Global hospitality is at a crossroads. In the last 20 years, technology has transformed every aspect of the guest’s journey.
From online bookings to in-room services to post-stay feedback.
But as technology continues to evolve and advance, what will the hotel industry look like 10 years in the future?
In the past, digitalization was largely driven by companies, as new solutions were introduced to enhance efficiency.
And target customers more effectively. In the modern era, however, it is customers who are demanding greater connectivity.
Another trend that those in the hospitality industry are getting to grips with is the desire for tourists or travelers to enjoy local experiences.
Many people do not simply want to experience a life similar to their own but in a different location.
Instead, they want to experience an authentic way of life in the location they visit.
Businesses in the hospitality industry are responding to this, in order to cater to these demands. Hotels might provide local products,
while other options like Airbnb and farmhouse accommodation can offer a more authentic guest experience.
Moreover, travel agents and tour operators can help travelers to take part in local activities.
Increasingly, customers are concerned with environmental issues and want to know that the businesses they deal with are behaving ethically.
For this reason, sustainability has been one of the most noticeable hospitality trends of recent times, with a growing number of hospitality businesses promoting their eco-friendliness.
Examples of this range from restaurants promoting their vegetarian and vegan options, through to hotels that make use of smart light bulbs and smart heating to save energy.
Within the accommodation sector, there are also decisions to be made about using more sustainable materials for things like towels and bedsheets.
Across almost all industries, the need for personalization is a major trend, and the hospitality industry is no different.
This is primarily driven by the rise of big data. Meanwhile, a growing number of hotel guests want to be treated as individuals, rather than just another anonymous customer.
Personalization can be deployed in a variety of ways. Within hotels, for instance, returning customers can be automatically provided with similar services to last time they stayed,
While they can also be personally greeted by a member of staff upon arrival, using GPS technology and booking data.
Furthermore, with the rise of smart devices, hotel guests can also be enabled to use their own devices and accounts on entertainment platforms.
In simple terms, a smart hotel is a hotel that makes use of internet-enabled devices, which are capable of sending data to one another.
Smart hotel designs are tied in with the idea of the ‘Internet of Things’ and have emerged as a more popular concept since smart speakers and smart hubs became popular consumer products.
A smart hotel might, for example, allow guests to control the heating or air conditioning from their phone, or turn on the TV by giving a voice command to a smart speaker.
In many cases, smart rooms also automatically adjust things like the brightness of light bulbs, or the temperature of a radiator, in order to maintain optimal conditions.
Artificial intelligence plays a number of different roles within the hospitality industry, but the main one is to improve customer service.
One example of this is AI-powered chatbots, which can be used for online customer interactions, removing lengthy waiting times, and providing swift, intelligent responses to questions.
However, there are additional uses for artificial intelligence technology too. For instance, some hotels have introduced AI and voice-controlled customer service or tourist information hubs within their hotels.
Meanwhile, AI can also be used to sort through data, automatically make adjustments to processes, and so on.
One of the most exciting hospitality trends is the emergence of robots, which are defined as machines built to carry out complex tasks, either autonomously or semi-autonomously.
They are often equipped with artificial intelligence and can help those operating in hospitality management by generating speed, cost, and accuracy improvements.