The year 2018 has already entered into its last quarter. And, the feeling of a holiday rush is around the corner. All the hotels across the world are preparing for the holiday season.
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Guests have started to book for rooms in advance to usher New Year, 2019, in style.
That means you need to get prepared to meet the new customer demands in the ever-changing hotel industry.
Latest Trends in the Hospitality Industry
Here are some of the top Hotel industry trends that are expected to shape the way you do business 2019 and beyond:
1. Cloud-Based Hotel Management Software
Previously, hoteliers focused on guest-facing initiatives that include fresh paint in the hallways, new carpet, just anything the guests can “see”.
On the other hand, technology was relegated to run in the background. Today, technology is becoming one of the key trends in the hospitality industry that is driving growth in the sector.
Thanks to the benefits of cloud computing, more and more hotels are turning to the cloud for their hotel management software solutions.
In fact, research shows,
About 62% of hoteliers going for cloud-based software cite problems with their current software
They want a system that can integrate seamlessly with other technology – and as a result, offer seamless guest experience to the customers. That is where cloud-based hotel management software comes off strong.
It will not only help you streamline activities in your hotel but will also save you money in the long run.
2. Providing Green Alternatives
Global warming menace is still a huge challenge today. For posterity of future generations, individuals, businesses, organizations, and countries are starting to adopt greener strategies that help reduce carbon footprint.
In a bid to underscore the importance of keep carbon emissions under check, The International Tourism Partnership published a report that let people know how hotel activities impacted total carbon emissions.
The report titled Hotel Global Decarbonisation detailed some of the ways of lowering carbon emissions by operating your hotel on green products.
What does that tell you?
Your potential guests are monitoring your activities. They will always balk out on your services if they realize that you are not watching carbon footprint or providing green alternatives.
3. Optimized Local SEO Results
Not all hotels are located in areas that are frequented by tourists. As a result, most hotels in major cities often rely on people visiting friends or family.
The number of guests you are going to receive depends on how popular your establishment is among the locals and the Google gods.
You need them to recommend you to their visiting friends or relatives – and, that is where local SEO comes in. That is why you need to be found online.
If your hotel features at the top of their search results when someone is looking for a place where their friends and extended family can stay, you will have higher chances of attracting more online bookings.
Besides, by participating in opportunities like Yelp and Google My Business, you can maximize your SEO results.
SEO results take time. That means if you want to be easily found online in 2019, this is one of the trends in hospitality industry you should start focusing on as early as now.
4. Minimalist Hotel Designs
Even if you have the best coffee in town and the fastest WiFi, you are not going to attract more guests if your interior isn’t at par with the times.
For example, designers are waking up to the truth of the idiom – less is more. They are beginning to realize how applying minimalistic aesthetics in the design of hotels is drawing in an avalanche of customers in hotels.
The idea is all about reducing all the clutter while at the same time retaining the existing amenities.
One of the best examples of hotels taking a minimalistic approach are Capsule Hotels. These hotels offer basic comforts to the guests that include restful spacious sleeping capsules and low-waste toiletry packets. On top of that, they also offer shower rooms, lockers, and lounges that allow guests to refresh during their visit.
5. Mobile Ads and Access
Going mobile has been one of the key trends in the hospitality industry for close to five years. Interestingly, the use of mobile devices continues to grow both for U.S consumers and abroad.
That’s not all. Stastica predicts that,
The number of Smartphone users is expected to grow to 2.5 billion in 2019.
The increased number of tech-savvy millennials means the number of mobile bookings is expected to shoot in 2019.
That means if your hotel’s website is not mobile responsive, you are likely to miss a large number of would-be guests to your competitors.
Besides, you can take advantage of the massive number of smartphones by paying for mobile ads on popular mobile apps.
The ads will encourage customers to learn more about your business and possibly persuade them to make a booking on their next trip to town.
6. Reinvented Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs have quite been in trend for the past few years. However, today’s travelers are demanding more flexibility in their loyalty program.
Earlier, loyalty programs allowed consumers to get a discount or complimentary night stay as a reward. But now hoteliers are moving away from the point system. They are trying to reinvent the loyalty program, which allows their customers to liquid their points and spend them anywhere within the brand experience. They can use it to have a meal in the restaurant, spa treatment, and much more.
In fact, many hotels are going a step extra by offering tickets to live events to their most loyal customers. By understanding what your customers want, you will be able to reward them more effectively. It will add significant value to their stay and increase their satisfaction.
The demand for greater personalization is increasing and is one of the major trends in the hospitality industry right now. The majority of travelers are willing to share their personal information in return for great convenience and personal touch. Hotel guests don’t want to be treated as just another anonymous customer anymore.
You would be surprised to know that these individuals are ready to pay a premium for personalized services.
Hoteliers need to harness the power of data to achieve personalization. Data can be collected and analyzed at every customer touchpoint — from website to social media. Hotel management software can provide you with actionable insights that can help you tailor individual guest experiences.
The needs of your guest are ever changing. That means you will be required to update your hotel accordingly for any changes that are needed every single year.
Keeping up with popular trends in hospitality industry can be costly, but once your visitors realize that you’re meeting their needs, they are likely to make repeat bookings.
They will also refer other customers to your business.
Fretty Francis is a digital marketing and content strategist at SoftwareSuggest, a software recommendation platform. She’s passionate about analytics, conversion rate optimization and ice-cream.