Although it might not seem like there’s much room for evolution in the hotel industry, there are several different ways that the industry may change. Generally, hotel industry trends often evolve with changes to technology, consumer behavior, and business theories.
Change in the hotel industry is often more gradual than in other industries though. So, within the next five to 10 years, we don’t expect the industry’s core to change all that much.
Often, what’s vital is the way that hotels incorporate and capitalize on new trends. More impersonal hotels will likely start to struggle to survive in the future. Hotel owners should incorporate a defined brand into their hotel in order to connect to new and existing guests.
Hotel guests often look for unique experiences when traveling, so your hotel’s brand needs to exist within the staff and property. That means that it needs to be a part of every room, and every interaction should reflect a distinct identity. It also needs to be a part of your online presence.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is an odd phenomenon that usually excites people, so incorporating it into your hotel is helpful. If you don’t know what the IoT is, it describes a network of physical objects, like refrigerators or coffee makers. Usually, these objects have sensors, software, or other technology to connect them over the internet.
Because these items require the internet to work, you should consider giving guests free, high-speed internet when they stay at your hotel. Not only does the IoT require the internet to work, but guests now expect fast Wi-Fi at most hotels.
Incorporation of the IoT into a hotel room can offer guests a higher level of convenience and efficiency. In many cases, it’ll also give them a sense of luxury that they might not get in their everyday lives. Including connected objects will become more of a demand for hotels as more people have them in their own homes.
Another important aspect is sustainability. It’s a good thing that society is starting to become more environmentally conscious as it helps improve everyone’s lives. However, that means that travelers are starting to choose more sustainable hotels.
It might be challenging to adapt to guests’ demands at first, but becoming sustainable will help business in the long run. Sustainable hotels often take into account construction, energy-saving techniques, and waste management. Hotel owners who want to be more sustainable should make those aspects priorities.
We’ve already touched a little bit on how vital staff interactions are to the guests’ experiences. Staff should understand the hotel’s brand and be able to embody that and show it to guests.
If you want to be even more technological, you can invest in robots to assist staff and guests. Although some people might find it a bit odd to have a robot serving them, others might enjoy not needing to interact with other people when they’re staying at a hotel.
The phrase “robot staff” might sound like something out of science fiction, but the robots don’t need to look like people to be effective. You don’t need a human or human-like robot to automate check-in and check-out; you might only need a computer.
Automation of certain procedures is another way that hotels may adapt in the future. Although robots can assist with check-in, check-out, luggage, or room service, there are different new ways to use automation.
In hospitality, many guests need 24/7 support, which is challenging to provide. Artificially intelligent chatbots can be useful when helping visitors with questions, bookings, and checking guests in and out. Online chatbots are especially helpful for customer service, and many businesses include automated chat on their website.
Right now, robots and AI are a little bit of a fad. They’re popular at the moment, but they may not stay that way. Guests may decide that they’d rather check in with a real human being instead of a robotic one, so if you’re interested in using robotics or automation for your hotel, start small.
Try out a chatbot first, and see how that goes. Many customers enjoy talking with chatbots because they can respond immediately. Customers don’t have to wait for the next available staff member to help them out, and they can save you money on labor.
If you’re more interested in AI robots, you don’t have to wait for them to become more popular than they already are. They can help with booking, improve guest interactions, and help collect data. You may even want to use them in areas like cleaning, maintenance, valet, security, or room service.
Virtual and augmented reality might also feel like a trope in science fiction, and for a long time, that’s what they were. Nowadays, though, these technologies aren’t niche market segments like they were in the past. They’re getting more popular in the gaming and entertainment industries, and they can be helpful for hotel guests.
If you don’t know exactly what these terms mean, that’s okay. You’ll often see virtual reality (VR) in the form of headsets that replace the real, physical world with different audio and visuals. On the other hand, augmented reality (AR) layers virtual elements over the real world.
Before deciding on a hotel, a customer might want to walk around in it first. Virtual reality is all about immersive content, so if you create a virtual tour, potential guests can see the hotel as if it were really around them. If you want to use AR instead, you might want to create an interactive map for guests.
With this technology, you can use 3D diagramming to map out various areas of your hotel. This might include the reception desk, dining area, amenities, and different types of rooms where they could stay. You could even use that technology to promote events at your hotel.
Even though the hospitality industry is often slower to adapt than other industries, it’s still evolving with technology. Hotel owners may want to incorporate AI, VR, or AR into the hotel experience. Wi-Fi and the IoT are also essential aspects that will help to create a luxurious stay.