The hospitality industry has always been an important industry, with nearly 400 million employees worldwide. The industry has four subsectors covering everything to do with travel, tourism, and entertainment: these are food and beverage, lodging, recreation, and travel and tourism. Competition within the industry is fierce, with multiple providers vying for the attention of tourists and entertainment seekers, meaning that in order to come out on top you need to be giving the customers exactly what they want.The best way to do this is to keep abreast of the current trends.
Current Hospitality Trends
Some trends are short lived while others change the way the industry operates on a more long-term, or even permanent, basis. The challenge for professions is to track trends and work out which it’s going to be beneficial to adapt to, and which are just going to be a flash in the pan. This is especially important for any potential start up businesses that are considering acting on their hotel plans as travellers are going to choose one which is on-trend over one which isn’t.
One recent long-term trend is a movement towards more ecotourism and sustainability. Travellers are more aware of the impact that their movements have on the world and are looking to find ways to minimise this. The industry has had to respond or risk alienating people altogether. For existing businesses this has meant changes like giving customers in hotels the option to reuse towels and providing locally produced toiletries or reducing plastic by using larger containers.
Another trend which has emerged in the last few years has seen more holidaymakers opt for a staycation rather than travelling abroad. This also fits in with the sustainability trend as it reduces air travel and therefore peoples’ carbon footprints. Staycations have also provided a boost for areas which don’t usually see many tourists as travellers seek out hidden gems and explore less well-known places, often in a bid to avoid the crowds.
With more people taking staycations than every before, this has also lead to an increase in activities such as dining out, taking a virtual tour, camping, or playing online casinos. In fact, many online casinos offer big casino bonuses to new players so they can make up for not being able to visit the real deal in Macau, Las Vegas, or Singapore.
One of the newest trends to hit the hospitality industry is the merging of business and leisure: bleisure travel sees remote workers heading to warmer climates where they can work during the day and still enjoy their vacation after hours. Hotels have jumped on this bandwagon by kitting out their rooms with desks, power outlets, and better wi-fi, while others have even started to offer rentable space in meeting rooms to use as virtual offices. With hybrid and remote working looking to be part of people’s contracts for years to come, bleisure trends is certainly not going to be a passing fad.
Future Hospitality Trends
A lot of the up-and-coming hospitality trends centre around technology as we’re starting to see some changes at the top end of the market which are set to filter down in coming years. These include a lot of smart technologies, such as voice-activated lights and other hotel room amenities, thumbprint technology to open your door rather than having to worry about a keycard, and even artificial technology to answer guest’s queries and give recommendations. Businesses are already starting to make some of these changes to accommodate the changing needs of customers.
Automation is another key trend which is forecast to be big in the near future. The option to order meals to your table via a restaurant’s app already reduces the need for contact with staff, and while we’re not getting out main courses delivered by drones any time soon, this does raise questions about whether servers could be replaced by an automated delivery service. Some hotels are already trialling automated check in/out processes using tablets or smartphones, with robots carrying luggage to your room.
Trends such as more sustainable travel, bleisure travel, and staycations all dictate how customers interact with the hospitality industry and following these closely ensures that providers are always able to offer their guests exactly what they need.
Key trends in the hospitality industry don’t change around as often as those in other industries like fashion, meaning that businesses can take the time to invest in long-term changes. Whether that’s embracing sustainability by using eco-friendly materials in construction, adding more vegan and vegetarian options to menus, or investing in smart technologies to enhance check in/out processes, every change has the user experience at its heart.