# 1 - Weekend Aways and Staycations
Last summer, countries cautiously reopened after several months of lockdown. People looked for ways to return to some sort of normalcy. The idea of a weekend away and the staycation is to stay in a house away from home for an extended period of time in your own country. Comfortable and safe without worrying about their health.
#2 – Unique and Local Experiences
Today's tourists are looking for new experiences and specifically local experiences. Due to the limited possibilities during the pandemic, people now want to make the most of every minute. They want to know what activities they can do in the area. Think of fun outdoor activities, like bicycle tours or walking routes. Or maybe there are unique restaurants where you can draw their attention too, so they can book in time.
Most accommodations have printed brochures, ranging from chic paper in a leather folder to a few laminated sheets. Both have a limited shelf life, which is why most tourists now rely on online information from Tripadvisor or Google Maps.
Yet, as a company, you can still distinguish yourself by offering your guests a unique and local experience. Help your guests by digitally sharing the different options before their stay via either:
- your website,
- an e-mail,
- or messaging channels.
With this, you can entice them for their stay. So, suggest a local adventure to give your guests a complete experience!
#3 – Safety and Hygiene
Several hospitality trends are broadly related to safety and hygiene. These have become important with the spread of COVID-19. The world has adjusted to the virus to keep it from spreading as far as possible. These points must be prioritised by hotels, holiday resorts, restaurants, pubs, and cafes.
In addition, visitors have become more aware of what they see as clean, or what they assume to be dirty. A shopping trolley is dirty because someone else has touched it. But what about the remote control or a leaflet to promote local activities?
It will take some time before we feel comfortable again in a busy line or full elevator.
#4 - Mobile Check-Ins
In the age of mobile technology, hospitality companies can improve both their operations and their guest experience by implementing a few simple things in their properties. A survey conducted by Oracle shows that 90% of hotel managers believe the guest experience can be improved by allowing guests to use mobile devices to manage the check-in and check-out process.
Travellers today depend on their mobile devices to check-in for a flight, order an Uber and make reservations at their favourite restaurants. They also want this convenience when checking in at their hotel. Instead of queuing at the front desk, today's guests want a simple process that allows them to go straight to their room.
#5 – Sustainability
Visitors are becoming more concerned about environmental concerns and want to know that the businesses they do business with are ethical. On the other hand, people have always needed to explore, experience, and find new things. People will continue to travel for this reason, but they will seek out ways to do it as sustainably as possible.
For these reasons, sustainability is one of the most striking trends and a must in communication with your visitors. Communicate the measures you've made and how you intend to become more sustainable with your guests. Restaurants that promote their vegetarian and vegan alternatives and hotels that use smart light bulbs and smart heating to conserve energy. In the hotel industry, you should consider utilising more environmentally friendly materials for items like towels and bed linen.
#6 – Personalisation
Personalisation is a big trend in almost all industries, and this is no different in the hospitality sector. A survey conducted by Accenture found that 58% of consumers transfer half or more of their spending to a provider that is excellent at personalising experiences without sacrificing reliability.
Despite digitalisation and reduced interaction, visitors want a more personalised approach. Not necessarily physically, but in terms of how we interact with one another or how we care for one another. Guests like to be treated as people, not as nameless visitors.
Personalisation can be applied in different ways. Within hotels, for example, returning guests can automatically receive the same services as the last time they stayed, while also being personally greeted by a staff member on arrival using GPS technology and booking data. Be personal in your communication and distinguish yourself through an individual approach.
#7 – Chatbots
Chatbots are one of the most important hospitality trends associated with customer service and can be useful for quick responses to questions, even when human resources are not available. In many cases, this can lead to first contact resolutions, but the chatbot can also collect information and pass it on to a human representative if necessary.
Companies in the hospitality industry must be able to answer the increased number of questions and concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused. Chatbots can answer the most fundamental questions in this area in seconds.
Not only does this provide a good experience for guests, but chatbots also help companies save on customer service costs by speeding up response times, freeing up agents for more challenging work, and answering up to 80% of routine questions.
#8 – Digital Room Key for Quick Room Access
This is a hospitality trend to keep an eye out for. Smartphones and apps have mostly replaced swipe cards as a means of facilitating check-in and reducing key loss. Guests can now use the digital key using smartphones to speed up the check-in process and go through it efficiently. This is exactly what your guests need to get instant access to their room.
Guests hurry to their hotel room after a long day of meetings or travel to shower and snuggle into a newly made hotel bed. But, in the midst of all that activity, obtaining a room key is a challenge. Various hotel chains are now providing smartphone keys to avoid this frustration.