Hospitality trends and demands are rapidly changing due to both customers’ wants and needs, shifting technology and external economic forces.
Hotel management trends are impacted by these changes and should adapt to a more proactive rather than reactive approach.
It is the only way to ensure continued success in driving revenue from luxury travelers. What are the latest trends in high-end hospitality industry and what can we expect in the future?
1. Smart Rooms
Essential hotel in-room amenities are going digital thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). Soon guests will expect concierge services, temperature control, music streaming and a whole host of other in-room experiences to be controlled from their smartphone.
Many innovations only require small changes to a modern hotel room. As a forward-thinking high-end hotelier, consider implementing these in the near future.
Example guestroom innovations are:
• Keyless entry
A digital version of a room key or an app on a smartphone puts an end to physical room keys and enables a contactless check-in and check-out process.
• Watch your own streams
Guests can bring portable streaming devices which seamlessly connect the in-room screen so they can watch their own movies.
If a hotel room has a platform like Enseo, guests can login to their accounts and automatically log out upon check-out.
• Smart controls
Guests want to access restaurant hours, room service menus, spa services, ‘what’s on’ recommendations, music streaming services, room light and temperature controls on an in-room tablet or via a connection to their smartphone.
2. Eco-friendly services
Many travelers are prioritising eco-friendly services and products and will choose hotels which have integrated green practices in all aspects of their business. These environmentally friendly trends are here to stay.
Focus on environmental and sustainability factors such as:
• Solar power
Hotels can generate power by using their own solar panels or they can buy solar power from their electricity provider.
• Water conservation
Cut down on water usage by using slower flow showers or more efficient laundry machines.
• Electric car use
Promote electric technology by providing plenty of car park spaces with charging points.
• Save electricity
Implementing motion sensors which only turn on lights when they detect motion conserves significant energy.
3. Hotel Technology
Innovation in the hotel technology sector has been moving forward at a rapid pace. When it comes to booking, payment and the actual hotel experience both hoteliers and guests have exciting new options. These may be trends now, but they will become more commonplace.
• WiFi 6
Like 5G for mobile phones, WiFi 6 is the next iteration of WiFi. It is a faster, more efficient connection enabled through new technologies. WiFi 6 is about 30% faster than current WiFi protocols.
• Voice activated devices
Moving on from controlling room services from a mobile device, guests simply speak their instruction for the relevant action.
• Booking experiences
Hoteliers must optimise the hotel website constantly, with a smart booking engine which increases the rate of direct online bookings.
It is essential to make sure the website is mobile-friendly as a majority of guests use smartphones for booking.
• Contactless technologies
Hotels can increase guest engagement with an application that doesn't require a download.
In addition, upgraded payment technologies will accept contactless payments for all transactions.
Guest can scan QR codes around the hotel
or in a guestroom to access information via their smartphones. You can also use these codes for a simplified check-in and out process.
• Digitise meeting venues
There are new digital tools designed especially for the meetings and events market. Using this, MICE planners and sales managers can share meeting space availability and pricing.
Clients and event planners can reserve venues online and also add a blend of remote and in-house attendees.
Hotels don’t need to become technology companies, they need to focus on being tech-enabled. There are many great companies to partner with who will provide fantastic options which digitally enhance a guest’s stay.
These preferences and options can be stored in your CRM and recalled when the guest stays again, delivering improved satisfaction, direct bookings and ultimately profit.