Some of The Biggest Hotel Trends That Have Taken Over 2018
The lodging industry is transforming in more ways than one can imagine. The millennials (those between the ages of 18-35) are America’s largest generation and have become a hot target group for the hospitality industry. Hotels are now stepping up thanks to experience-hungry millennial travelers and the hot competition caused by the rapid growth of the sharing economy, with companies like Airbnb providing a range of exclusive travel experiences even when you’re on a budget. We’re halfway through the year and it’s the right time to look back at the major trends that industry experts and thought leaders forecast for 2018. Here’s a look at the top trends in the hotel industry and how they’re taking shape in 2018.
Business Travel: Business + Leisure = Bleisure
The working millennial now merges business and leisure – craving entertainment, social engagement and business networking all under one roof. The average stay length for the modern business traveler can jump from 2 to + 6 nights according to a recent study, 43% of business trips in the US merge business and pleasure. With the global mobile workforce expected to increase from 1.45 billion in 2016 to 1.87 billion in 2020, accounting to 42.5% of the worldwide workforce, hoteliers are seeking ways to profit from this new trend by marketing their hotel to “Bleisure” travelers to further boost occupancy and generate revenue. Many hotels are tuning into the buzz by offering “Extend Your Stay or Weekend” packages with 3 nights for the price of 2 including a locally-inspired experience with breakfast, free parking, pool/spa facilities and other activities.
Enhancing the Guest Experience with Instant Messaging
More than half of the world’s population is online with the number of social media users this year rising to 3.196 billion – that’s a 13 percent increase year-on-year, according to a recent digital report. GlobalWebIndex data shows that the average internet user now spends around 6 hours each day using internet-powered devices and services – that’s roughly one-third of their waking lives. Hotels are now tapping into the potential of social media apps like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and others to engage guests, respond to inquiries and provide service. This improves Customer Relationship Management by enabling hotels to gather data and provide a more personalized guest experience. Starwood Hotels & Resorts is using a range of technologies to improve their guest experience, from embedding recommendation engines into its website and integrations with transport companies, to instant messaging, mobile room key functionalities and a robot butler. While Hyatt’s app allows you to book your stay, check in and out, request for room items and connect using Facebook messenger.
Beyond the Guest Room – Coworking Spaces and Multi-use Lobbies
Many hotel owners have trimmed down their guest rooms to create huge co-working spaces, eliminating the need for the traditional business center. Marriott’s Moxy, Hilton’s Tru and Intercontinental’s Avid all feature vast communal spaces and smaller guest rooms that are efficiently designed and offer the bare essentials. We’re now seeing spaces with restaurants, cafes and bars while front desks are being replaced with concierge areas where guests can sit down and unwind with a beverage of their choice while staff members conduct check-ins on their tablet devices. Co-working spaces are becoming increasingly popular owing to the digital nomads and tech-savvy entrepreneurs of this generation. NEST is a coworking space located in the Hotel Tryp by Wyndham in Dubai and regularly attracts entrepreneurs and business people; furnished with comfy couches, tables and desks for guests and community members to lounge around, work, take phone calls and conduct meetings. The lobby is a guest’s first impression of a hotel’s property and hotel owners are rethinking lobby design by incorporating bookstores, galleries and libraries and creating multi-use spaces for guests to work, socialize and collaborate.
The Food and Drink Outlook: Less is More
The shift in consumer behaviors has also impacted food and beverage trends. Guests frequenting full-service hotels are willing to spend more as their preferences move towards meatless, dairy- and gluten-free options from appetizers to desserts. An Avendra F&B study shows that more than 40% of properties will add fresh food convenience options in the upper upscale, upscale, upper mid-scale, and economy segments. That would imply almost 25% growth in the number of points of distribution during the next 12 months. Similar to digital marketing, hoteliers are focusing on the latest food and beverage trends relevant to their guest preferences and are seizing the opportunity to showcase their locally-sourced ingredients and appeal to consumers who genuinely care about source, quality and originality.
If you’re wondering where to start, you can pick one trend and brainstorm ways to implement it in your hotel, bed & breakfast or resort.
Our goal at DZEE USA is to enhance your guest experience, reduce operational costs and increase your hotel’s bottom line. How useful was this post? Share your thoughts by writing to us in the comments section below.