I wrote a few years ago wondering when the big brands would get into the tiny hotel game. At the time, I reasoned that tiny homes were still a popular niche type of housing that I think many people would at least be interested in trying. I, for one, could never live in a tiny house, but I sure would vacation in one.

Now is a great time for more hotel companies to explore the space. There are a couple companies operating in this area, such as Getaway House and Autocamp, but there should be plenty of room for other companies to try it out.

People still want to travel after being cooped up in their homes for months. They want to get out of their homes, but that alone isn’t enough to get everyone on the road. While some aren’t worried about taking precautions when traveling, many others are staying home until they feel more comfortable staying overnight in a hotel for a vacation.

The technology available today that we’ve seen in both hotels and home rentals would allow guests to make their reservations online then check-in at their hotels through an app or door code.

A tiny hotel located in a somewhat secluded, more natural area, perhaps in or near state or national parks, would be an option for leisure travelers looking to take a break from their own homes. If the tiny hotels are spaced far enough apart from each other, guests would have the comfort of knowing they are not likely to run into other guests and are significantly decreasing their chances of infection.

Tiny hotels could follow the extended-stay hotel operating model. A limited staff would be available nearby or on call to handle any requests or address any problems. The tiny hotels would only need to be cleaned in between guests’ stays or upon request.

The accommodations themselves could essentially be tiny homes, providing a sleeping area, likely in a loft or through a Murphy bed, with a living area, dining area and kitchen all combined within a small area. Some tiny homes appear to be a regular-sized house that was shrunk; others are modified shipping containers. There could be opportunities for a small outdoor area depending on the location, which would allow guests to relax in their natural surroundings.

Obviously there are a great many details still to consider, but I still believe all the reasons I gave a few years ago are still valid and the idea is further supported by my reasoning above. Once the pandemic passes, tiny hotels would still be a viable avenue for hotel companies.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or reach out to me at bwroten@hotelnewsnow.com or at @HNN_Bryan.

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