Ms Sonali Priy Kapoor
Hospitality industry is one of the most happening sectors right now! From hotels going green to digitalizing every single process, the industry is modernizing from its roots, and the sector is increasingly moving from following the same path to bring in innovation factor to the market. In this tech-era, it’s significant that all the businesses running in this industry keep up with the popular trends while keeping in mind the expectations of their customers.
According to the reports of the World Travel and Tourism Council, the sector which is evolving the most is travel and tourism itself, considering it one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. The industry contributes around 10.4% of the global GDP. In fact, one in five new jobs are from the hospitality industry and with this speed it is predicted that by 2029 there will be around 53 million jobs in this sector. To clearly forecast the same, the skills developed within the industry, will give a solid foundation for numerous career opportunities.
The industry is living in a unique locus where they must react rapidly and responsibly to the trends while always looking out for the safety of their guests and employees. Additionally, maintaining pace with the ever-rising sector is one of the varied ways hoteliers can ensure that their businesses cater to an astonishing client experience. Here are some ground-breaking trends that hospitality and accommodation businesses are quickly adapting and taking the industry by storm.
Contactless service has been everywhere for quite a long time now, but over the past one year, it has played a vital role in bringing back the hospitality industry on track. Now it has become a custom to do every single process online including pre-book from mobile apps, virtual check-ins, as well as contactless payments. If we talk about the F&B industry, they have also put an end to hard copy menu cards and swap them with digital menus that help patrons to access the menu by scanning a QR code.
One of the prominent trends in the hospitality industry at the present is sustainability. To improve the quality of life and protect the ecosystem, people are becoming more attuned to environment and social concerns and because of this, individuals are choosing brands that they can link with more happily. Resorts and hotels are going green, and this drift is unlikely to go away in the future, too. As more people look to limit their impact on the environment and experience the native culture, leftover and water usage, as well as sourcing locally produced products in on-site bars and restaurants, will remain a vogue for properties looking to segregate themselves and move ahead.
Technology is playing such a major role in the shift to digitalization within the hospitality and F&B industry. In this era, people are on their mobile phones now more than ever, so swiftness is vital to businesses’ automation and digital choices. AI-powered chatbots have proven to be a customer service asset for both during the booking processes and in responding to the recurring questions. Therefore, the hospitality industry is also using cloud-based unified solutions that are crucial to keeping up with the changing periods.
The new generation of millennials has different needs from the hospitality sector. With Gen Z choosing for longer stays, their trip might not be constrained to relaxation, and therefore they look for a room that is work-friendly while enjoying more privacy compared to the on-site business locations. Fast Wi-Fi and comfortable workstations could be a deciding factor for many travelers looking to blend work and fun.
With the helplessness to travel outside India, there’s been a growth in staycations. Now, individuals prefer to stay closer to home for both well-being and economic reasons. With every brand endorsing shops locally and buying locally, people are more inclined to build their own mini pool in their backyard or in their balconies. For the hospitality sector, this change means improving branding to reflect a more easygoing and homely atmosphere that promotes inhabitants to enjoy a staycation from their location instead of home.
Well, you can say those travel vloggers are the new generation of opinionated influencers for the hospitality industry. With the help of travel vlogs and their user-generated content, the vloggers often provide a real-life experience on their social media platforms. This is one hospitality industry trend that is growing dramatically! As the travel influencers give a personal touch and are known to build strong bonds with their followers, they have the ability to engage people who will be the aspiring travelers.
The industry has seen many changes and enhancements, and will continue to witness more of them as the years roll by. The hallmark of hospitality is endless optimism, and swinging in passion with thrive. As these trends reveal, the future of hospitality is increasingly being molded by global travels, trades, and guest expectations. Digitalization will help businesses to flourish, and its proper use will help the companies to progress and enhance their clientele experience. However, we can call F&B and hospitality brands to be more ambitious with an ongoing upscaling and elevating in the sector’s status and revenue.
The author is Managing Director, The Hatch Project. The views expressed here are her own.