Hospitality industry has grown leaps and bounds in the last few years. The transition from providing a mere hotel stay to providing a seamless experience with top most quality is evident in the hotel sector. New trends keep on emerging as hotels try to enhance experience of their customers. In markets where year on year growth is expected to be exponential, tapping on these hot new trends will be the key to maximum revenues.
Embracing Google, Amazon and TripAdvisor
According to reports by trading economics, annual disposable income is increasing every consecutive year. Since disposable income is increasing, it is obvious that the number of travellers is bound to increase in the coming years.
Moreover, services are already homogeneous. So advertising at lower price is the only key to increase room bookings. As a matter of fact, Google’s travel ads have an amazing conversion rate and help hotels to drive local business. Thus, Google, retail giant Amazon and review site TripAdvisor have been developing new products that helps in expanding their reach in the travel sector.Google’s hotel finder and Amazon Travel are gaining a lot of buzz in the media and are slated to be extremely popular among travellers in the coming seasons. TripAdvisor has two products – TripConnect and Instant Booking, both of which allow users to book rooms on their website itself.
These new online products will push hotels to spend more on online advertising and hotels need to watch out for the updates on these products.
Adopting Mobile technology
Large number of consumers uses their tablets or smart phones for hotel bookings.
However, it is time to take mobile technology a step further and adopt it in other aspects of the hotel’s functioning. For example, Starwood Hotels and resorts have introduced keyless entry into the rooms through mobile devices. Hotel guests simply need to register their mobile devices and they will receive their room number and other details on their smartphones itself. All it takes is one simple mobile app and guests can enter their rooms without a key.
That’s not all, more hotels are likely to allow mobile check-ins and point of sale payments through mobile devices.
Targeting tech-savvy guests on social media
From Wi-Fi in rooms and lobbies to touch screens in suites, hotels have upgraded themselves to attract tech-savvy guests. But in order to reach out to them, hotels need to adopt social media to its fullest. From gorgeous food shots on Instagram to trending hashtags on Twitter, hotels need to step up their game to stand out on social media platforms. Additionally, social media will help to build brand reputation and improve communication between hotels and guests. Tech savvy guests tend to share their hotel experience on social media and thus help in enriching customer service experiences through social media.
Furthermore, hotels that will brand themselves distinctively will be able to attract young generation of customers. Hotels can achieve this by developing unique mobile applications to meet consumer demands.
Integration of cloud solutions
Investing in cloud technology that integrates different hotel operations and increases profits will be the norm for hotels of all sizes. Cloud technologies improve operational efficiencies especially if the hotel owns multiple properties. It gives them the freedom to oversee multiple properties from one location. Cloud based hotel management software with CRM, POS and PMS allow hoteliers to focus on their main responsibility i.e. guest relations.
Focus on health and well being
When it comes to product and service offering, hotels have to keep reinventing themselves to stay relevant. Since travellers these days are more health savvy, it is essential to address their new lifestyle choices by offering new products and services in the hotel. This could be in the form of vegan food, hot yoga sessions, all natural toiletries etc. There is a growing market of travellers who are embracing these healthy lifestyle choices and by catering to them hotels can earn higher revenues. Irrespective of the size of the hotels, hoteliers can make small changes to embrace this lifestyle change. For example they can start by introducing yoga mats, vending machines with vegetarian options, vegan milk options for breakfast etc.
For hotels to stay relevant in 2015, these trends will provide clear perspective. From technological changes to product differentiation, there are many aspects hotels can work on. You can also view an infographic about more technology trends for hoteliers.