This is the time of year when all the amateur prognosticators and soothsayers come out of the woodwork and lay out their predictions for the coming 12 months. Well, we want in on the fun so we gathered our most prescient minds across the company, looked in to our crystal ball and came up with the following predictions for the hotel industry:
- The Internet of Things! Soon you will be able to book a hotel room from your refrigerator! Seriously, “IoT” will integrate deeper into hospitality in 2016. Smart thermostats, WiFi controlled lighting, NFC/iBeacon/BLE beacons, smart coffee makers, background music, TV content and sensors to track in-room inventory. Even smart valet and bell tickets. Watch for these things being pre-set based on stored guest preferences.
– Sub-prediction! The industry will react with the infrastructure to handle the load or risk amplifying the number one guest complaint already: WiFi.
- The rise of the social media and mobility combined, as means for replacing the falling traditional communications like email (which is rapidly declining). People will prefer instant messaging, chat rooms (e.g. WhatsApp, Hangout, Facebook, etc.) rather than email and phone, therefore targeting this type of usage would be critical to increasing exposure and visibility in the future.
- The Las Vegas Strip mega resorts are transformed, embracing mobile guest experience applications in a histrionic way.
- A major hotel chain will demo self-driving shuttle vans to reduce liability, improve efficiency and increase service reliability.
- 9 out of the Top 10 hotel chains by number of rooms will offer their guests a mobile experience to entirely bypass reception by the end of 2016 and 20+% of guests will do so without ever having to speak to someone at the front desk.
- Paying at a hotel with your mobile phone in lieu of a credit card will become a standard offering as form of payment in the industry.
- Mobile travel chat powered by artificial intelligence. The old keyword/dropdown menu will be a thing of the past as technology will allow you to free-type and free-speak your travel query. Artificial intelligence will respond and ask more questions in order to find the perfect travel plans for you. Then it will book it for you.
- Hilton is going to make a major acquisition, following suit to its competitors (Wyndham, IHG, Marriott, Accor)
- Hotel brands adapt to compete with Airbnb, adding smaller boutique concepts i.e. Marriott Edition and Hilton Canopy
- NYC Hotel Occupancy will be at an all time High in 2016
- Airbnb and hotels form an alliance… People will book Airbnb and hotel rooms from the Airbnb website…hotels get to bypass the OTAs.
- Amazon will enter the hotel booking market either organically or by acquiring one of the major players.
- The Trump hotel brand is going to show significant growth as their faithful leader makes his run for President
- StayNTouch is recognized as the B2B hospitality startup company of 2016!
We’re feeling pretty good about these (especially the last one). So good, in fact, that we will re-visit this list in December to see how we did!
Have anything to add? Think any of these are crazy? Let us know!