ccording to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), “Travel and Tourism’s direct global GDP contribution reached $2.8 trillion in 2018” and the sector has continued to rise year on year. With a noticeable increase in international travel, hoteliers know that in order to be successful and stay ahead of the game, it’s vital to stay abreast of the latest trends:
With technological advances shaping much of our daily lives, they play a huge part into creating a modern, cutting edge experience for hotel guests. Hotels implement mobile check in/out systems to reduce waiting times and avoid onward delays for travellers. Mobile keys enable guests to use their smartphone to access their rooms quickly and continue their seamless experience. And once settled, many hotels have incorporated the technology within rooms to adjust lighting, heating and manage housekeeping etc, all from the convenience of a mobile device.
Artificial Intelligence has replaced traditional concierge staff in a number of hotels worldwide already. The technology enables guests to gain access to user reviews and recommendations, virtual menus, and app-based booking systems – equipping them with everything they need to make the right decisions. Although eliminating the human interaction, this is a trend that has proven to be useful, reliable and recommended.
The ability to get problems sorted and questions answered around the clock appeals greatly to guests and having a chatbot within a hotel’s operation system can provide a significant competitive advantage. They can speed up the check in/out process, facilitate direct bookings, provide accurate guest profiles to aid with marketing, offer guests instant resolutions and generally help the hotel run more efficiently. They also offer a way to resolve issues offline and present a true 24-hour customer service experience.
Travellers are more diverse now than ever before, actively searching for unusual destinations, unique accommodation options and an all-round distinctive holiday experience. With such an increase in competition and travellers pushing themselves to try new things, it’s vital that hoteliers do their best to encourage repeat custom from their guests. Offering attractive loyalty programs can be a great way to do this, enticing guests to book within the same brand or group of hotels and giving them a great incentive to do so.
Concerns for the environment are prevalent on a global scale, and travellers have come to expect that service providers will share their mindset and offer them hotel experiences displaying sustainable values. Hotels are increasingly under pressure to reduce their carbon footprint and operate in an environmentally friendly manner. Opting to offer guests keyless mobile access, for example, protects the environment by cutting the use of plastic - and guests are increasingly selecting establishments that offer features such as this.