Top 10 hospitality industry trends in 2014
Top 10 Hospitality Industry Trends in 2014
- Millennials?will become the core customer within the hospitality and travel industries over the next five to ten years. The majority of airlines, hotels and travel companies will benefit from this sector as they enter into their peak earning, spending and travel years. Within this group of GenY travelers, there are many different markets considering the fact that exploration, interaction and experience are the major focus of Millennials. Willing to pay more for a greater experience, “foodies” are a prevalent subset of this market; looking for an overall gourmet experience for a reasonable price will cause the industry to revamp their lobby bars, restaurants and food service. Internet bloggers, culture buffs, LGBT and Multi-generational travelers all looking for a unique, novel experience will command change within the market.
- Speed and precision?will be a requirement when it comes to accommodating Millennials in upcoming years according to Hotels.com’s latest Hotel Price Index report. Fast booking, fast check-in, fast WiFi and fast responses to customer service needs will need to be implemented within hotels. Considering Millennials have no problems speaking up, if what they are seeking is not quick enough, they will turn to Twitter, Facebook, Yelp or TripAdvisor to voice their complaints.
- WOW customer service?will become even more influential this year. Service today consists of four levels: basic, expected, desired and WOW. Basic service can be found at the post office whereas expected service can be found at most fast food restaurants and many businesses. Desired service is often found at good hotels and restaurants but WOW Service is the only way to ensure repeat business. By creating an impressive, unique guest experience that exceeds all expectations, you are able to capture the customer.
- Leadership?is modeling the way and showing your management team how critical it is to “walk the talk.” Each and every employee, including myself, all have something we can work on. Forming a connection with guests can improve dramatically with genuine, individual interaction. It is my goal as a leader to instill the value of building relationships by sharing the knowledge I have and learning from them as well. For instance, I run with our guests staying at the Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites San Diego/Del Mar and offer personal training sessions for others.
- Expectation of more international visitors. Average rates and occupancy levels in the U.S. are likely to increase over the next few years, influenced by a very new market. “Leisure demand from abroad, fueled in part by the new Discover America campaign, will stimulate a new demand” according to Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott Hotels & Resorts. China is preparing to send about 100 million leisure tourists into the international market every year. If the U.S. gets its typical share, that will mean an additional 10 million visitors from China alone. Considering the average Chinese traveler spends a week in the U.S., demand is created for an additional 70 million room nights in a market where prices are steadily rising. The globalization of travel will prove to be a massive force.
- Social media and mobile will be inseparable.?Social media and mobile already live in symbiosis and we will only continue to see them merge over the course of this year. Mobile activity has allowed social media to live in real time by allowing users to create updates, tag friends and check in on their mobile devices. Smartphones represent 50 percent of new mobile devices being purchased and the growth of connected devices will only continue to rise. Ericsson estimates that there will be over 50 billion connected devices in circulation by 2020, including laptops, tablets and smartphones. In North America, 2014 will mark the first year that online access is greater from mobile devices than a desktop or laptop. Keeping an eye out for authentic ways to make use of emerging social/mobile applications will be of great value to those in hotel marketing.
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