Travel Trade Journal
Hospitality Industry A Flashback and Fast Forward in Trends
Consumers today expect a hassle-free, efficient, and convenient experience, and with their ever-changing expectations, creating exceptional customer service is an area where all brands can innovate. So, the hospitality industry is well on its way to revol
Many aspects of the hospitality industry have changed in the past decade and, more so in the last two years to accommodate new technology and shifting consumer behavior. The development of technology and internet access has also increased travellers’ expectations, which are now as advanced as the new-age portable smartphone itself. Before deciding which hotel they want to stay at, customers can easily compare hotel prices, read reviews, access images, and conduct full research on all their alternatives. Moreover, consumers have higher expectations for the goods and services they wish to use—and are ready to pay the price for high-end safety and hygiene services during their stay.
There has been a huge shift from the pre-pandemic hospitality era and the developments taking place as the world is shifting back to normalcy. The social distancing norms paved the way for a more digitised way of carrying out operations in the hospitality industry. Tracking the developments in the industry so far, it will not be wrong to predict that the upcoming change in trends will focus more on resonating with the expectations of the new-age traveller. A few decades from now, the hospitality sector will be an amalgamation of improved technology, a globalised scale of business, and newer and optimum marketing strategies. Therefore, it’s important to remember that key trends like sustainability and personalised experiences backed with technological advancement will play an even more important role in the times to come.
With eco-tourism garnering a huge scale of attention, travellers are becoming more cognizant of the natural environment around them, giving rise to trends that are here to stay for longer than we anticipate.
The preservation of the natural and cultural features that draw tourists to a location is becoming essential to the success of hospitality enterprises. Travellers, diners, hotel guests, and retailers today give sustainability a lot of thought. They want to be sure that they use ethical business practices in terms of the environment, society, and culture. This trend is likely to be amplified in the future. Practices like minimised usage of plastic, and ensuring a livelihood for the local artists by sourcing their craft into the hotel interior, including features like eco-bubbles, and organic harvest from the local farms, to name a few, will carve out a pathway for the same.
Another simmering trend that the pandemic brought to a boil appears to be the increase in pet-related travel facilities.
Many hotels are evolving to provide safe and the most comfortable pet-friendly accommodations within their property. With the trend initially catching pay in the form of making pet snacks, beds, bowls, and toys available, holidaying with pets is a trend that has huge growth potential in the years to come.
With AI ruling the globe, an increased inclination toward technology has been on the priority list of hotels. Technological advancements, including contactless payments, chatbots, mobile check-ins, and virtual hotel tours have simplified pricing, payment processing, and feedback mechanisms. So far, technology has helped in cost-cutting, improving overall efficiency, and a better customer experience in the hotel industry but in the coming years, this might see a tremendous rise. In the present times, hotels adopting the use of robots for welcoming guests and providing basic services like cleaning might not be a common sight, but this will certainly be a norm in the future.
Utilities are indisputably an expensive endeavor in the hospitality space. Higher spending and unsustainable practices deplete profit margins and jeopardise the property’s financial health and long-term viability. With technological implementations such as smart equipment and smart sensors, the hospitality industry is quickly streamlining operations, optimising costs through real-time tracking, and timely interventions in case of any challenges. From machines to food trays, the use of innovative technology can assist in managing assets and inventories in real-time, all of which improve the visitor experience.