Travel is becoming easier and more affordable for a lot of people around the world, and they want the best service possible. That’s why the hospitality industry is getting some major upgrades.
One of the industries that have taken the biggest blows during the pandemic is definitely hospitality. It has forced businesses to regroup and branch out in order to survive. Luckily, things are slowly getting back to normal and people are eager to travel again.
However, the hospitality industry has been going through some major changes even before the pandemic, and in ten years’ time, it might be completely different from what it is today.
Here are some of the major aspects of the industry that are changing for good.
Creativity in Finding New Revenue Streams
As businesses were closing their doors for customers due to the COVID-19 crisis, they had to find ways to stay afloat and not have to fire their staff. Consequently, many creative ideas emerged to keep working in the year of social distancing.
Restaurants started offering take-out everything, from family meals and meal ingredients to cocktails.
In these times, it’s essential to do everything you can to weather the storm. Apart from adding new revenue streams, you can also think about how to lower your expenses. For example, landlords could work with experienced accountants to make sure they minimize their tax bill.
Technology Is Taking Center Stage
The average guest today is a tech-savvy, resourceful millennial who travels a lot. They are quite self-sufficient and expect minimum engagement with the staff and plenty of self-service opportunities. Therefore, hospitality establishments are becoming increasingly digitized.
Hotels are introducing apps and other digital solutions for a more comfortable customer experience. These solutions include contactless payment, hotel apps, mobile check-in, the use of biometrics, etc. Millennials appreciate this kind of experience as it allows them more freedom and faster service.
With the use of various smart technologies, such as AI, augmented reality, the Internet of Things, etc., many establishments in the hospitality sector are starting to look like something from Sci-Fi movies.
Staff Reduction and New Roles
Contactless check-ins and payments, AI chatbots answering questions and providing solutions, apps guiding customers through the hotel experience, robot room service — these things used to be done by human staff. Today, there are hotels with one employee per 60 units.
Not only is this time of hotel management automation convenient for guests, but it also helps establishments reduce their expenses drastically by not having to hold a lot of staff. It’s also great for the existing staff because they can focus on other things instead of having to deal with simple, routine tasks.
Customers Want to Interact With the Brand Directly
OTAs still reign in the world of travel, but direct bookings are becoming increasingly popular, especially thanks to the pandemic. As people had to cancel their travel plans, they faced a lot of problems trying to get refunds for the failed vacation plans booked through OTAs. Hospitality establishments proved to be much more flexible with cancelation policies.
Today, people want to interact with the brand directly, ruling out the mediator. Brand image is more important than ever, and a cold corporate facade is no longer an option.
In the age of a great environmental crisis when people are becoming more conscious of their surroundings and of the harmful practices hurting the planet, ethical, eco-friendly brands get the most love. The hospitality industry is taking numerous steps and precautions to become greener and more eco-conscious.
For example, they’re avoiding single-use plastics, focusing on renewable energy sources by installing solar panels, being mindful of water waste, reducing food waste, etc. More than 50% of people want to travel more sustainably, and sustainable tourism may be the most important trend in the sector.
In recent years, the world has gone through a wellness boom, with people prioritizing their health and fitness and mindfulness being a major buzzword. Naturally, the wellness culture has seeped into the hospitality industry, and establishments are trying to adjust to this trend.
For example, many hotels now provide fully equipped gyms, pools, and yoga studios. They offer more vegan and vegetarian food and product options. Various businesses are experimenting with wellness ideas, such as energizing lighting, vitamin-boosting showers, air purifiers, and more.
Establishments Offering Unique Perks
In an effort to stand out, many establishments are resorting to offering various unique perks to their guests. This trend is highly important because there’s a lot of competition, and people are spoilt for choice. What’s more, personalization is on the rise in every customer-centric industry, and it’s essential that you offer something no one else has.
These perks can range from things to experiences. For example, hotels entice visitors with daily wine tastings, but also with unique smart technology and even curated playlists.
Travel is becoming easier and more affordable for a lot of people around the world, and they want the best service possible. That’s why the hospitality industry is getting some major upgrades, and who knows what changes are yet to come.