The worldwide hospitality industry is anything but kind. For a lengthy time, there was next to no innovation in this area, but the arrival of technology-fueled on-demand economy has radically changed that. Airbnb’s appearance on the scene was a sign of this change, along with the rise of boutique hotels. Soon, even traditional restaurant chains started experimenting, growing, acquiring and by outcome, innovating intensely.
This brings us to the present hospitality scenario. Although it has been a brutal, unyielding, and fiercely competitive industry, the path to success is currently multifaceted. There isn’t a single formula that is relevant to all and hotels no longer have to subscribe to hard and fast rules. Technology plays the role of a grand equalizer, giving even the smallest player a fighting chance to live.
Around the world, the tourism, travel, and hospitality sectors remain a key for economic growth and job creation. In this market where transportation has become more affordable and country borders are blurring, it’s fair to assume that tourism and travel will remain a dominant sector for the near, and much, futures.
In 2016, Travel & Tourism donated US$7.6 trillion to the global market and encouraged 292 million jobs.
This revenue generation comprises 10.2 percent of the world’s GDP.
1 in 10 of all tasks can be attributed to the Travel & Tourism Industry. In contrast, corporate and business travel accounted for the remainder of 23 per cent.
Domestic travel (at 72 percent ) was higher than global travel.
The entire contribution to the GDP was fostered by 3.1% in 2016.
By 2027, this industry is very likely to account for 11.4 per cent of the global GDP, and will support more than 380 million jobs globally. Of course, this indicates that this sector will outperform the global economy.
There’s little doubt that companies like Airbnb are competing head-to-head with hotels in certain sections of the market. However, what is important is that private accommodations have shifted consumer expectations on a fundamental level, by redefining what and where a hotel is.
Like I said before, technology has leveled the playing field, and contributed to various aspects of the business, such as branding, communication, and outreach. In particular, three particular tendencies are
Going to reshape the hospitality sector in the coming years. Let’s look at each on them individually.
A Mobile-First Approach
In emerging markets around the world, 1 billion people are expected to come online worldwide. The majority of these can be clients who will experience their whole guest lifecycle on their telephones. Hospitality and travel companies have no option but to invest in mobile friendly and mobile-first guest participation and retention strategies.
In any case, customers are always looking for that’personalized’ experience and leveraging innovative mobile tech the way AirBnb and Uber have will be key when it comes to brand differentiation and expertise. Hotels will have to offer booking functionalities, lightning quick operations, and other touchpoints for the entire customer journey on cellular phones for the convenience of their clients.
With internet access becoming almost limitless to digital natives and non-natives alike, connectivity is only poised to increase. Besides, with the proliferation of connected devices and wearables on the current market, hotels will have to find innovative when it comes to new ways of interacting and interacting with the consumer.
Tapping into big data allows for the creation and curation of an extensively personalized experience for every kind of consumer. A whole lot of marketing campaigns can be leveraged seamlessly, and monitored keeping tangible numbers in mind for expansion and further optimization.
Additionally, it speeds up existing processes such as customer service, feedback collection, email automation, and customer engagement. What’s more, it may also ease upscaling and downsizing the company based on company goals.
Changing customer profiles and brand experience
The tourism industry is witnessing a change in the psychographic and demographic profiles of travelers. Along with Gen X travelers, there’s a fresh influx of millennials, whose expectations and lifestyle are setting completely different standards for industry performance.
Customer experience is currently the most dominant brand differentiator. It will also drive customer loyalty and referrals and hotels will be necessary to synthesize more targeted, personalized, and intricate loyalty schemes than ever before.
This personalization and distinction also extends to the sorts of experiences that you produce.
Now, to offer unmatched service, rooting the hotel in its local climate while at the same time giving experiences beyond the conventional hotel space, is becoming an important element. The millennial demand for organic food and sustainable choices also generates more vulnerabilities in regards to risks and food security, which has to be monitored by resort owners.
Travel brands also have been left behind by non-travel manufacturers that have pampered the customers by providing heightened levels of support. Amazon, Starbucks, and Uber are a few titles that millennials hold in high esteem, and competition is only going to intensify as customers begin to expect the same out of every service provider, particularly the hospitality industry participant.
This brings us to the final point – marketing for this new-age consumer. Hospitality sales, as it is, are different from other consumer goods. This is because both the tangible and the intangible products need to be sold by the participant. Success, then, hinges more on providing marketing’services’ rather than simply prodding the consumer into buying what you are offering. It’s important to make the right brand image that promotes trust, and furthermore, conversions.
A consistent brand identity also becomes more important as clients have a lot of fronts on which they may engage your brand. Your active presence on social media becomes very important as a portal for client engagement.
Customers can also research and evaluate you thanks to portals like TripAdvisor and Yelp. Reviews and recommendations of a friend or an influencer suddenly become very important determinants for growth in earnings. Along with providing steady revenue flow, repeat customers can become influencers in their own right.
Leveraging all of the tools and technologies that have digital marketing is not only the need of the hour, it is significantly cheaper and fine-tuned to customer preferences. Content and email advertising are now intimately tied in with SEO, and brand visibility over the web. Most of these marketing efforts go into carefully creating, curating, and maintaining brand identity and image. Continuously engaging the customers with new-age best marketing practices, along with supplying a priceless experience will be what takes you above and beyond your competition.
The sector is very profitable at this time, and is poised for immense growth and positive amounts of investment. If you’re an existing player that is not performing very well, or a new player looking to make a substantial dent in the business, keeping all these points in mind will give you significant advantage over your competition.