Featured image by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden via Unsplash
The pandemic has significantly changed how (and why) we travel. Office buildings closed, leading to a rise of remote work, which completely shut down business travel. But as we slowly recover from a global pandemic, so does the hotel industry.
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Hotel occupancy rates and interest to travel have fluctuated in the last two years, and with good reason. The industry was massively affected by government regulations, vaccine availability, and consumer confidence.
The good news? Despite severe regulations and ongoing uncertainty, the hospitality industry has seen growth this year. Recent findings hint that the global hotel occupancy reached 60% in July last year. This represents an almost doubling of the performance for the same month in the previous year.
But what can industry leaders do to inspire leisure travel heading into the next few months? Based on recent industry insights, we compiled specific must-follow trends for hoteliers heading into the new season.
#1 Smart Hotel Rooms
Working and living in the same house can make some of us feel sick and tired unless we come up with more intuitive solutions. These hospitality trends always were obvious. But the latest tech for hotels lets you make this routine simpler, more convenient, and more enjoyable.
In fact, guests can make their hotel room obey them. This allows them to save time on routine tasks so they can focus on things that really matter to them. Here are some examples of hospitable hotel room tech tools:
- Voice assistance
- Wireless device charging
- Smart digital controls
- Smart mirrors
- Facial recognition
- Voice control
Each of these can make a guest’s life easier. Guests will definitely enjoy such services, especially if the services make them feel like Tony Stark in your hotel.
To further improve the comfort of their hotels, hotel managers should provide their travelers with an opportunity to order fast food delivery at any time. No hotel offers meals around the clock every day of the week, so this might be a good start.
#2 Going Green
A focus on sustainability isn’t new. But the degree to which travelers expect eco-friendly services and products is. Simply encouraging guests to reuse hotel towels for an extra day might help, but it isn’t enough. The modern traveler is seeking hotels that integrate green practices in all aspects of their business.
Today’s hotel guests expect physical improvements in the hotel’s buildings. For example, start by using efficient temporary boiler solutions or solar panels and other eco-energy solutions. Further, guests look for ultra-efficient lighting systems. Many of these improvements are now in place across many hotels.
Additionally, introduce an effort to reduce water consumption. This can help your hotel become more environmentally friendly. Such an effort includes using more efficient boilers and laundry machines as well as implementing slower-flow showerheads.
#3 Automation: A Hotel Industry Standard
As travel returns, so does the need to optimize operational efficiencies. Remember: Priorities and guest expectations have shifted.
The hospitality industry is expected to provide clean, sterilized environments with high service standards. This may sound easy in theory. However, for hotels in regions where labor shortages have affected the industry, this might be a problem.
As the number of travelers skyrockets, hotel managers will need to find creative ways to meet industry standards and customer requests without affecting their satisfaction scores. The solution? Introducing automatic opt-out cleaning programs. This may lift some weight off your staff’s shoulders and ensure daily room cleanings.
Recent findings show that up to 20% of the world’s hotels have already implemented automatic cleaning programs. Moreover, they plan to keep it that way.
If daily room cleaning is essential to maintain a hotel’s star rating and brand promise, an automation solution that streamlines operations and improves staff productivity will be vital to addressing maintenance and cleaning tasks without delay.
#4 Check-In Automation
In addition to the automation features discussed in the section above, hotels must further improve on their efforts to automate the check-in and check-out processes.
Like massive stores that introduce self-service, the hospitality industry must not fall behind. The trend for automated check-in was a response to the global pandemic. This was initially driven by the need to follow social distancing guidelines.
Considering how many guests prefer this technology over using traditional methods of payment and check-out, it’s no wonder why this method still sticks around.
An automated check-in feature will help travelers avoid physical contact with staff. What’s more, managers will be able to significantly speed up the working process.
#5 In-Room Fitness
Combining the latest technology trends in automation and room design, we’re expecting to see more variations on in-room fitness.
Hotels have to adapt and change the way many of their facilities operate. In 2022, with gyms still a place to avoid due to ongoing pandemic uncertainty, more creative in-room fitness options emerged. These were important for satisfying travelers’ needs for movement and exercise.
This can be achieved by using mobile apps and digital assistants to ensure the sanitization of equipment and have it brought right to the door. Moreover, guests can now stream tutorials, guided meditation, guided yoga classes, and workouts via in-room TVs.
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#6 Bleisure Travel
Working remotely has already become commonplace for professionals. This is expected to become more than just a passing trend.
In a change driven by the global pandemic, an unprecedented number of high-profile companies—with big-name companies like Facebook and Twitter leading the way—announced they would implement a flexible or hybrid approach to working remotely.
Recent findings hint that guests not only expect but also greatly enjoy Bleisure amenities for group business. This means that guests expect accommodations to provide them with exciting team-building, outdoor activities, and leisure. These bleisure activities allow them to realign and regroup with their teams.
So far, only a few hospitality venues are available for bleisure guests and locals in need of changing their work environment. Hotel managers who wish to propel their property ahead of the curve will be eager to adopt these amenities for their future guests.
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