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  • Hospitality trends that we expect will evolve in 2020

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    Hospitality trends that we expect will evolve in 2020

    To see continued success, hoteliers and designers need to be prepared for inevitable changes. We’ve asked STAAH to round up the trends in hospitality to help our readers stay ahead of the curve…

    This month, technology trends have been in the spotlight. And while there is a need for new innovation, at the same time consumers also demand for more meaningful decisions in the design and running of hotels.

    In order to ensure that the industry’s evolution is progressive and not destructive, here are some of the main shifts and movements expected to affect the hospitality market in 2020.

    Millennials are driving change

    Starting with sustainable travel. Hotels of the future must go green if they want to attract the millennials – now the largest set of travellers. On cue, second city travel is also on the rise – a trend where travellers seek to visit lesser known cities to avoid over-tourism. Make 2020 the year where sustainable practices are adopted and marketed to keep your business relevant.

    Another related trend driven by the millennials is culturally inclusive travel, the need to soak in the life of the local community you visit. Become the local expert and find ways to intertwine local stories into your property’s experience.

    Technology driving decision making

    The rise of millennials has also well and truly ushered in the era of online media being the key influencer in travel decision-making. Modern travellers turn to online channels to surprise and help them make travel decisions – from where to go to best accommodation options and best local experiences.

    A rising expectation of a frictionless experience with smarter hotels and personalised service.

    Thanks for technology, guests want more without doing much – they expect you to know. It is left up to hoteliers to join data points (say hello to artificial intelligence), understand their guests and deliver an experience that leaves them breathless – enough to leave you a stellar online review that will inspire the next booking.

    Some implementations of this are smart keys, cloud-based check-in, facial recognition, smart electrical controls in the room … and this is just the start. As the digital world is going ga-ga over personalisation, hotel guests are not left behind in expecting a highly customised experience from their accommodation providers.

    On the topic of transformative technology, it is hard to leave out the role virtual reality is playing in the travel industry. From pre-arrival to entertainment during stay, virtual reality is becoming a very real thing for forward-looking hoteliers.

    Hoteliers aim to drive up direct bookings

    While online travel agents and meta agents hold the lion’s share of travel bookings, the importance of direct bookingsis not lost to hoteliers. In 2020 they continue to optimise this channel through wins on their website and a booking engine that works smarter, supported by integrated social and email marketing to deliver the message.

    Hoteliers adopt homestay concept … and evolve it

    Airbnb and other homestay platforms are here to stay. Instead of fighting the trend, hoteliers are now evolving with it. So, while Airbnb expands into hotels, hotels are expected to continue extending into home-sharing. For guests, it’s a win-win as they get a homestay experience in a very regulated environment rather than a hit or miss type of scenario.

    Main image credit: Pixabay

    Hamish Kilburn / 31.01.2020

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