Ever since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on January 30, 2020 – life as we knew it changed.
The hospitality industry, hit hard by the pandemic, had to find new ways to stay relevant. Caught in the subsequent maelstrom of travel restrictions and social distancing norms, the industry took refuge in technology. Customer preferences too took a sharp turn – prioritizing safety more than ever before.
Taking these concerns seriously, the hospitality industry took to digitizing the customer experience – aiming to provide a safe and secure experience to its patrons.
Trends Disrupting the Hospitality Industry
What are some of the top trends disrupting and reshaping the hospitality industry today? Let’s take a look.
With a blanket ban on international travel imposed by many countries of the world, travel enthusiasts had to find alternatives to cross-border and even intra-country travel. That’s where staycations came into play. In fact, 16 global holiday hotspots experienced an 18% increase in staycations.
Staycations allowed travelers the experience of enjoying their time off, without venturing too far from their homes. Apart from being easier and safer than long-distance travel, it also happens to be cost-effective – an important factor to consider during dire economic times.
Even after a year has passed, staycations still continue to be in vogue – changing our conventional ideas surrounding vacations.
2. Digitization and Contactless Technology
Technology has become a key enabler of delivering digitized, contactless guest services and experiences.
Hoteliers are launching apps to migrate to a contactless guest journey. Therefore mobile payments, online check-ins/check-outs, cloud-connected/mobile room keys, contactless payment methods, and instant messaging with hotel staff have become popular. Facial recognition too is being widely used, as is NFC wearable technology.
Customer service is the cornerstone of any organization in hospitality, after all. Adopting new tech has made this experience much more safer and convenient for guests – a trend that we’re likely to see evolve through the 2020s.
3. Cloud-based Hotel Management
When hotels began digitizing their operations, management certainly wasn’t left behind.
Realizing the potential of a truly modern management system, the industry turned to cloud-based 360-degree property management. Apart from optimizing operations to reduce costs and increase efficiency, this tech helped hotels maintain their inventory, check bookings, add new contactless POS devices to their repertoire, and many more such functions.
Together, they boost productivity, give managers a birds-eye view of their establishments, and allow for a seamless customer experience. Cloud-based hotel management allowed companies to increase their revenue even under duress, becoming yet another trend that kept key industry players in the game.
4. Sustainability & Eco-friendliness
No longer mere buzz words, sustainability has become a major deciding factor for today’s travelers.
In fact, a survey revealed more than 53% of travelers expressed a preference to travel sustainably in the future. Therefore, the hospitality sector had to incorporate sustainable practices in its daily operations.
This took precedence in the form of reducing plastic usage, switching to opt-in receipts, curbing food wastage, and practicing energy conservation techniques are some methods that became common markers of sustainable hotels.
As more and more customers continue to be socially and ecologically conscious, ethical and environmental considerations continue to drive decision making – both at the customer booking experience as well as within hospitality management meetings.
Bespoke services are the name of the game today – everyone wants to feel special, after all!
The hospitality industry is no exception to this rule. In order to deliver top-notch personalized services, hotels are utilizing data to create 360° customer profiles.
It helps hotels study consumer behavior and buying habits, in turn offering them solutions they have asked for in the past.
PouchNATION – Asia’s Leading Guest Management Solution
PouchNATION’s in-house technology solutions are designed to provide a seamless and cashless guest management experience at venues and events. It helps cash in on the trends reshaping the hospitality industry while increasing guest spending by 30%, thanks to its NFC wearable technology.