6 Hospitality Business Trends That Are Shaping the Future
It goes without saying that the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent safety measures have had a significant impact on the hospitality industry. We can expect to feel the effects this year and beyond. Meanwhile, increased consumer awareness of all things purposeful from technology to cultural mores has set new benchmarks.
Thanks to EHL Insights for sharing some of the trends that we need to keep our eyes on.
#1 – Staycations
Travel restrictions in 2020 have facilitated the rise of the staycation. Some vacationers may also be choosing to stay closer to home for environmental or budgeting reasons, with this year having seen a marked uptick in holidays spent more locally.
#2 – Digitalized Guest Experiences & Contactless Technology
Apps are increasingly important and can now control many aspects of the guest cycle and experience.
The trend towards digital and contactless services has gained new momentum in 2020. Traditionally customer-facing services are being given an overhaul, thanks to the more widespread use of technology-assisted options, such as mobile check-in, contactless payments, voice control and biometrics.
Unfortunately these upgrades may be costly to install and maintain. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, we recommend you dig deep and make the investment.
#3 – Experience Economy & Essentialism
Customers request extreme personalization, unique experiences, and so on.
Travelers are decreasingly seeking lavish displays of wealth, preferring instead to spend wisely, purposefully and make a positive impact on the world. Unique experiences that give back to local communities in meaningful ways are in demand, as are niche properties, adventurous holidays and relaxation retreats.
#4 – Generations X and Y
These new generations have different requirements and needs compared to older generations. A respondent said “Older generations think about hotels and car rentals. Younger generations think about Airbnb and Uber.” Hospitality industry needs to evaluate their offerings to ensure appeal to these burgeoning markets.
#5 – Sustainability
People are becoming increasingly sensitive to environmental and social issues.
Avoiding disposable plastics, eliminating unnecessary paper consumption and reducing food waste, are considerations that are shaping decisions made at the C-suite management level. The wrong choices can be catastrophic to your business growth.
#6 – Virtual & Augmented Reality
Recognizing the need for visually appealing content, competitive players in hospitality are capitalizing on features such as virtual tours, conjuring up a digital environment for consumers to picture themselves in. Videos providing 360-degree views of restaurant ambiance, spa retail stores, sweet little café terraces enveloped in greenery or hotel beachfront locations, are just the ticket to make an establishment stand out this year.
Keeping the access threshold low is key to reaching as broad an audience as possible with virtual reality material: making content accessible on a variety of devices, without the need for a VR headset.
On site, guests should be able to use their smartphone to point it at real-world artefacts and summon up additional information. Augmented reality uses graphical or informational overlays to enhance in-situ environments.
Business has changed drastically after the pandemic. It may be time to rethink your strategy for 2021 and beyond.