During the upcoming year there will be certain hospitality industry trends which will prove to be powerful forces of change for hoteliers. The major projections for the industry from Phocuswright were recently recounted here. However there are a number of trends to watch in 2015 which were not discussed in the Phocuswright report. These hotel related developments, while not as significant as those forecast in the report, are nonetheless important industry influencers.
Mobile technology affords hoteliers the opportunity to bring customer service and hotel operations to a new level of excellence. Hotel guests increasingly rely on their smartphones for all travel information. Because of the capabilities of these mobile devices, the expectation from hospitality customers is for hoteliers to fully leverage the technology to provide them with the functionality to accomplish all of their interaction with hotels. This means at every stage of the guest’s hotel stay; shopping for the room, making the reservation, checking-in via mobile, mobile room keys, and checking out.
Even further, hotel guests are looking for the ability to manage their trip during their stay. They would like to be able to make reservations at the hotel restaurant and spa for example. Additionally, keeping track of rewards program info, confirmation before arrival, and maps and information about the local area are important to travelers now and in the future. Over the course of the coming year, it is expected that these hotel services will become more widespread in their availability to customers. Eventually, better mobile accessibility for hotel guests will become the norm.
Hotel guests obviously reflect society at large, which is gradually going green and becoming environmentally conscious. An already established trend will continue to grow sustainably as time moves forward. An example of this trend in action is the willingness of hotel guests to forgo having hotel bed sheets and towels replaced every day. Hotels in the year to come will increase investment in energy saving measures by installing more efficient climate control systems, showers, toilets, and lighting. These investments will pay dividends in the form of long term cost savings while raising the hotel brand stature in the eyes of an increasingly green customer base.
Health and Wellness
Another area of change in hotel customer attitudes mirrors a higher level of health consciousness. Hotel guests are seeking healthier food options in hotel restaurants and room service. The expectation in regards to health and hotel amenities is for hotel properties, where possible, to feature gym, fitness, and spa facilities. Some hotels are taking this a step further by offering classes in keeping fit and yoga instruction. These trends will only increase as 2015 unfolds.
2015 should be a tremendous year for the hotel industry. Hoteliers who take sight of and leverage current and future industry trends will be better positioned for growth through higher revenues in the New Year to come.
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