Ready or not, the new year is upon us and new goals waiting to be set. Does your 2019 plan take into consideration these key changes expected to hit the industry?
The new year will no doubt bring new challenges and changes to the ever-growing hospitality industry. Take note of these trends that can help your business and brand to provide what your guests are looking for.
1. The Need For Seamless Technology
Far from trying to be all things to everyone, modern technology developers are embracing specialisation, enabling a higher level of software sophistication. But, this also brings in a need for micro-integrations – third-party vendors such as channel managers now need to be connected to your property management system (PMS) to be a truly seamless booking experience. This will provide a hassle-free booking experience for your guests as well as make your staff more efficient with their time.
2. Delivering a Frictionless Guest Experience
Improving guest experience has always been top-of-the-list for property owners. Cloud-based technology combined with artificial intelligence and better use of data has made this easier. Booking platforms are now capable of capturing a lot of data, giving you a better understanding of your guests and preferences. This information is vital to sell more and sell smarter.
Frictionless experiences are also trickling in via systems such as face recognition, check in via mobile apps, ability to sync devices to in-room services, etc.
3. Minimalism and Natural Design
From Shanghai to Cyprus, the minimalist look is progressively becoming second nature in accommodation worldwide. Clean lines and less clutter create a sense of calm and beauty so immersive that your guests won’t want to ever leave. Ditch the wallpaper for painted walls instead and don’t forget to add plants!
4. Vacation Rentals Become Mainstream
Sharing economy is here to stay. Millennials love the Airbnb and HomeAway experience. Hoteliers, B&B and apartment owners worldwide are joining the revolution by making these channels a part of their distribution strategy. Expect this trend to keep growing.
5. Creating Private Experiences
Guests are seeking more privacy, a private getaway from the hustle and bustle that can come with some hotels and larger accommodations. The attraction to private chefs and pools are becoming more and more popular. Some hotels are getting around this with creating private spaces or gated communities adjacent to their own business to accommodate this ever-increasing need from guests, whilst they still have access to all the amenities of the hotel right at their fingertips.
6. Sustainability Is Key
These days, eco-friendly practices are becoming the norm in the hospitality industry. People now expect it. Accommodation providers are now starting to consider the environmental impact on everything they use; from plastic straws to the need for lights to switch off automatically once a guest leaves their room.
7. Creating Partnerships With Local Transportation
Before choosing where to stay, a lot of travelers look at what is local to the accommodation as well as modes of transport. Local transportation companies are becoming more open to partnering with hotels, which is why hotel management should look into transportation like limos and rental cars. Taking that extra step for your guests will increase repeat visits and gain your hotel better reviews online.
8. Increased Emphasis On Guests’ Health And Well-being
The wellness tourism industry is currently estimated at $563 billion. Over the last five years, travellers are expecting more from their accommodation than just a bed. They are pursuing innovative wellness experiences such as health spas, private saunas, fitness centres, as well as healthy food options. Growing trends are yoga spaces or retreats, air purification, in-room gym equipment and even vitamin-based shower-water.