Top 3 Hotel Industry Trends Coming In 2018

It’s that time of year again where trend reports and predictions for any and every type of industry for the year ahead will be published on mass! And we’d hate to be an exception to the rule so here are our 3 hotel industry trends to watch out for in 2018.

Data will continue to be a game changer: Big data was a dubbed, amongst others, one of the main trends for 2017. However as the year nears an end, unfortunately, for a lot of hotels, data is still an under-appreciated and under-used asset.

In an industry where providing outstanding customer service has always been a key success factor for any establishment and an industry where guests are increasingly discerning and have high expectations (that are only getting higher) utilizing data effectively has the potential to dramatically change how hoteliers service customers. Pre-empting customer needs through understanding customer behavior is key to providing impeccable customized customer service, ensuring repeat and loyal custom.

While data collection has never really been an issue, some hoteliers simply underestimate the gains associated with data analysis, while others are crippled by an aging technology infrastructure leaving them struggling with their data, unable to understand and exploit it. “The data is out there, but… it is stuck behind stupid passwords, presented in boring statistics and costs money to access”, Martin Soler, CMO at SnapShot.

Those who do decided to invest in the right tools to draw from their enormous datasets will deepen their knowledge of their guests, develop a better understanding of the behavior of different customer groups, their expectations and needs, identify profitable customer segments, attract new guests and as result achieve increased profits and guest satisfaction.

It’s a Mobile First Future: This year marked iPhone’s tenth birthday and similar to big data mobile has also previously been cited as this year’s ‘big trend’, ‘one to watch out for’, ‘on the rise’ etc.  But, mobile is very much here and happening – our smartphones seldom leave our sides and are among the easiest devices for consumers to use.

In the hospitality industry, the near ubiquity of mobile has led to enormous expectations from consumers throughout their travel journey, from research to booking, on property, and post stay. While Millennials are usually recognized for their part to play in terms of mobile usages and its knock-on effect of reshaping the hospitality industry, consumers across age ranges and demographics have become mobile-dependant and self-reliant. Guests now want to use their mobile devices to conduct core functions with hotels such as making reservations, checking in and out, keyless entry, ordering room service, controlling room functions such as entertainment, thermostats’, lighting, booking additional amenities and services, even communicating with hotel staff.

While some hoteliers now offer mobile lead services many are still worried that mobile or newer “faceless” technologies are void of all human interaction. But that’s not the case. It’s more about a redefinition of service, applying new technological extensions that offer tremendous choice, speed and personalization based on their individual preferences – not only that but it’s what the guest wants and after all, that is what the hotel industry is all about.

Demand for extended stay will continue to grow: Airbnb, seen as a disruptor to the hotel industry but really Airbnb equates to the evolution of the hospitality market in the modern day. It has made an outside impact on how many of us think about travel—staying in a local neighborhood, co-sharing, co-working, with more freedom and less formality.

In the wake Airbnb’s rise many hotel concepts are staking claim to a middle ground between traditional services and the sharing economy, adapting their current hotel offering or creating new hotel concepts and extending their scope beyond their usual suburban locales, to keep up with and appeal to the travellers’ evolving tastes and needs. Consumers are looking for a lifestyle and social or community vibe associated with higher end brands but at an affordable price point. “The new luxury is about efficiency and emotion, about speed and convenience. The phrase ‘a home away from home’ sounds clichéd, but if we can make you feel like you’re at home, that’s what matters.” Robin Chadha, CMO citizenM.

The extended-stay segment is trending towards further expansion – with room revenue close to $11 billion in 2016, few brands would be willing to be left out of the development loop.

Our trends do not include every trend, and are certainly nothing new or shocking. However these three trends are real, most certainly are having an impact and are here to stay. If you want to remain relevant in very competitive marketplace then these are just three hotel industry trends we think you should grasp in 2018.

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