The hotel industry saw multiple ups and downs in the past three years. During those turbulent times, one thing became clear—hotels have to be flexible in their approach so that if the need arises, they can mold themselves to stay on top of changing customer behavior.
With 2023 knocking at the door, it’s time to have a look at the 5 hospitality trends ruling the world, and how hoteliers can use them to have a great business year ahead.
1. Digital nomads
Thanks to the pandemic, business travel has undergone a major transformation. The number of digital nomads in the US jumped from 7.3 million in 2019 to a whopping 16.9 million in 2022. Fuelled by the desire to operate from new locations and change their zoom backgrounds every once in a while, remote employees as well as self-employed individuals prefer to stay longer at hotels to experience the pleasure of working combined with traveling. So in 2023, hoteliers have to focus on attracting more digital nomads to compensate for bleisure guests.
A great way to achieve this would be to customize the amenities the hotel offers to meet the requirements of remote workers. Offering high-speed internet, dedicated work-from-home set-up in hotel rooms, special packages for workstations, co-working spaces, and gym subscriptions could work as a means to increase the footfall of hybrid workers at your hotel.
2. Curated guest experience
Personalized guest experience continues to top the chart of the latest hotel trends, and for good reasons. Guests want to be seen and heard more than ever, but on their own terms. Instead of offering cookie-cutter services, hotels need to be innovative enough to adapt their services and amenities based on the individual needs of customers.
A simple example would be to retain data regarding their room and food choices and suggest options based on their stay history. To make the experience more localized, hotels can suggest local activities as per the interest of the guests. The key here is to pay attention to nifty details and use the stored guest data meticulously. Using a hotel tech tool like MyCONECT can help you offer contactless communication, contactless check-in and check-out, mobile keys, support chat, room upgrades, and more, to take the guest experience to the next level.
3. Prioritize staff retention
49% of hotels have been severely understaffed in recent years due to various socio-economic reasons, and 2023 is the year to focus on staff acquisition and retention. Hoteliers have to offer better pay, define the workload, prevent burnout, and prioritize the physical and mental wellness of the staff to mitigate the issue of staff shortage.
Besides these, it’s important to upskill the hotel staff with proper training to meet the changing customer needs. For instance, when you train your staff to make optimal use of technology, they can utilize their skill and knowledge to enhance the guest experience further.
4. Sustainable travel
After the pandemic, 82% of guests seek to travel more sustainably. This is not a fleeting trend, but rather a growing preference among global travelers. While a big section of hotels has already begun to adopt a sustainable approach, others are yet to catch up.
Using technology is one of the best ways to achieve this, as it reduces the wastage of resources, makes the customer experience seamless, relieves overburdened staff, and keeps operations running smoothly across multiple channels. Focusing on conservation could also play a major role in your hotel’s journey toward sustainability. Using renewable energy instead of traditional fossil fuel, reducing the use of single-use plastic, sourcing locally, recycling, and helping employees maintain a stable work-life balance—these are a few areas hoteliers must pay attention to.
Geo-political tensions and a 25% hike in air travel prices are likely to push people to travel locally. So in 2023, a major limelight is expected to be on staycation guests. With a staycation, guests can cut down on their travel budget while enjoying a memorable stay, without the unwanted hassle of traveling abroad.
As guests are visiting a property closer to home, they would be more interested to explore the property, the activities around it, and local off-beat spots. While international travel will still be on the cards, staycations will gain more prominence. Hoteliers have to be well-equipped to meet the demands of regional guests and ensure they have a novel experience within and around the boundaries of the hotel property.
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