Hospitality is big business. To be successful in this fast-moving industry means you should never stand-still. Today’s traveler or guests’ demands can quickly become tomorrow’s history. This is why you should constantly peer over the horizon. Here are the future hospitality trends that everyone in the hotel business must keep an eye on.
1. Technology will continue to transform the customer experience
In today’s increasingly connected world, the technology marketplace continues to grow a revenue source for the hospitality industry. In the United Kingdom, 83 percent of all trips by Brits were made online in 2019. The ABTA’s Holiday Habits report revealed a 2 percent increase from 81 percent recorded in 2018. This simply demonstrates how much reliance most travelers place over the internet when it comes to finding and securing their travel plans.
Other key digital trends that are likely to make a significant impact in the hospitality industry include;
A continuing focus on direct bookings, particularly via a hotel’s website.
An increased emphasis on local SEO or local search.
An evolution in visual marketing. For example, 360 degrees of virtual reality tours and HD video marketing can attract more customers.
An increased appetite for experience content, especially on a hotel’s website and other online platforms.
It’s no surprise that the future of the hotel industry is likely to be powered by digital technologies. Also, mobile will keep on impacting this industry, along with other disruptive techs that various brands across the globe continue to incorporate into their guest offers.
2. Travelers will continue to seek culturally immersive experiences
There has been a shift in consumer interest over the past couple of years. Today’s travelers seek experiences over amenities and commodities. According to Skift, 67 percent of high-income travelers choose to spend their financial resources on activities rather than a classy hotel room. So, you shouldn’t be surprised if your customers ask whether they can access Traeger grills or BBQ services in your facility.
Over the past few years, there has been a rise in niche properties. And most hotels have turned into somewhat niche properties to continue offering unique, exciting experiences to their guests. Indeed, they now provide special services like well-being retreats, relaxing getaways, adventurous holidays, and more. 2020 and subsequent years will see the rise of highly engaged clients who crave for more unique local experiences.
3. More eco-conscious guests
Nearly everyone is becoming increasingly conscious of environmental responsibility and sustainability. The number of travelers who first analyze a hotel’s environmental policies is increasing. Indeed, the percentage of such travelers increased from 8 percent to 13 percent in 2019. Though these numbers are relatively low, experts predict that 2020 environmental responsibility and sustainability will become a major purchase factor for most travelers.
MMGY’s Portrait of American Travelers reports that about 60 percent of travelers who are loyal to a certain hotel brand says that the hotel’s corporate responsibility is among the factors in their loyalty. Note that the report didn’t mention the word ‘sustainability’, and during the study, it was up to the respondent to interpret the phrase ‘corporate responsibility.’
Green campaigns have become very common, and for a good reason. Environmental sustainability is a win-win scenario for profits and the planet. Some of these campaigns that hotels are likely to consider, include global carbon emission compliance, minimizing the use of plastic, waste reduction, water conservation, and more. Besides, smart buildings that are likely to digitize hotel facilities have the potential to lower energy consumption and costs.
4. Hotels will continue to define their online character
Due to the ever-increasing social networking among consumers and the growing influence of social platforms, it is imperative for hotels and other facilities in the hospitality industry to embrace social media. To attract the right audience and boost engagements, hotels will need to publish relevant content that distinguishes them from their competitors constantly.
Besides, they will need to have dedicated experts to monitor social media comments and ensure a prompt response to the customers. Defining a brand’s online personality is one way of creating a great impression and boosting engagements.
The hospitality industry is still growing and becoming more competitive than ever. With the rising guests’ expectations and emerging technologies continually shaping it, it’s imperative to keep an eye on the relevant and latest trends.