Hospitality Trends: What Those in the Industry Need to Know
Keep on Top of Hospitality Trends
Society is always changing. That’s one of the reasons the hospitality business is so competitive. Hospitality companies, however, can keep a competitive edge by staying on top of trends in hospitality and tourism. It’s useful information whether you run a hotel, a restaurant, a bar, or a travel agency. Besides making you money, it helps you ensure customers receive the high-quality experience you want to provide.
Here, then, are ten important trends in the hospitality business. You’ll probably find something relevant here no matter the nature of your particular business.
Hospitality Trends: The Personal Touch
It’s likely true that few people have ever wanted to be treated as anonymous and interchangeable. Our modern computerized world, however, makes it easier for businesses to do exactly that. That’s probably why people are increasingly looking for personalized service.
Happily, the hospitality business can provide this in a number of ways. Hotels can provide a warm, prompt welcome to returning guests and automatically offer them the amenities they enjoyed on previous visits. Similarly, smart devices let them use their own devices and accounts for entertainment purposes.
Hospitality Trends: The Green Hotel
More and more people are concerned about the environment and sustainability. Their concern extends to giving their patronage to eco-friendly businesses.
There are various ways to practice and demonstrate sustainability. A hotel can, for example, use smart heating and smart light bulbs to conserve energy. It can offer towels and bedding made from sustainable materials and give patrons the option of not having these replaced every single day. It can feature vegetarian and vegan options in its restaurant. (Dairy-free, gluten-free, and low-fat options are also popular.)
Hospitality Trends: Enjoying the Locale
Increasingly, people feel that if they’re taking the trouble to visit a place, they want to truly experience it. They want to get in touch with its ambiance and culture.
Farmhouse and Airbnb are exceptionally well suited to meeting this demand. However, traditional hotels can also do a lot. They can connect with travel agents and tour operators to help guests explore the vicinity. They can offer local products and local cuisine. As a bonus, this may lend itself to providing the health-conscious choices already mentioned above.
Bleisure travel is a trip in which the traveler combines business with pleasure. That is to say, it’s a business trip that also makes time for leisure activities. Millennials are particularly fond of leisure travel, and leisure travelers, in general, tend to expect fast communication, easy access to information, and spontaneous services. Mobile apps are one way to meet their expectations. So is removing as many barriers to booking as you can.
The Internet of Things
In our wired, Internet-savvy age, more and more customers prefer smart hotels. A smart hotel is one in which devices communicate with one another. In a smart hotel, guests may be able to control the TV, AC, or heating from their phones or by talking to a smart speaker. Similarly, they may be able to dim or brighten the lightning or adjust a radiator
Artificial intelligence can improve the customer experience in all sorts of ways. Many have to do with customer service.
AI chatbots can cut wait times and answer questions when a customer interacts with the hotel online. Once within the hotel, guests can take advantage of voice-controlled customer service units or tourist information hubs. Meanwhile, AI provides for swift analysis of data. This in turn leads to adjustments to better meet the customer’s needs.
For better or worse, robots encountered in a hotel won’t necessarily have the humanoid forms of so many robots in sci-fi. However, often benefiting from AI, these machines can be a boon to hospitality management. They perform complex tasks either autonomously or semi-autonomously. They operate with impressive accuracy and speed at a modest cost.
Hilton has introduced a robot concierge that understands speech and can speak in turn. The Henn-Na Hotel in Nagasaki has an all-robot staff.
Virtual reality once seemed exotic to many of us. Now, however, many of us own VR products that essentially replace the physical environment with something entirely different.
In the hospitality industry, hotels could use VR to provide a vivid, detailed exploration of the hotel as part of the booking process. Travel agents could use the same technology to show off tourist attractions and arrange visits to them
Augmented reality shares feature in common with VR. Instead of conjuring up an entirely new environment, however, it provides information about the real-world environment. It usually operates via a user’s smartphone and an app.
Augmented reality can provide customers with information such as when a restaurant opens and closes. It can show the menu as well as customer reviews. It can also provide interactive maps of local attractions.