The hospitality industry around the world has gone through an enormous change, starting from 2020 and is set to keep changing till 2023. The industry is continuously witnessing new upcoming trends. ProMiller, having clients in different parts of India, is well known with these trends and brings to you a list of them for hotels to know what to expect and to prepare themselves for the near future.
Target local markets for experiential staycations - Hotels are not anymore just some places to stay, instead they are more about the experience that they offer. So apart from their main sources of revenue, hotels can also try to target additional local markets that would appeal to any guest arriving from another state. The demand for staycations is rising nowadays and targeting the local area to provide a memorable experience can be a good strategy for any hotel. From 2020 to 2021, staycation bookings increased 18%. An average of 76 percent of all bookings were for domestic holidays. Hotels can have experiential packages for families, honeymoon couples, solo travelers etc. This can be done by analyzing customer data, specifically looking at what the needs and wants of these categories of travelers are. According to us, these packages would definitely work better than a one-size-fits-all approach. It will diversify the overall business strategy of the hotels and help them rely not only on the core business, but also on these ancillary markets, which means lesser risks.
Use automation - Automation can be seen in every field of work these days. Then why not in the hospitality industry? Self check-in desks are an example of how automation can efficiently be used in hotels, especially after a pandemic like COVID-19. Any sort of automation requires large amounts of data collection, analysis of that data and final interpretation. For this, hotels can either hire skilled data science professionals directly or sign up with a hospitality management consultancy. Customer data is a very powerful source for deriving insights and making important decisions. There are multiple repetitive and time consuming tasks across all departments in a hotel that could use the touch of automation.
Customization - As mentioned before, one-size-fits-all approach is not helping these days as hotels are now more about experiential stays based on different needs and wants from different categories of travelers. Any business these days, including hotels, need to stand out from the crowd by offering something unique and not generic. If a guest journey is looked at closely, starting from booking the hotel to final checkout, there are various points where customization can be provided. For example, a personalized email would look more welcoming when a guest books the hotel, rather than an automated one. A member from the staff can be sent to the guest’s room to confirm if everything is to their liking, a few hours after check in. This shows the guest that their comfort is top priority and the hotel is trying its best to cater to personal demands by the guest, if any. A complimentary welcome gift or a welcome drink based on what the guest likes is always a cherry on the top. Such gestures are always appreciated by travelers.
Provide work spaces - Until now, in 2022, 16% of the companies worldwide are working fully remotely and it is expected that this percentage will not be going down any time soon in future. In a situation like this, hotel lobbies, conference rooms, a part of the rooms or even an entire floor can be dedicated work spaces. This is more feasible during off-season periods. This way, not only will the hotel provide the guests a necessary facility, but will also modernize its brand image. Similar to other packages mentioned earlier, Work-From-Hotel can be a package too. It will help the hotel attract more business travelers and even startups can choose such a hotel space to work from.
Offer a place to unwind & relax - Especially after the pandemic, people are a lot more concerned about their health now. Hotels that provide guests a place to unwind and an environment to work upon themselves including their health will definitely flourish in today’s world. Offering classes on yoga, Zumba or meditation or having a gym so that guests can continue their workout routines while traveling can be some examples. Serving vegan meals can be another option to explore. Again, a hotel could offer a wellbeing and detox getaway package.
Shift to results-focused staff training - Staff training is an investment as it improves the performance of any business. Hotels can have a master competency development guide for their employees to develop core, managerial and leadership competencies, and for that, the training given to the employees should be results-oriented. Nowadays, it is important to empower hotel staff with results-focused training so that they have the proper understanding of how to deliver the perfect experience to the guests. During the pandemic, almost all the businesses in the hospitality industry got affected. Hotels nowadays are aware of the areas they are lacking or struggling in. If they have clear goals for what they want to achieve next, and if they train their employees with the aim of achieving those goals, they will definitely recover from the losses they incurred and the challenges they faced in the past 2 years.
These broad changes and trends in the hotel industry might seem to be hard to work upon but with the speed with which the industry is seeing these changes, there is a need for the hotels to adapt to them. The approach should be right, depending on the services that can possibly be added based on new technologies and the location of the hotel. Changes can be made in all the hotel operations. The hotels should now be ready for modern markets. Proactive hotels that are not afraid to take up this challenge of welcoming these trends, and are open to changes, will only be able to perform better than others as these trends offer considerable opportunities to them for substantial growth.
Written and Illustrated by Deepshi Srivastava