Technavio, a global market research company that studies emerging market trends across various industries, has identified five rising trends that are expected to impact the hospitality market for the next several years.
1. Leveraging technology to improve guest experiences: From keyless check-in and robot concierges to mobile apps and messenger-based booking, top hotel chains are continuously experimenting with new technology to enhance travelers’ experiences, from booking to check-out. These days, hotels’ mobile apps have an impressive list of features. Check-in by phone, which has long been an option at major hotel chains such as Starwood and Hilton, is highly valued by planners for streamlining attendees’ arrival experiences and reducing wait times.
2. Greater adoption of green practices: Sustainability has become increasingly important to the travel and hospitality industries, as well as their customers. With innovative practices such as installing solar-powered pool heaters and offering locally sourced toiletries, hotels and resorts are finding more creative and cost-effective ways to make their facilities, events and other services as green as possible. With climate change continuing to make headlines, green isn’t going away anytime soon.
3. Personalized services for travelers: Personalization has become one of the biggest trends of 2016. Hotels and CVBs are using data to personalize their services to better suit guests. Aloft Hotels has introduced voice-activated hotel rooms that enable guests to customize temperature and lighting, as well as explore local attractions. Another great example is Visit Orlando’s new app, which uses artificial intelligence and augmented reality to provide personalized dining and entertainment experiences for visitors.
4. Growth in last-minute bookings: According to Technavio, about 44 percent of U.S. business travelers in 2015 made last-minute trips. Over the next few years, this number is expected to grow due to the rise of globalization in a volatile economic climate. New booking services, search tools and applications that focus on last-minute bookings also make it easier for businesses to control travel and accommodation costs on last-minute business trips.
5. Increased focus on health and wellness offerings: Health and wellness is not a new trend in hospitality, but it’s certainly been gaining momentum over the last few years. Business and leisure travelers of all ages are increasingly concerned with staying healthy and fit on the road. Generally, constantly connected, always-online millennials crave out-of-the-box wellness options, while baby boomers call for more relaxing, rejuvenating amenities. From healthy and locally sourced dining options to world-renowned spa facilities, hotels and resorts are expected to continue to boost their wellness offerings.