Without noticing it, the better part of the year has already passed and 2019 is just around the corner, that said, we’ll be in 2020 in no time. Hospitality is always on the move trying to bring the new thing that will wow guests. What the industry looked 18 years ago is another picture from what it is today and what it will be in a couple of years. The innovation is perpetual.
When we talk how the future might and most likely will look like, we aren’t talking about removing the bed out of the room, but other changes which we can see happening. The way these properties are managed in order to be more efficient, welcoming, bring higher margins, the way they are promoted and the new demographics of guests they are hosting. Tomorrow won’t be an all out science fiction reality, but incredible technologies may start to be the norm.
Let’s look at 2020 firstly, by knowing how guest demographics are evolving. Currently more than 33% of all travelers are millennials and by 2020 the number will be 50%. This has definitely shaped the way how hotels operate, from their marketing strategy to the design of their rooms. The latter is shifting towards a minimalist approach which creates the idea of more space. Lobbies as well are becoming what may be called multi function centers, well equipped to easily be transformed into business centers, tech-lounges or co-working spaces. Marketing is exploring new and intriguing ideas, like 360 tours of rooms and other spaces, so the guest can have a feeling of the property without even stepping a foot inside, furthermore hotels are capturing the “authentic experience’’ trend, by adding a local flavor in what they offer. Customers will have more and more power on specific room preferences, picking one just the way they can choose an airplane seat, as well as other in-room aspects such as lighting settings, which they will be able to control through their phones.
Look no further than the technologies a hotel uses, to see how they are preparing for the future. Soon to be the norm in hotel software will be having a robust cloud based property management system (PMS), whose benefits are too many for just one article to list and you can read more them at our blog. Yet to give a taste of the incredible power of a modern PMS, we can look at Reception and some of its features. From the seamless check-in and check-out experience which empowers the front desk and saves much valuable time, to accepting and processing all kinds of payments effortlessly, solving in this way an ever present hassle, integrating perfectly with other parts of the Softmogul package, being totally mobile, hence being allowed to be used at any time and place. I can go on and on here, but I believe the picture of the benefits a PMS brings is more than clear.
Thirdly, to be mentioned is the new approach towards amenities, which we touched a bit when we mentioned the new vision of a hotel lobby. Prepare to see natural elements starting to pop out everywhere and be an integral part of the overall design and feeling of a room and the entire property. The fitness craze continues to grow as well, making hotels to have a training space however simple in the list of their amenities, with many properties investing on a fully equipped space with the basic gears and machines. Knowing the future demographic of guests, one might invest in not so traditional amenities that appeal to groups such as millennials, which are of course extra shareable.
However futuristic hotels become, something which will continue to define the level of the guest experience, is the human touch. The combination of both elements, the classic and the modern will provide customers with the best possible experience and upmost level of satisfaction, one of the end goals of every investment in hospitality.
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