Posted on 29/10/2018 by Yann Gouriou
As we move into the final quarter on 2018, we cast an eye towards the future and analyse what the most significant hotel trends will be in the coming years and how innovative hotels are staying ahead of competitors.
Millennials are expected to account for 50% of all travelers to the USA by 2025, according to the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research. Accordingly, responsive brands are adjusting their strategies based on this demographic’s personality traits and habits they travel a lot; are early adopters of technology; value experiences over things, like personalized interactions and are spontaneous.
How are hotels responding? They are focussing more on social skills and increasing local knowledge in staff, providing experiences for guests who want to feel they’ve landed in a healthy community rich with experiences. An emphasis on public areas as a community hub and co-working spaces have also received attention.
Consumers have long been shifting towards online bookings but they have increasingly been turning to their hand-held devices to plan their accommodation. Even as the industry is adjusting to this, the new frontier is voice activated search. Increasingly voice automation will play a pivotal role in the customer journey and hoteliers will have to master this new technology to stay in front of competitors.
Seemingly contradictory to the previous point, as guests are increasingly turning to technology for their bookings, they are looking for more personal flourishes in their experiences. The rise of Airbnb has been one of the clearest indications of this shift and a recent joint study by American institutions such as the American Society of Association Executive, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research and others, revealed that as much as one third of all rooms are booked outside of hotels.
Hotels are adapting to this new paradigm and as a result traditional models of how a hotel should look and feel are changing. Formal lobbies are being reimagined from purely pragmatic spaces to living room-like environments that are warm and inviting. Check-in desks have reverted to a lounge suite, with concierge handling the check-in process from an iPad whilst guests sip a wine or coffee.
A Smart hotel used to have a USB port next to the bed but today’s tech-savvy consumers are expecting more. Increasingly, rooms are equipped with streaming services like Netflix and Apple TV, seamless Wi-Fi across the hotel and in some hotels, Li-Fi (internet connection through lights) is replacing Wi-Fi.
With innovations like signature scents, pools with underwater speakers, mood lighting pads, flat-screen televisions embedded in bathroom mirrors and iPads that provide concierge service from the comfort of your room, the competition is fierce in creating memorable experiences that add value to the customer experience.
Businesses of all types are finding more ecologically sustainable ways to do business and as a result, wasteful practices are in the spotlight.
Eco-friendly practices are becoming the norm, as properties focus on renewable energy resources and water scarcity. Many hotels are installing solar panels and updating systems so that air conditioners and lights automatically switch off when guests leave their rooms.
Traditional meetings and conference spaces are no longer enough. Technology has evolved and these spaces have had to adapt accordingly. Many large hotels depend on meetings and conventions for revenue; so a well-designed meeting space is a requirement rather than a luxury.
Hotel convention spaces need to have the right audio, video and infrastructure for a variety of meetings from seminars to live performances, panel discussions and big parties. Everything used in these spaces’ furniture, audiovisual equipment, walls, dividers has to be modular or portable. As a result, designers have to design for versatility, flexibility and connectivity.
Guests today are taking charge of their health; hotels are responding with well-equipped fitness centers, pools and spas. Increasingly, travelers are expecting innovative wellness options.
In addition to healthy food options, growing trends include lighting that energizes, air purification, yoga spaces, in-room exercise equipment and even vitamin-infused shower water.
180 Sixteen Place Building, 2nd Floor, Sukhumvit Soi 16 (Sammitr), Klongtoey Bangkok 10110
T/ +66 2 107 2012
F/ +66 2 663 3044