By Josephine Wawira
The first quarter of 2017 saw most of the predicted hospitality trends being implemented, and the second quarter is expected to experience further revolution of the existing as well as emerging ones. Phocuswright states that hotels represent nearly 40% of the global travel market. This represents great potential for hoteliers and other hospitality players such as Online Travel Agents (OTAs) to create more revenue conversion as the financial year-end draws near. The following are some of the trends that continue to shape the hospitality industry.
In a previous article, we discussed how providing personalized experience to guests is key to having a competitive advantage in the hotel industry. This aspect is burgeoning steadily, as proprietors embrace the manifestation and upshots of giving personalized services and products. “From elevating the in-room atmosphere by for instance installing inhouse plugin for personal guest devices, to ingeniously attaching reward to risk free rates; personalization is a trend that will not be fading off soon,” says Cyrus Onyiego, the Country Manager of Jumia Travel Kenya. The incessantly demanding Millennials as well as a rising class of Generation Z that seeks more experiential travel, play an assertive role in making hoteliers proactive in offering tailor-made services for their customers.
Chatbots and Robots
Today, hotels are highly driven by the need to avail services to guests in the most accessible way. This has led to more technological automation, enabling almost everything to become digitalized. While digital check-ins’ existence already feels antique, almost everything else such as ordering room service, is now making hotel stays a delight using chatbots and robots. Making hotel reservation is no longer a fuss, and neither is the entire boarding experience with the use of chatbots. The ability to increase hotel-guest engagement at all stages of their stay through technology helps in collecting valuable guest information which then facilitates in providing personalized experience as discussed above. This also guarantees that your customers will receive other information such as applicable offers/deals, thus improving loyalty and increasing the number of returning guests. Therefore, hotels that have embraced chatbots and robotic technologies are expected to experience a surge in revenue conversion rate this second quarter of the year, 2017.
Simple is smart
It always seems that when one inclination becomes a sort of a liability, then the old is regenerated. For instance, in the past and as recent as a decade ago, hotel stays were often labeled a ‘luxurious experience’ only applicable to individuals of certain high class. However, a half turn is easily seen in current day hospitality sector, with travelers of all backgrounds increasingly warming up to the aspect of vacationing and staying at hotels. It is no longer a luxury but rather a necessity for a majority to break from their day-to-day chores to invigorate themselves in completely different environs, and hotels make a perfect hideaway.
To accommodate each of these guests, most hotels have transformed from the previously intricate nature especially regarding revenue management, with for instance incorporating special resident rates. Other facets include offering discounts and packages, special club membership rates, specialized amenities such as to accommodate people with special abilities; as well as different payment options. In any success trajectory in a hotel business and in the entire hospitality industry, simplicity is key and is especially smart.
The future of hospitality is indisputably more optimistic, and a simple choice such as modernizing operations through the adoption of shifting trends, can determine if a player will benefit from the benefits or not.