As the millennial generation heralds a new age for innovation and experimentation in business, one industry experiencing transformation is hospitality, a world which operates by combining business and pleasure all over the world. Millennials are at the forefront of this change and are moulding the way hotels operate in their image. Today, hotels and restaurants are re-envisioning the guest experience to nurture this generation shift.
A recent Hipmunk survey reported that 72% of millennials travelled more in 2016 than in previous years. Interestingly, 55% of millennials say they tend to inject leisure into their business trips. They are also seeking employment that boosts chances to travel; 38% of millennials travel for business, compared to the 23% and 8% for Gen Xers and boomers respectively. With this wider desire to explore the world and mix business with pleasure, it’s of no surprise that hotels are changing the way they accommodate travellers. Here are just a few upcoming and future trends in hospitality:
It can be of no shock to anyone that technology is widening its influence to hospitality, especially with how much we use it in our day-to-day lives. Hotels are approaching tech in different ways in order to shake-up and improve guest experience.
Guest management software is becoming incredibly popular, for example. An evolution of customer relationship management, GMS allows guests to curate their individual needs & preferences so that hotel staff can accommodate and anticipate their desires.
As it improves and gain momentum, artificial intelligence is being adopted by hospitality as an add-on feature to guest experience. For example, according Tnooz.com, almost 5,000 rooms at Wynn Las Vegas are already voice-activated via Amazon Echo. Additionally, the upcoming installation of bed sensors will mean that rooms will recognise when the guest is asleep or awake, and adjust the temperature and lighting accordingly.
Also known as scent or aroma branding, scent marketing is a subtle way for hotels to achieve brand recognition by creating their individual fragrance that contributes to guest experience. Although expensive to create, bespoke scents are being treated like brand logos. They are incredibly sought after by luxury hotels which operate in a market where uniqueness and standing out is key.
For example, in an exclusive partnership, The Connaught sought Roja Dove’s talents in fragrance creation to concoct the hotel’s signature candle.
Hotels are beginning to understand the importance of a ‘green’ ethos. According to a 2015 Nielson report , ‘66% of global respondents say they’re willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impacts’. More hotels will be transparent in their sourcing methods, such as menus disclosing their ingredients and how they positively impact the local community. The Ritz-Carlton’s website, for example, has a ‘Community Footprint’ page in order to promote their efforts in sustainability.
Biophilic design is also emerging due to a popular desire to be connected with nature. Expect vertical gardens, wider views of nature and exposure to natural light. Said to improve the guests’ mood and stress levels, biophilia is a design trend that takes into consideration aesthetics, psychology and the environment.
The relationship between luxury and functionality will be further explored through the integration of work spaces in lobbies. Free hotel wifi that is no longer restricted to designated business spaces means that people will often bring their own gadgets and work on-the-go, no matter where they are in the hotel.
Co-working spaces are perfect for informal meetings as they permit work to be done without it feeling clinical. Emphasis on comfort and sociability can shift the mood of the meeting.
Lobbies are often accessible to the public which means that co-working spaces in hotels will make it easier for them to host more businesspeople who are not necessarily staying the night. They are also great havens for businesspeople looking to escape the noise of a busy office or home.