Has there ever been a more exciting time to work in the hospitality industry? The last few years have seen significant change, and it was definitely needed, but the future holds even more change for the industry.
Management at all levels are finally embracing modern technology and social media as well as further embracing local neighborhoods to make them more inclusive to the guest experience.
As 2018 winds down, we wanted to take a look at what 2019 will hold for the hospitality industry:
More “Resort” Fees – this has been a point of contention for some travelers, but the numbers don’t lie. Hotels generated almost $3 billion in “extra” fee charges in 2018 and it has gotten to the point travelers don’t seem to mind them as long as they are packaged properly.
Las Vegas has this down pat, packing internet, pool, gym, and towel service all in one additional fee. Urban hotels are learning from their example as well as that of many of the tourist destination hotels and offering something similar.
For a city hotel, this may include offering a free breakfast as part of the package to make it a bit more attractive for the traveler.
Hotels doing this are giving themselves a significant advantage when it comes to other properties trying to incorporate these charges into their room rates. They are showing up much higher in hotel room searches simply because they are able to present a lower rate, then sell the “resort” package as an add-on.
More Direct Bookings – there was a time when hotels relied on OTA sites to put heads in beds, but that is coming to pass. While it is unlikely OTAs will ever go away entirely, more and more hotels are making it more attractive for guests to book directly through their own websites.
How are hotels accomplishing this? Brands are overhauling their websites to load faster as well as creating a better search and mobile experience for guests. In addition, many brands are offering exclusive rates to travel club members ONLY available with direct booking.
Guests Booking Further Out – consumers now have more money in their pockets and it is showing in the hotel industry. Hotels are filling up earlier and earlier, creating a significant increase in demand for rooms. That, of course, means higher room rates for properties, something that is not expected to change anytime soon.
Local Flavor – a very interesting trend developing right now is hotels coming to the harsh reality the average hotel restaurant cannot compete with the local fine dining scene. What they are now doing is embracing the local flavor and developing casual restaurants incorporating these local flavors, local wines, and local craft beers into their menus. Simply put, the days of seeing a celebrity chef’s name on a local hotel restaurant marquee are coming to an end.
Embracing Social Media – hoteliers are finally embracing the power of social media. The design of restaurant dishes, lobby displays, meeting rooms, breaks, and hotel rooms are now keeping social media in mind. Managers are finally realizing if they want their guests to help them promote their property using their own social media accounts, they need to create settings that are “share-worthy” for their guests.
Is your marketing team up on the latest trends in the hospitality industry? Do you need a Director of Marketing that can put these trends to use to improve your booking rate? When you are ready to make a move, Joseph David International will be there to find the perfect manager for your property’s needs. For more information about JDI’s hotel manager recruiting services, click here.
Photo credit: Jacques_Palut