COVID-19 has caused ripples in the hospitality pond (which, by the way, represents 10% of the world’s GDP), so catching up with hospitality trends is a must. But apart from analyzing trends in hotels, hoteliers have to detect new methods of automating the entire workflow, monitoring routine activities, creating a safe environment for all guests, and completing other essential assignments.
In today’s article, OpenGeeksLab has gathered 12 hospitality trends that come in handy to navigate these challenging times effectively. We know all actionable tips on bringing paradigm-shifting ideas to life, as we have already delivered them. Let us introduce one of our projects — GOeureka — a Blockchain-based platform developed by our team a couple of years ago, now reshaping the future of the hotel industry. We hope our hints will help you give a clue on launching your hotel software! Keep reading!
Why Hospitality Digitalization Is More Important Than Ever
Hospitality technology trends make hoteliers look for advanced digital solutions to better manage all-in-one activities at their fingertips. Today, the hospitality industry worldwide is expected to expand from $3486.77 billion in 2020 to $4132.5 billion in 2021; it means an 18.5% CAGR. To cross this threshold, businesses will need software that would cover:
*Front-desk operations *Reservation management *Room inventory *Channel management *Housekeeping *Payment processing *Internal communication *Arrival details *Shift management *Built-in accounting *Event and catering management *And more
Overall, such a rapid increase in this field is possible because of enhanced purchasing power parity (PPP), traveling, changing hospitality trends, and emerging markets expansion. Developed countries with their speedy economic growth push the tourism field ahead. Asia Pacific has most of such regions, and it is the largest area in the international hospitality industry, accounting for 45% of the market in 2020. Low customer retention is one of the primary drawbacks that this industry has to overcome. Hindering the expansion of hospitality is possible because of the need for a higher level of safety, growing demand for healthy nutrition, and government regulations.
The hospitality field is rather fragmented. Basic ten rivals in this industry constitute no less than 4% of the total market. This list includes Subway, Marriott International, Hilton hotel chains, Compass Group PLC, McDonald’s, and others.
In a post-COVID environment, demand for global tourism is flourishing because of relatively low unemployment rates (remote working saved many people from losing their job). Top airlines add more flight directions to different regions. That is why hotel brands should recover fast after the period when most international flights were denied because of the virus spread.
It does not mean that all threats are over. Airports are still insisting on the need to follow social distancing rules, such as wearing masks and conducting temperature checks; others may ban a passenger without a negative COVID test. Many airports are re-examining these practices to find out whether more efficient long-term methods can be implemented for maximizing tourist safety.
One idea is validating travel eligibility digitally using blockchain and similar tech. Many hotel developments include this technology. Other promising innovations include breathalyzers, for example, that can identify coronavirus particles within air droplets, no matter whether a traveler possesses any symptoms or not. Safeguarding guests and personnel is the primary mission of most industry representatives, after all.
No one knows for sure when this pandemic will be totally over, that is why the below hospitality trends will continue in upcoming years. You can find more about them right now.
Revolutionary Hospitality Trends to Consider in 2022
Tourists are concerned about their health as never before. That’s the primary factor that determines current hospitality trends. Convenience has not been moved to second place though. Everyone dreams about a comfortable stay with a fast service. One effective way to persuade them to choose your place is by designing a cool, responsive mobile hotel app that would correspond to all hospitality technology trends or using other technological advancements. There are plenty of them: from those based on artificial intelligence (AI) to those associated with virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR). It makes sense as more than one third of users now use a mobile phone to book a room.
What’s more, you can mix hotel technology that guarantees both a safe and convenient stay. We know that it might take time to optimize your hospitality business, so let us try to minimize your efforts by sharing this list of new trends in hospitality industry.
1. Smart Rooms Living in the same house all the time can make you sick and tired unless you come up with original solutions. Those hospitality trends always were obvious, but modern hotel tech allows for making this routine simpler, convenient, and more fun. You can make your room obey you so that you can minimize plenty of routine tasks, focusing on things that really matter. Top tech-filled smart hotels with such accommodations include Yotel, Hub by Premier Inn, and Aloft Cupertino. Here are some examples of smart room tools and equipment:
*Wireless device charging *Voice search *Smart digital controls *Voice control *Facial recognition *Tablet-based monitoring *Smart mirrors *Concierge video chat Each technology listed above will make a user’s life easier. That is not even a full list of opportunities. Your customers will definitely enjoy such service. You’ll feel like Tony Stark in your apartments.
For greater comfort, hotel managers should provide their room guests with an opportunity to order fast food delivery at any time. Not all hotels offer meals 24/7, so this might be a good idea. A native hotel mobile app might suggest an on-demand delivery feature for greater convenience.
2. Booking Technology Optimization Reserving a room today is easier than ever. Usually, filling out the form on a website is enough. Various apps for booking apartments and rooms facilitate booking processes. Some of them include Airbnb, Booking.Com, and Priceline. The first one currently offers more than 4 million places for their clients worldwide – deciding on the preferred location is enough. Airbnb reported that gross booking value went up in year-over-year terms for the first time since February 2020.
Businesses involved in hospitality should think about having such apps by their side. As an entrepreneur in this field, assist personnel with effectively tracking and managing room reservations and orders online.
Those are not all features that smart booking apps propose. Your goal is to make sure that potential guests can discover interesting facts and descriptions of different resorts. Such a feature is not for guests alone; resort representatives will keep in touch with the number of rooms they can suggest at a particular point of time. They can also decide on how many rooms of the specific type they may need. This way, they won’t fall face down in the dirt, offering an accommodation when all rooms are actually reserved or occupied.
3. Check-in Automation Like huge supermarkets that introduce self-services and robot automation, the hospitality business does not fall behind. This trend is basically the “child” of COVID-19 as it was initially driven by the need to follow the social distancing rules. Soon, it’ll become the new normal, considering how many people you can see in your area nearby that prefer this technology over using traditional methods of check-out/payment.
An auto-registration feature helps guests to avoid any physical contact with staff. Sabee App and Octorate are a couple of examples of contactless check-in solutions. A great idea is to connect this option to an official hospitality website or app. It should offer manual input of the private data and payment details if necessary. Managers receive this info, which allows speeding up the working process significantly. This way, guests will not stay without a room all of a sudden. It minimizes the risks of losing clients. Finally, guests can obtain entry to their accommodations by using smart devices as their digital keys.
4. Specialized Software System Fresh marketing trends in hotels show that optimizing workflow is possible by developing a solution based on SaaS tech. A separate software system allows for implementing various functions for easing and speeding up all working processes. Mostly, hospitality industry representatives require tools with such features as automatic check-in, booking, schedule tracking, reporting, and more.
Such apps for front-desk activities and back-office operations as AltexSoft and The Infor Hospitality. are a must-have for many hotels. Some other mobile apps allow evaluating business performance and pointing to the weak/strong sides. Hospitality businesses all require fast mobile solutions to prevent potential clients from long waiting lines and other inconveniences.
5. Going Cloud Storing all information in one place, allowing every member of a team to access and share it is another perk offered by modern technology. Cloud stands for boosted operational efficiency, decreased costs, speedy multi-property activities, and simple accessibility. Hospitality businesses can pull data points out of the cloud and into the rooms to guarantee a tailored experience. That is possible thanks to brand new CRM apps like Revinate and Cendyn. Not all solutions are already available. Some businesses are interested in custom systems developed from scratch that would cover their needs.
Why should hotels think about switching to cloud-based tools like Hetzner Cloud server? They stand for seamless scaling as setup processes are not time-consuming or complicated. Any authorized individual, should it be the hoteliers or serving personnel, obtain quick access to the PMS system from any gadget, anywhere in the world. Add the full integration with the business systems (finance, auditing, scheduling, and more). Thus, developing a property management system (PMS) is possible thanks to the cloud.
6. Automation Applying the automatic check-in function saves plenty of time for both clients and managers. Allowing systems to cope with such tasks as responding to visitors’ questions and submitting reports is an opportunity to free up time.
The auto-system of the room control like those solutions provided by Schneider Electric can significantly improve client experience. It stands for increased satisfaction and a positive impression. The smart systems involve both AI-based and ML-based solutions. Such technology allows collecting and evaluating data on the preferences of one’s customers. Except for enhanced customer experience, such tools make it possible to save energy consumption.
Hotels are actively optimizing client-facing and back-office activities, and that is why development companies should include such features in their releases. AR, tasks accomplished by robots, AI, IoT tools and building automation, chatbots, and many other innovations – those are all the future of the hospitality industry.
7. Blockchain Solutions It’s a brand new technology in the hospitality industry. Cryptocurrency will probably turn the e-wallet system’s future as a higher quantity of millennials are actively investing huge amounts in digital assets and blockchain-based tech advancements. Adding an opportunity to pay with crypto except for fiat money is a new trend among many successful hospitality businesses. Guests can use various crypto tokens to pay for various services and goods. Luxury Hotel Group is already in this game.
A great idea is to add cryptocurrencies as an available payment option to the official application or website. You can check a list of companies that accept crypto as payment. This way, hoteliers can position their business as contemporary and forward-looking, thus attracting more visitors.
8. Cybersecurity The entire hospitality technology system today is highly dependent on information. If private data is under attack, being poorly protected, hackers can steal everything: from managers’ information to clients’ payment details. It would be a disaster if the full workflow crashes because of ineffective security measures! Thus, research by IntSights discovered that in the past three years, the hospitality market has experienced 13 severe data breaches. Among them, Hilton had 31% share of mentions, while Marriot had 28% with IHG having 19%, as the same source admits.
Modern hospitality apps that deal with storing data should involve systems that would defend that info from any cyber threats like phishing attacks. Including protection against human error is critical as well. Hospitality tools now should guarantee safe storage of client information and payment details, make sure it’s backed up and recoverable, not being vulnerable at the same time. Replacing existing systems is not obligatory – modernization can be a solution, just like it is with legacy systems.
9. Predictive Smart System Those who can make predictions have great power in their hands. Forecasting something is possible via in-depth analysis. By analyzing stats, one can guess what guests will like or dislike in the near future, as well as remove existing critical business bottlenecks. Smart systems evaluate each visitor’s tastes to customize their preferred locations for various purposes. Use this data later while developing a geolocation application.
By assessing their habits, management will decide on whether to send regular notifications about lunch or remind them of “hot offers” and discounts. By analyzing collected data, hoteliers can decide if setting the alarm clock would not bother their guests and they would be, vice versa, happy to get regular reminders not to miss a single important task. Some managers gather data related to HVAC runtimes for every accommodation to indicate how quickly a room can be heated/cooled back down to the visitor’s preferred temperature.
Learn their preferences – help your clients get rid of headaches associated with their routine activities. Make them focus on their rest while assisting with their tasks. This approach helps to both attract new guests and retain the older ones. Moreover, it allows reinventing current front-desk and back-office processes. Such data-driven solutions as data analysis and business intelligence (BI) create critical future trends in hospitality industry.
10. Smart Recognition Technology We’re smoothly moving to other global trends in tourism and hospitality; smart recognition technology stands for working with staff and guests more effectively. The global facial recognition market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.4% from 2021 to 2028. For a while, employees used different identification methods like entrance cards and bypass keys. Smart recognition technology allows skipping these tiring procedures. No need to bring some tiny items that can be easily lost with you any longer. Both staff and visitors benefit from having to simply look into the camera – and voila! They’re in! It’s the easiest way to get into an apartment.
Some advanced hospitality brands are one step ahead as they use technology that allows controlling processes using facial recognition or voice. Some examples involve Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana that do their best to detect clients’ desires. Their model is based on conversational language. Workflow processes speed up, as well as guest tracking. It’s also a fast way to report for duty or book an accommodation from a mobile device.
11. A Truly Personalized Guest Service Every visitor loves feeling special when treated. A report written by Epsilon proves that 87% of tourists prefer cooperating with brands offering personalized experiences. Pre-arrival emails that greet every guest individually is a good start. Millennials, for instance, like activities that correspond to their preferences. They are ready to share their social network pages so that management knows their tastes ahead. This way, they can add more hotel services for pleasing every guest. It is a great method for attracting visitors of different preferences.
Providing an authentic experience in a post-pandemic environment – that is what tourists of all ages expect. Many marketing hospitality trends are associated with this factor. A perfect approach is combining traditional hospitality services with new technology. In any case, providing a personal connection with their host is essential for any application.
12. Virtual Reality Tours The latest trends in hospitality industry include widgets, chatbots, and VR tours. VR is among the most powerful current trends in hospitality industry, with 58.9 million users in the US, as per eMarketer report. It assists with boosting travel experiences and speeding up booking processes.
There is no need to attend the target place to discover more information about it. Get quality virtual reality headsets – such giants as Samsung, Facebook, and Google invest a lot in their manufacturing. If you have any doubts, don’t leave your home. Applying virtual reality technology to explore any room or resort in general is a common tendency. VR allows experiencing a full recreation of accommodation, as well as exploring attractions next door. That is how many mobile users compare and contrast different hotel providers when deciding on the best place.
Most of the popular, modernized traditional hotels (Shangri-La and NH Hotels, for instance) already benefit from using VR technology. This type of technology can list all advantages of any resort so that an individual would choose it among all other options. VR technology as one of the contemporary hotel standards also makes it possible to book an apartment immediately after exploring it.
Adding a few words about widgets and chatbots as two associated technology trends in hospitality industry is something we’ll do. Make your guests forget about waiting for employees to solve some urgent questions. Sometimes, guests may need responses in the middle of the night. Reception does not always work 24/7. Thus, inserting chatbot technology makes sense. It is an effective way out as these tiny smart tools analyze visitors’ preferences and provide quick answers to the most disturbing questions. They serve as FAQs. Once a guest sends a query to the specific requirement, a chatbot processes it and speeds up the entire process of obtaining an answer.
As you can see, hoteliers have to offer various tools necessary for the comfort of their guests. AI, AR, VR, chatbots, widgets, voice recognition, smart rooms – those are some hospitality marketing trends that resort management should catch up with. Optimizing existing solutions or developing brand new ones – both of these approaches require plenty of skills.
Reshape the Future of Hospitality With Us! In the tourism industry, only players that implement innovative technology solutions survive today. Tiny travel agencies lack a modernized approach, losing their clients one by one. More clients of hospitality businesses prefer online ordering/booking to traditional methods. That is why following hotel sector hospitality trends is critical.