The hospitality industry, which heavily relies on consumer trends and shifting desires, has always been agile. Here are a few trends for 2017 that we believe is shaping the industry.
The Evolution of Luxury
The search for luxury can be easily renamed as “lux”. In 2017, the pursuit of minimalism is the world full of simplicity and clean design that is gaining popularity. For example, designing more social space and removing the formal check-in desks are just a few ways hotels are putting in more effort in idealizing a traveler's version of their home.
Minimalism presents an opportunity for reinvention in the hospitality industry. At its core, the hospitality industry is about service and connecting person-to-person relationship with their guests. When hotels no longer rely on décor to impress guests, they should begin to reinvest in staff and empowering them to connect and create a fantastic holiday experience for their guests.
In fact, 66% of millennials today expect personalized treatment from their travel companies. Service, not ornamentation will help hotels compete.
Travelers Want Experience, Not Souvenirs
The ultimate souvenir travelers care to bring home from holiday today is perhaps the perfect picture for social media. On the surface, this sounds like yet another shallow change brought by millennials, but these pictures represent something deeper. The photos that are taken is integral to how travelers share stories and experiences of what they have learned along the way.
Travelers are no longer looking for “an escape”. They are looking to fill their time with unique, authentic experiences. They want to immerse themselves in the culture of their destination. This desire – to travel like a local – presents a big trust and brand loyalty building opportunity for hotels. It’s time for hotels to re-imagine the role they can play in helping guests focus on what really matters – learning about new cultures and connecting with people all over the world.
Deloitte’s 2017 travel and hospitality industry outlook also pointed out that consumer expectations around services and product have shifted —and these generally center around authenticity, personalized experiences, removal of friction, and on-demand functionality.
Technology today opens up a whole new world of opportunities to meet such expectations: providing on-the-go connectivity so guests can access services from hotel concierge anytime, giving recommendations on local gems in real-time wherever travelers are… the sky’s the limit if you think beyond the hotel walls. As travelers are focusing on exploring out on the streets, the ability to create unique, personal experiences within and outside of the hotel will become the difference.
2017 will bring increased business fusion
With the picture as the prize and hotels focusing more than ever on guests experiences outside of the hotel, we expect to see more synergy and collaborations between members of the hospitality industry. Competition from new breed providers is increasing, but hotels working in concert with local restaurants, bars, tour operators and, ahem, innovative new apps can become the hub that they once were for culture.
Hotels working with partners, local and global, can redefine themselves as the gurus of the city, and a gateway to truly local experiences.