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Hotel trends: The biggest indicators in the hotel and hospitality industry

  Posted in Resources

Hotel industry trends

Talking about trends, trying to predict them, and attempting to foresee the future is very much a trend in itself. The future of the hotel and hospitality industries is a hot topic and the paths to success are potentially many.

In general terms, hotel industry trends or hospitality trends generally look at new consumer behaviour, new technology, and the new business theories that are powered largely by the former two factors.

Sometimes though, the more things change the more they stay the same. Of course, in the next five to 10 years much might change within the hotel industry, but we wouldn’t expect the core values of hospitality to deviate. In fact, they’ll probably become even more important.

It’s the way hotels capitalise on new trends that is vital.

One thing for sure is that generic or impersonal hotel companies will struggle to survive in the future. Your hotel must have a personality that connects to both existing and prospective guests. It’s a vital ingredient for travellers who are looking for a unique travel experience. Obviously this personality must be conveyed via your staff and the property itself. Every hotel room and human interaction should reflect what your brand represents. You can make many interior design and decorating statements to support your message. This personality should also permeate your online presence.

This blog will take you through a number of current or future trends that your hotel should be aware of or is in a position to take advantage of.

Table of contents

Hotel trends

Let’s think about the physical and philosophical nature of hotels and how they might be changing.

Here’s a list of some commonly heard initiatives that are increasing in their application around the world.

  • Smart hotels

Incorporating the Internet of Things (IoT) into a property is something that excites guests. It offers them a high level of convenience and efficiency, and also a sense of luxury. People are starting to incorporate tech like this in their own homes so the demand for it in hotels is sure to increase.

  • Sustainable hotels

Generally, society is becoming more environmentally conscious as it becomes clear sustainability is an important issue. These changing attitudes are filtering into the way travellers choose their hotel. Sustainable hotels look at eco-friendly construction, energy saving, waste management as priorities.

  • Robot staff

Some travellers may find it confronting to be served by a robot, others may welcome the chance not to have to interact with humans when staying at their hotel. More and more hotels are using robots in some capacity, to help automate check-in and check-out, carry luggage and acts as concierges, or for room service.

  • Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

These technologies are no longer the niche segments they once were. Extremely popular already in gaming and entertainment as well as attractions, they can also be quite useful to hotel customers. Virtual reality replaces the real world with visual and audio input while augmented reality layers virtual elements onto the real world. Customers who want to try before they buy can take virtual tours of your property and even parts of the destination. With AR, a hotel might use something like an interactive map to provide information to guests.

  • Unique brand experiences

Many hotels are now starting to differentiate their brand by doing something unique with the way they design, layout, or outfit their property. Travellers are looking more and more for cool, experiential hotel stays so anything a hotel can do to provide a novelty factor is going to be at an advantage.

All of these trends are influenced and informed by greater societal trends. This is why it’s so important for hoteliers to look at shifting away from the traditional and embrace the radical if they want to maintain a healthy business. There’ll always be a place for good old fashioned hospitality but they way it’s delivered probably will need to alter.

Trends in the hotel industry that lasted

Not all trends have to be new. There are many that reshape the industry and become an integral part of it, continuing to grow over time.

Examples of this include:

  • Sharing economy

Airbnb represented a major disruption in the travel industry and it certainly stuck – but it didn’t kill hotels either. Just as Uber hasn’t killed taxis. Rather it’s contributed to a growth in the industry which can only be a good thing.

  • Online travel agents

Obviously OTAs changed the entire landscape of the hotel industry. They made it so much easier for travellers to find and book hotels, and much easier for hotels to reach target audiences. Hotels were able to brand build and occupy their rooms like never before. It did come at a price however, with hotels needing to pay OTAs for the privilege of accessing their guests. These days, OTAs are a necessary part of a hotel’s sales and marketing strategy.

  • Digital guest experiences

Digital marketing has been a way to reach travellers for a while but it continues to grow. Customers themselves are interacting with digital experiences more than ever before and are now expecting to be communicated to via digital formats. Apps in particular are seeing a huge rise in usage and there are tonnes of ways hoteliers can use apps to manage the relationship they have with prospective and existing guests.

  • Boom of global tourism

Global tourism has grown steadily year on year, especially as more nations become developed and low cost carriers have enabled people to cross the world at a reasonable price. Travellers from locations like Korea, China, and India now represent a large body of potential guests for hoteliers. Their demand has a big impact on what the hotel offers.

  • Young markets

Young people have always had a sense of adventure and desire to travel. In today’s climate they are a huge consideration for hoteliers. Generations Y and Z live for the opportunity to getaway and undertake life-changing or life-enriching experiences. They also bring a new focus to travel, with older generations thinking about hotels and car rentals while the younger group are starting to think about Airbnb and Uber.

  • Power of social media

Since the launch of Facebook and other social media platforms, the power to influence travellers has soared – and will continue. The amount of media that can be pushed to global audiences is vast and extremely incentivising. Brands can market much better and are constantly finding news ways to use social media to collect loyal customers. Meanwhile, when travellers share videos and photos of their trips with friends and family, this is one of the most impactful factors in inspiring others to take a trip. The other advantage of social media’s growing dominance is that it makes your property available to travellers 24/7 with chatbots and automated messaging.

Instagram in particular is the place to be for hotels and travel brands given it has one billion monthly users and 500 million users of stories each day. In addition, 2020 is set to see a mobile phone penetration rate of 73% amongst the world’s population, strengthening the power of social media.

Hotel industry news trends: Traveller behaviour

There are many trends that revolve around traveller behaviour. Who travels the most? Where are they travelling to? This information can change often, commonly year to year depending on many factors including the political landscape, weather, conflict, economy, and more.

We can use a report from Expedia Media Solutions that was published in recent years as an example. It looked at the differences between Australian, Chinese, and Japanese travellers.

Here are the most interesting findings.

Who travels the most and for how long?
Chinese travellers take a full two extra trips each year when compared to Australians; 5.3 against 3.3. However, this means Australians have more time on each holiday, spending an average of 10.6 days per trip, compared with China’s 6.3. Japanese travellers lay in the middle on both fronts. Australians are the most likely to go overseas (45%), followed by China (27%), and Japan (14%).

What are the reasons for travel?
Travel motivations differed quite a bit between nations and generations. For Chinese travellers, relaxing was the most popular response at 74%, while in Australia 51% said visiting family was important, and 54% of Japanese travellers most enjoyed a staycation. All three nations ranked highly for sightseeing (China 62%, Japan 61%, Australia 42%).

Other categories were more varied. The findings showed that 88% of Chinese travellers strongly agreed that they’d go anywhere as long as they could be active and outdoors, while only 55% of Japanese travellers chose this option. Around 70% of Australians agreed life is short so taking risks and crossing off activity wishlists was important.

Which mode of transport do people use?
Unsurprisingly flying is the most common and popular way of reaching a destination, 72% of Australians indicated this was how they reached their destination. However, only 37% of Japanese travellers said they would fly. They were almost as likely to drive (31%) or take a train (25%). These figures are much higher than both China and Australia. Chinese travellers were also found to be heavily flight dominant at 66%.

What type of accommodation do these travellers choose?
Australians are the most explorative when it comes to what property they will stay in. As opposed to 90% of Japanese travellers, only 50% of Australians stay in a hotel, while 20% are happy to stay with family/friends, 12% will go to a resort, and 6% will consider alternative accommodations. Interestingly, no Japanese travellers said they would consider alternatives.

How are travel budgets handled?
On average, 92% of all nations tried to for the best value deals. Chinese travellers are especially budget conscious with 81% rating it a primary factor in choosing accommodation. They tend to save their money for the trip where they allocate the biggest proportion (after their hotel) to shopping (16%).

Japanese travellers spend the most on food (18%), and Australians put 25% into their flights.

OTAs are the most popular hotel booking resource, especially for Chinese guests who were at over 60%. Search engines were strong for all three, as were hotel’s own websites – with the exception of Chinese travellers who said they prefer review sites.

What destination trends and advertising opportunities arose?
Most travellers are indecisive about their destination giving marketers a strong opportunity to influence the decision making process. Travellers who don’t have a destination in mind or have two or more when they decide to take a trip: China (51%), Japan (64%), Australia (55%).

When it comes to advertising 66% of Chinese travellers responded most favourably to imagery (millennials even higher at 88%), and 63% to informative content. Japanese (45%) (51% for millennials) and Australian (54%) (61% for millennials) tended more towards the appeal of the deals being advertised. In general boomers were much more focused on content.

Popular hotel technology trends

Technology is an area of the industry that is showing the greatest and most accelerated development, both in terms of technology the hotel uses and technology the guest uses before, during, and after their stay.

Digital media and the unending march of technology means the way you present your hotel business and get people interested will be different to the past.

The increasing popularity of video marketing and the rise of virtual reality (VR) will give guests a whole new opportunity to guests when researching travel and exploring the hotels they want to stay with. To this end you need quality content to host on these platforms and show off the unique selling points of your property.

Video marketing is a great way to go behind the scenes of your hotel to give guests more insight, make great advertisements for your rooms and services, and generally create exciting, varied content.

With VR guests will be able to have a virtual tour, transported through the VR headset to your reception area, dining area, kitchen, amenities, and to their rooms where they would stay. Through this technology the opportunities are endless for your hotel to showcase its features, or promote events and upcoming attractions.

More and more millennials are travelling nowadays. It’s expected they’ll make up 50% of global travellers by 2020.

This market is extremely tech-savvy and they’re teaching other generations too. The result is that most travellers will be all for any technology that makes their life easier, meaning your hotel must respond.

The most important tech trends

  • Voice technology

In the past couple of years it’s become apparent voice technology is set to play a major
role in the future of society, never mind a particular industry. Voice recognition devices are
already being used in millions of homes, offices, and cars via Google and Amazon among
others.

With the amount of data in the world, voice search is another aspect with the potential to
really narrow things down. Instead of a whole screen of information overload, a voice-based search will be designed to deliver a much more personal and helpful result. Amazon has announced its voice assistant is coming to hotels, from chains to vacation rentals. The system can be customised to include key guest information, like checkout time or pool hours; allows guests to request services like housekeeping or room service; and can be configured to control “smart” hotel room functions, like adjusting the thermostat, controlling the TV and entertainment systems, or raising the blinds. Working through installed Echo devices, guests will be able to ask Alexa for information about the hotel itself – like where the fitness center is located, when the pool is open, and other general information. Obviously this kind of development is a huge step forward when trying to improve guest experience, giving travellers freedom, convenience, and style during their stay.

However, the greatest impact may come from travellers using Alexa in their homes as the
technology develops further with the help of artificial intelligence. If guests can have a conversation with Alexa and ask it to find them a hotel, or organise a trip, then the whole
search and distribution landscape changes.

  • Drone technology

Using drones for photography and videography has become extremely popular and will only grow over the next 12 months. Individuals are using it on days out, on trips, and to help sell
properties or products. The images that drones can produce have a real wow factor, and can
obviously capture infinitely more detail than a handheld camera. Many travellers now use drones to document their trips and to post breathtaking pictures to social media, giving friends and family a true example of a destination’s beauty. It’s easy to see the potential this aerial photography holds for destination and hotel marketing.

With a drone, it’s easy to take photos that captivate travellers online. In an age where travellers are looking for as much information as possible, this extra exciting point of view could be the factor that seals a booking for your property. Not only are travellers receiving your amazing ground-level accommodation pictures, but an almost preview of their trip at your destination with drone footage able to show them more than ever before.

  • Demand for flexible check-in and check-out

The more time-efficient travellers become, the more time-efficiency they crave. The more convenience they’re offered, the more they want. The natural moral of the story here is that if you give someone something good, they won’t take kindly to reverting back to old ways. With huge efforts being made around the world to personalise and improve guest experience, travellers will now only settle for the best. Check-in and check-out are one of the most important places where this can be improved and over the next 12 months, great strides will be taken.

One of the greatest bug-bears for guests is any delay or friction at the front desk and when arriving and departing for their trip. One of the reasons for this is that many hoteliers around the world rely on manual methods for managing their property. By
definition, this will be slower than any automatic process that exists. The good news is
that technology exists to allow for much smoother check-in/out experiences for guests.
Your hotel risks falling behind competitors if you ignore this trend.

  • New ways to pay

Obviously payment is extremely important for guests and hotels alike, but it should never be the central focus of either party’s thoughts. Payment should be seamless, easy, and fast. In other words; hassle-free.

Being one of the more progressive areas of technology, many changes will occur in 2019 that will affect your hotel. The main points to focus on are emerging and alternative forms of payment, and new developments in integrated payment systems.

Alternative forms of payment basically encompass anything beyond typical card and cash transactions. This might include cryptocurrencies or loyalty points and will form the basis for a cashless society.

Integrated payment solutions are now making it much simpler for hotels to accept and process transactions. With payment portals housed within the property management system, clunky hardware is eliminated, and paperless transactions are enabled.

Again, convenience is king. Customers will always look for, and choose, the payment method that’s easiest for them. Sometimes this doesn’t align with what’s most convenient for you, but if you can satisfy a guest’s need for quick and easy payment you’re more likely to be rewarded with loyalty. It’s also important to keep track of any trends that might allow you to drive repeat business. In a saturated market any offering that elevates your brand above another is a major win. This past year Expedia and Cheap-O-Air have already opened the door for cryptocurrencies, allowing travellers to purchase flights, hotels, and vacation packages with their completely digitised tender, ushering in a new era for the travel industry.

  • Artificial intelligence

Chatbots have been well and truly established in customer service this year, with the trend to be cemented and improved in the next 12 months. Very few websites now don’t involve some kind of interaction with a notification pop-up asking if you need assistance. In hospitality, this trend is especially strong, where 24/7 support is often required. This type of artificial intelligence is proving very useful for helping visitors with their enquiries, processing bookings, and checking guests in and out.

AI robots are also starting to become more than a fad, with the ability for AI to seriously increase productivity and efficiency when employed for straightforward tasks.

HubSpot conducted research that suggested 57% of consumers enjoy communicating with chatbots because of their ability to respond immediately. Chatbots certainly have the ability to save you money on labour hours, but are a great supplement to the rest of your staff in general. As for actual AI robots, they could similarly provide a diversified booking method, improved guest interaction, and increased data collection. Specifically, think of positions like valet, cleaning and maintenance, room service, property management, or security.

  • Distribution tech

You don’t need to be told twice how important it is to make sure travellers are finding and booking your hotel. Distributing your rooms to the right channels is vital for the success of your business, as is managing distribution and reservations in an effective manner. As time goes by an increasing pool of distribution channels will become available, and we’ll see an increasing number of hotels adopt technology to help with this.

As more online booking channels announce their presence across the industry, and more travellers visit these platforms in large numbers, hotels have started to expand their distribution network by partnering with more OTAs and other platforms in order to ensure maximum visibility.

Currently only about half of the world’s hotels use a dedicated channel manager, a low number considering how useful this technology is for expanding a hotel’s reach and eliminating double-bookings. However this won’t be the case for long, with many hotels looking to expand their potential and gain a stronger foothold in their local market.

Future trends in the hotel industry

Everyone wants to know what’s going to happen in the future. Looking at indications for what’s going to occur this year and in following years is very useful for staying at the forefront of any particular movements and staying competitive in your markets.

Most lasting trends are incremental, building bit by bit, so it’s like that future trends are trends right now that are simply on a smaller scale than they will be as more time passes.
With that in mind, personalisation and data are two big areas to stay focused on in the future, amongst many others. Here’s a full list of what’s expected to be a strong trend in the years ahead:

  • Smart rooms

Travellers will pay a lot for convenience and what’s more convenient than a room that doubles as your personal assistant? With wireless charging, smart controls such as Amazon Alex and Google Nest, the internet of things, soundproofing etc travellers will be able to do anything they want in their hotel room and barely have to move a muscle to do it. Smart rooms will enable guests to be as relaxed as they possibly can be on a trip. Afterall, think about how frustrating and stressful it can be trying to find everything and figure out how things work when you first arrive at your hotel room.

  • Green hotels

The world is quickly becoming more environmentally conscious, to the point where it is starting to impact the traveller’s choice about where they stay. Hotels are reacting by using solar power, conserving water, reducing plastic, adopting motion sensors, and adding meat alternatives to menus. It’s what guests now expect so hotels need to join the sustainable movement.

  • Multicultural employment

Increasing immigration in many countries is creating more global workforces. Hospitality is especially strong in this area, making many hotels truly international. This adds another dimension to the guest’s stay. They might be served from someone from their own country or learn about a culture they’ve never visited before while staying somewhere they haven’t visited before either.

  • Technology on every front

Technology is advancing to the point where no part of a trip or experience is without it, and hotels rarely operate without it. Artificial intelligence can be used for pricing rooms, to checking-in guests, to online help, room service, and more. Transport technology is being upgraded, search engines can now be voice operated, and there’s literally a mobile app for everything. On the whole, technology makes it much easier to personalise the guest experience and remember their preferences.

  • Traveller priorities

It’s never been more true that travellers are looking for experiences over materials. They are constantly looking for something unique or something that speaks to what they are passionate about. To give you an idea of what this means, there are people who will travel for their love of coffee alone for instance. Or there are those who will visit sports-themed hotels just because of their love of baseball or basketball for example. Other influences on traveller experiences that are on the rise include glamping, cannabis tourism, medical tourism, social media influencers, and – pets. We know pets are a huge part of people’s lives and they increasingly want their pets to be able to share their experiences. It’s something for hoteliers to think about.

  • Hotel designs and business strategy

Driven by the changing preferences of travellers, many hotels are attempting to take up the challenge. ‘Cool’ luxury brands are starting to pop up in increasing numbers, along with ‘instagrammable’ brands, micro-rooms, a focus on local design and flavour, and experiential social spaces.

The reason so many hotels are striving to be ‘different’ is because globalisation continues unabated. There are changing demographics as some rising nations get more money to travel, and the gap between the upper and middle class keeps widening. Wealthy travellers crave even more novelty, creativity, and over-the-top experiences for their money.

Travel industry trends: How to stay relevant

Clearly the most important trends are the ones which will impact whether or not a traveller chooses your hotel.

Where should you be concentrating your efforts to capture bookings?

To stay relevant and ensure the regular flow of bookings, don’t ignore the following:

  • Mobile booking – Online bookings via mobile are increasing exponentially.
  • Social media – The prevalence of social media in decision making is increasing, particularly instagram.
  • Growth in Asia and Asia Pacific travel – These guests come with their own set of ideals and preferences.
  • Multi-channel distribution – As traveller markets become more diverse, so must your ability to reach them.
  • Technology is a driving force – It’s now a significant disadvantage not to be tech-led in your business strategy.
  • Transport is becoming cheaper – More people are being freed to travel, bringing new markets into play. Do you have an offer for them?
  • People want travel to be enriching – The experience of visiting another destination should be fulfilling and exciting. You need to make sure a stay at your hotel is not a forgettable one.
  • Money talks – Travellers are now willing to spend more if it means they get a unique experience. The value for money is the most important thing.

Hospitality trends: Prominence of wellness travel

One of the biggest trends in recent times has been wellness travel; people travelling to make an improvement in their bodily and mental health to achieve an overall sense of well-being.

Travellers are certainly becoming more health-conscious, with technology able to help people keep a closer track of their health. Many apps and devices provide daily, even minute-by-minute, updates on blood pressure, sleep quality, calories etc.

There’s no sign this won’t continue so hotels should be doing what they can to enable those guests who are seeking wellness to stay fit of body and mind while travelling.

This might include changing your hotel menu, upgrading amenities, putting on classes, or renovating rooms to give guests the freedom of choice they want, and the ability to stick to the same routine they have at home if they choose to.

Some examples of how wellness travel fits into the grand scheme of things:

1. Stop smoking retreats

Going cold turkey is hard enough but doing it within the confines of work and other life related stress is near impossible. So taking valuable quiet time away at a health-conscious retreat will help assist a therapeutic dispelling of bad habits and cravings.

2. Men’s health

Even though men are still considerably less likely to visit a doctor than women, they’re beginning to open up and wellness retreats present a less confronting option for addressing health needs.

3. Healthy mind and emotion healing holidays

A growing realisation that a healthy life is made up of a balance between mind and body sees retreats offering wellness coaching in mindfulness, meditation and yoga to help people combat burnout.

4. Eat-well detox holidays

‘I’m going on a detox’ is a commonly heard phrase between friends and workmates but how many people stick to their plan? Combining a detox with a holiday at a healthy-eating retreat will assure the traveller gets the physical cleansing they were hoping for.

5. Zen and adrenaline

Two things that may not seem like they go together are relaxation and adventure sports but combining both encourages a traveller to live in the moment and let go of any worries they are suffering.

6. Family-wellness holidays

Once off-limits to children, retreats and spas now encourage quality family time, with some treatments specifically designed for children. These are often treated as a tech switch-off trip where the family can bond over new adventures and activities.

7. Workplace wellness

It’s become commonplace for work ‘teams’ to take weekends away together to bond and enjoy each other’s company without the stress of work. Often, these are physically active trips.

8. Eco-friendly wellness retreats

The affinity with mother nature that is encouraged by wellness travel is resulting in the emergence of more environment-conscious travellers who want to relax without feeling guilty about it.

As wellness grows as a social movement overall, there are always new trends emerging to change the way people interact with their health and daily lives.

Here are four more wellness travel trends that were uncovered, which hotels could pay attention to:

1. A new era of transformative travel
Transformative travel, the concept of travelling to find a new perspective or to undergo some self-reflection, is set to take a step further. New ideas are forming on the basis of stories or narratives. Instead of one destination and experience to change perception, a new trend will be about multiple linked chapters taking a traveller through an emotional saga of transformation.

By blending storytelling with wellness experiences the emotional power can be much stronger. In this situation the wellness and the art/performance are happening together – like soaking in hot springs while taking in a play or meditating in the galleries of art museums.

An example includes Iceland’s The Red Mountain Resort, where travellers can experience the emotional and sensory voyage of an ancient hero, while enjoying all the wellness amenities the property has to offer.

2. Wellness in the kitchen – what’s the impact on travel?
Society is starting to move away from an embrace of processed and long-lasting food. People now want living, healthy, organic local food. The trend is poised to turn kitchens into a better reflection of themselves, using advancements in technology to foster a healthier lifestyle.

In essence, people care more about the freshness and quality of food than they used to. This coincides with a growing number of individuals who identify as vegan.

Given one of the biggest factors for travellers is to enjoy rare, unique, and wonderful dining experiences, a more authentic experience in their own homes only raises the stakes for accommodation providers. Hotels and resorts must focus more than ever on sourcing local produce and preparing meals for guests in a traditional manner.

3. Extreme travel as a path towards wellness
The idea of pushing the body to the limits to produce both physical and mental benefits is gaining popularity. Taking extreme challenges, treatments, and experiences goes some way to redefining what humans can do and giving people more control over their health and wellness.

Many travellers are now taking the view that relaxing by a beach or staying at a yoga retreat should not be the extent of a wellness trip. Instead, one-of-a-kind challenges are taking centre stage. This might mean hiking eight hours along a glacier or rafting down the Amazon, whatever might scare off the ordinary person. Logging-off from the world is a tie-in to this, with a key part of the experience being to abandon Google maps, social media, work emails etc.

An example is UK travel company Black Tomato, which takes travellers out of their comfort zones on tailor-made trips that take six months to prepare and cost upwards of $30,000.

4. Feminist wellness and travel grows more powerful
Many women are finding empowerment through travel, and most wellness travel happens to be aimed at women. However, these days there is a more creative,wild transformation happening, where women will travel on solo adventures to challenge themselves.

The report suggests more women now associate wellness more closely with climbing Machu Picchu than a traditional and chilled spa weekend. This is backed up by the fact the average adventure traveller is a 48-year-old woman.

Many travel companies are now positioning challenging adventure holidays as a chance for women to experience personal growth. Another trend for women’s wellness travel is on the subject of healing pain, targeting women who want to take a transformative trip after experiencing some kind of grief or trauma, and helping them get past it.

While many of the hotels employing wellness marketing techniques are quite unique to each other, they’re all an answer to the travellers’ increasing desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle whether they’re at home, on a holiday, or on the road for business.

Hospitality industry trends: Old favourites

By now, you’re probably overwhelmed by the number of trends that are flying all over the industry. It’s a huge industry and at the end of the day you need to find your niche and own it. You can’t please everyone and you can’t do everything.

Hospitality is about giving your target audience the best experience possible. In saying that, some trends can’t be ignored and some don’t go away.

We’ll leave you with a few that you’ll already be familiar with but shouldn’t be forgetting anytime soon:

  • Millennial travel

Millennial travellers love to live in the moment, meaning they can be impulsive and adventurous but also demanding. They are the group that definitely wants experiences over material possessions. This has an impact on the tourism industry, since it has to try to please one of its biggest markets.

  • Exclusivity

Privacy, intimacy, escape… travellers want to get away from the buzz to find experiences that feel unique to them. You don’t have to be a remote hotel to attract these guests however. You can create separate spaces, or offer additional services etc. This is balanced with offering a local experience that guests won’t be able to find at home.

  • Bleisure travel

‘Bleisure’ is the name given to trips which combine business travel with leisure activities, and
It has been a popular term for some time now, because it’s a behaviour that has become commonplace.

Millennials, again, abound here. Millennials that travel for work are opting to stay a little longer either side of the trip to experience the cities at their leisure. In fact, many millennials are opting for careers where travel is more likely.

Bleisure travellers in general are going to look for spontaneous services, speed, and convenience to make the most of their time.

Key Takeaways

  • Generic or impersonal hotel companies will struggle to survive in the future.
  • Smart hotels, sustainable hotels, robot staff, VR and AR, and unique brand experiences are all big trends right now.
  • The sharing economy, OTAs, digital guest experiences, global tourism, young markets, and the power of social media are all trends that had staying power.
  • Travellers from different markets will behave differently from each other. For example travellers from Australia won’t have the same preferences as travellers from Japan.
  • There are many trends within travel technology, such as artificial intelligence, voice technology, mobile technology, and much more.
  • Smart rooms, green hotels, multicultural workforces, domination of tech, inventive hotel designs, and changing traveller priorities are all trends that will continue in the future.
  • To stay relevant you need to identify very clearly who your most common guest is and what trends apply to them.
  • Wellness travel is a huge, broad, trend that encompasses many travellers and areas of interest. It shouldn’t be ignored.
  • Millennials, bleisure, and exclusivity are three things that should never be far from a modern hoteliers mind.

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