With hotel industry witnessing a steady growth over the past year or so, it has also witness some trends which have proved highly beneficial. Let’s read through some...
Year 2016 was a good year for the hotel industry with many new trends that developed. This industry is developing so fast that it is now regarded as one of the most attractive businesses with lucrative returns seeing the franchise route. Year 2017 also has a lot of trends that are quickly being accepted by the patrons too. Let’s know more on the trends for this year.
Weather it is a great experience, design, comfort, technology or value add, trends in hotel industry keep changing and evolving fast. With the entry of many home furnishing brands in hotel sector and famous designers now designing for hotels, designing is also one of the fast trends in the sector. Design truly defines a hotels persons and a complete way to care for your guest. Dilpreet Singh Bindra, General Manager, JW Marriott Chandigarh shares: ‘Today, we live in the times of ‘technology’. To stay on par with the world, the hospitality industry is making considerable efforts to embrace technology across domains. This is important to remain profitable and be able to service the evolving demands of patrons. Talking of profitability, effective management of space has become a focus area. Another area which is trending in the hospitality sector is ‘partnerships’ between luxury brands and hospitality destinations.
Technology at peak
Technology has become a critical part of our business, says Raj Rana, CEO, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. He mentions: ‘On a broader level, competition is not just with the hotel next door but also with OTAs and disruptive models in the market. At Carlson Rezidor, all our distribution channels are real-time, be it our branded website, global distribution system (GDS) or global OTAs. Our mobile apps are GPS enabled that allow users to review hotels in their proximity or choose any other destination. Further our mobile apps like iConcierge are geared to track performance through personalized analytics and can deliver improved communication and response to guest requests.’
On leveraging technology and newer trends, Bindra says: ‘From keyless check-in and robot concierges to mobile apps and messenger-based booking, top hotel chains are continuously experimenting with technology to enhance over all experience of a guest, right from the time of booking till the time a guest checks-out. These days, hotels’ mobile apps have an impressive list of features. Services like Mobile check-in, Keyless entry, Chat-applications and interactive televisions are becoming more common. As far as effective space management is concerned, with real estate/rental costs soaring, it becomes essential for hotels, especially 5-stars like JW Marriott Chandigarh which occupy larger spaces, to create revenue generation opportunities from each area of the property. Each area of the hotel is now structurally and functionally planned to meeting diverse requirements of different set of users. For example conference halls, executive lounge, kid’s area, etc all cater to diverse requirements in Corporate and Banquet space.’
Collaborations in trend
Customer behaviour and expectations continue to change continuously with shift in socio-economic values in the society. However, what remains constant in the hospitality industry is the value and impact created by a smile or handshake while meeting a guest. Nothing can replace the value of human warmth and courtesy which lies at the core of the business of hospitality. Partnership with reputed brands for a variety of exclusive services and merchandise is also a trend now. Hotels are looking to offer the best products available in the market to their patrons. Luxury hospitality brands in particular are putting their best foot forward to collaborate with reputed service providers for in-house services and branded merchandise.
The role of social media in generating business in today’s landscape cannot be undermined. Carlson Group is focused on social media to create brand awareness, drive business, foster loyalty and manage customer relationships. It has deployed platforms like Revinate and Engagor to track customer complaints and gauge sentiment on an ongoing basis. Rana adds: ‘We realize that the guests’ stay experience is drastically elevated with high speed Wi-Fi service. This is therefore still a focus area for us even though the technology has evolved from being a luxury to necessity. Keeping in mind the ever-changing needs of digital age and millennial guests, we are also introducing Radisson RED in India soon, which will resonate with customers through its lifestyle oriented aspects like art, music and fashion.’
Major hotel names are now bringing in better and newer trends for their guests. Now, hotels are more than just a place for temporary stay. In fact it has become a place like home for many. With bigger hospitality chains opting for management and franchise routes and accepting newer trends, the industry is bound to bloom this year. 2017 has much more in store for investors and hotel owners too.