Hospitality Industry Trends 2023
The traditional hospitality industry has experienced a lot of changes, if not the greatest. In a short time, it suffered a massive hit from the pandemic, making top brands lose a third of their market value and from a labor shortage, which made them limit the services they offered.
The last few years have been a hard pill to swallow for hospitality businesses globally. However, these challenging events have become the precursors for the rapid development experienced in the industry. If anybody told us that hospitality trends that ought to take place in the next decade would only take a few months to go mainstream, we would have been in doubt.
Although, if there's a trend today, there's no guarantee it'll be tomorrow. However, as a part of the hotel or restaurant industry, it's extra important you stay ahead of the trends, as the profits can be tied to the direction of the trends.
So, in this article, we'll discuss the latest tourism and hospitality industry trends to watch out for in 2023.
What upcoming trends are expected to shape the hospitality industry in 2023?
Sustainability became a hospitality trend in the wake of the pandemic. According to Statista, 78% of travelers prefer to stay in an eco-friendly hotel, while the Luxury travel agency network Virtuoso put this stat at 82%.
So, you know that it is not only the Government that is concerned about carbon emissions and advocating for real, sustainable business models; hence hotel owners must do more than tell guests to reuse towels; they should ensure 100% Green energy. Hotels may be required to have solar panels and an F & B menu with vegan and vegetarian options; promote ecotourism and sustainable travel alternatives, use organic amenities, reduce waste generation, and promote recycling.
There are third-party eco-certification agents that certify hospitality businesses if they are sustainable. Obtaining these certifications is beneficial because they demonstrate that a hospitality business is committed to sustainability. They enhance the business's reputation, attract environmentally conscious customers, and increase visibility on platforms like Google.
Eco-certification is also an attestation that you don't do Greenwashing and helps to increase your credibility. Since modern customers are well aware of greenwashing, this process ensures legal confirmation of your sustainability.
Hospitality companies can get sustainable certifications from LEEDS (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), Green Globe Certification, ISO 14001 Certification, Tripadvisor Green Leaders, and Green Key Global.
There has been widespread adoption of AI-assisted tools due to Chat-GPT, the fastest-growing consumer application in the world , launched in November 2022. This year, customers will be more inclined to visit hotels where they can interact with the latest hospitality technology.
We'll see a rise in tech tools like voice search, virtual & augmented reality, the Internet of things, and robots for room service. Digital solutions will reduce paper usage through e-check-ins, digital menus, and electronic receipts. So hotel businesses prioritizing these tools will experience a surge of customers.
Digital nomads are people who work remotely but are steady on the go. They commute from one location to another, traveling to different countries while working. They could be independent contractors, freelancers, or employees.
According to McKinsey & Co.'s study, 9 out of 10 businesses prefer the hybrid model; also, the Harvard Business School analysis showed that 81% of those that worked remotely during the pandemic liked it and didn't want to return to the office.
Upwork predicts that by 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be working from home, which represents an 87% increase from the pre-pandemic levels. Digital nomads' work freedom allows them to travel at will, resulting in 23 % of US workers extending their stay.
This is bound to continue, especially in hotels and short-term rentals, so to attract these guests, you'll need more than WiFi; you'll have to provide co-working spaces, light snacks, tech-friendly rooms, and places to unwind after work.
Implement virtual concierge services, such as mobile apps or chatbots, that allow digital nomads to access information, request services, or make bookings conveniently from their devices to provide a seamless and personalized guest experience tailored to the needs of tech-savvy travelers.
Health & Wellness
Preventive medicine and self-care are hot hospitality trends thanks to the pandemic. Wellness tourism hit a $476.1 billion market size valuation in 2022, poised to reach $1.3 trillion by 2025. It's booming, and hospitality venues must invest in health and Spa facilities to get the most from this niche.
Health-conscious guests have deep pockets and are ready to spend more if facilities that'll help them rejuvenate their health are available. So asides from spas, hotels should provide health diagnostic technology, regular yoga sessions, meditation, healthy snacks, & writing retreats, and experts who can take sessions on mental health, stress management, emotional balance, and relaxation.
There has been an increasing clamor for hyper-personalization, with customers avoiding traditional hotels, especially millennials, that account for the highest number of global travelers. A recent study showed that 78 % of travelers prefer hotel rooms with personalized service.
In an age where technology has eaten deep into the fabric of society, customers' expectations of the hotel industry have skyrocketed. Today, hotel guests now want reservations where they can select the amenities, tours, and hotel experiences suited to their lifestyles and needs.
To meet this teeming demand, hotel operators can use Attribute-Based Selling which gives customers the freedom to choose their amenities and the level of luxury when booking a hotel room. Hotels could also use AI to track and predict customer behavior to provide a tailored experience.
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How will new technologies and digital advancements impact the hospitality industry?
The competitive nature of this industry remains constant even if the industry experiences multiple changes. But technology has helped create a level field so everybody can adapt simultaneously without friction. It has also revolutionized the following areas.
Smart Energy Management
With a Smart thermostat and occupancy sensor, hotels and restaurants can monitor the movement of people in and out of the rooms and venue. The thermostats help automate the heating and cooling system in real-time, which helps to maximize their energy consumption and save costs.
Predictive Maintenance System
Predictive maintenance uses sensors and data analytics to monitor equipment and systems in real-time, predicting potential failures and allowing for proactive maintenance. This minimizes downtime, reduces maintenance costs, and ensures optimal functioning of critical hotel infrastructure. There'll be no need to wait for equipment to break down before they are fixed. Occupancy sensors help with routine checks to detect faults and alert the maintenance team to get them fixed.
Improved customer experience
Customers no longer visit to see the size of the beds or the surrounding of the restaurant. They come with high expectations to be surprised and have a remarkable experience. AI and IoT, such as voice search, mobile room keys, smart reserved policy, robots, VR&AR, and smart rooms, helps surpass customers' expectations while providing a seamless experience.
Smart technologies have made most hospitality businesses more profitable and sustainable by helping to save costs that would have been spent on non-targeted ads, maintenance & repair, and expensive labor.
How can businesses in the hospitality industry prepare for these changes?
This industry is dynamic; for hospitality companies to stay afloat, they must stay ahead of the curve. All key players must be up to date with industry news, conduct market research, analyze reports to understand trends, and study your competitors to see their strategies. It will help you identify where the trends are going so you know when to incorporate them into your strategy.
Also, hoteliers and restauranteurs must be flexible and adaptable. There's no use being rigid and holding to a single concept. Once you've noticed a favorable change in the industry, you should swiftly implement it.
What strategies should be employed to ensure success in such a rapidly evolving industry?
The answer is not far-fetched; to remain relevant and thrive in the industry, you must
- Have a growth mindset: You must stay updated, always learning and upskilling because knowledge is progressive. You can wake up tomorrow to discover that ideas and things you hold dear are obsolete as change is inevitable, so what keeps you is the ability to adapt to change.
- Build your team: This is extra important. Just as a tree can't make a forest, you cannot succeed alone. Building the same traits in your workforce would be best: they must be innovative, quick learners, and adaptive. You won't want a scenario where you bring the latest tech, and your staff abandons it because they can't use it. So, you must educate and train them on the most recent industry trends and organize workshops and seminars so that they can upskill. Aside from work efficiency, training helps increase workers' retention.
Partnership: Most people sit and wait for the change before implementing it. Have you thought of bringing the change to the industry?
You don't need to be a tech expert or a marketing guru. You just need to identify a problem in the industry or study customers' behavior to see what innovation they're looking forward to seeing. Then work with professionals from different fields to solve this problem.
As technology grows in leaps and bounds, we'll experience more disruption, but if you prioritize giving customers a seamless experience, sustainability, technology, health & Wellness, you'd be ahead of the curve. Leveraging these trends, especially the adoption of technology will increase your brand reputation, leading to brand loyalty and customers doing word-of-mouth marketing for you.