As well as being a member of our expert guest faculty, Mariana Palmeiro is a consultant to the global hospitality industry, specializing in the spa, wellness plus health segments. Thus she’s perfectly placed to highlight six key trends she believes could most influence the business of hospitality inside the coming year…
Having worked in the hospitality business with regard to a long time, I feel we often underappreciate quite how resilient – and adaptive – this industry is.
In just the past couple associated with decades we’ve seen the hotel distribution model upended by the OTAs; a major competitor arrive in the particular shape of Airbnb (and its emulators); and then a global pandemic which forced hotels in many key markets in order to cease trading almost overnight, and regarding what turned out to be an extended period.
And yet the food industry keeps on rolling; adapting in order to new realities and consistently treating trends as opportunities. Amid the backdrop associated with strong hotel development pipelines in many regions, I’ve selected a few of the essential hospitality trends to be aware associated with, while also looking at how hoteliers are responding.
1. Welcoming the working nomad
With major employers like PwC embracing hybrid working models , and others such as Airbnb committing to work-from-anywhere policies , there’s a huge opportunity for the particular travel business – and especially hospitality operators – in order to embrace this new generation of digital nomad remote workers who combine employment with international travel.
While accepting that there are many jobs that cannot be done remotely, the knowledge and services economy is less restrictive in this area, especially given the exponential rise in use of videoconferencing plus collaborative operating applications which was spurred from the constraints of lockdown.
For hotel providers, responding to this opportunity is about much more than just installing good Wi-Fi. There’s been a sea change in attitudes, too: these new generation remote control workers are interested in community, in being among like-minded peers, and in enjoying the better-balanced life. At the particular same time, when they are functioning to a deadline they don’t necessarily want to become surrounded by vacationers!
It means the age of the bland and forbidding hotel business center is over. I expect to see funkier coworking spaces established; furthermore suites becoming reconfigured to include a desk/office setup as well as converting to a functional meeting space when required.
At the same time, I see an enormous chance for travel destinations to create bespoke marketing programs in order to attract working nomads – ideally with tourism boards and hospitality companies operating hand-in-hand to amplify the message and also ensuring that promises are usually credible and can end up being delivered on the ground.
It means age the particular bland plus forbidding resort business center is over. I be prepared to observe funkier coworking spaces established; also suites being reconfigured to incorporate a desk/office setup along with converting to a functional meeting space when required. Mariana Palmeiro
2 . The rise and rise associated with wellness tourism
As a hospitality consultant, We get more calls from hotels looking to reposition into health and wellness tourism than any other trend. And no wonder – this particular market will be booming.
However , hotels need to understand that will such a repositioning may not be as simple as it seems; nor is it without risk. Much depends on location: given that most resorts cannot afford to have full-time medical and wellbeing experts on the payroll, are such professionals available close simply by? Also, several brands are already operating successfully in this sphere, so it’s important to check the local competitive set before making a significant financial commitment.
Often, it may be better in order to look at smaller changes which can appeal to health-conscious guests without breaking the bank – something I call ‘light wellness’. Putting healthier choices within the minibar is a tiny gesture that can create a warm glow around your brand. In addition , it’s increasingly common now to offer pillow plus mattress menus; but why not go one step further by introducing sleep and wake-up rituals aligned to circadian rhythm cycles?
My message is that will you do not necessarily have to open the bespoke vegan restaurant, or spend millions renovating your spa, to be thought of as a wellness-conscious hotel. That said, what you do spend should pay back, given that data shows health-conscious visitors tend to be bigger spenders compared to average. This can be explained with the fact that they will happily pay for things like yoga sessions and personal trainers, in addition to choosing the particular in-house F& B options because they trust them to produce healthier cooking instead associated with untried local competitors.
3. Embracing technology in health spa & health and fitness
We are now much more engaged with our personal health and wellness; the trend which usually has been accelerated simply by a combination of the Covid outbreak and the explosion in wearable fitness technologies.
For the hot tub & well being industry, this offers the promise of both creating an opportunity and nullifying a threat simultaneously.
How? Because new technologies like hyperbaric chambers (see above), cryotherapy and the particular like are more demonstrably effective than numerous ‘traditional’ day spa rituals plus treatments. Simultaneously, working along with these scientifically proven treatments can also create fewer but more interesting and better paid massage & health roles; some thing that’s essential for the segment which is struggling in order to attract workers amid the wider ‘war for talent’ in food.
4. Deploying smart technology in hotels
The resort industry has an unbalanced relationship with technologies. We tend not to be pioneers in technological development, choosing instead to take on applications developed for the particular commercial real estate sector, airports as well as the home, after that look at how they can be integrated into so-called smart resorts.
But the hotel reception is usually not the same as an airport check-in – the need for a warmer welcome and a degree of personalization is much greater in a hotel setting. If I’m your guest, why not give me the option to check-in from a smartphone app while I am still in my taxi heading from the particular airport? In that way I know there is a room waiting for me, and whenever I arrive I can head straight up in order to it without delay.
Crucially, though, if I actually wish for some human interaction there are employees who have been liberated from behind the reception desk and are in the lobby to greet me personally, answer my questions and give me tips on the best places in order to go intended for food, drinks or sightseeing. As the guest, this immediately makes me feel that the hotel is definitely well incorporated into its surrounding community.
This kind of customer-facing role requires excellent soft skills (as well as a good encyclopedic understanding of the particular destination) and is thus more rewarding each professionally and potentially in terms of remuneration. If you’re a ‘people person’ it is a role you can enjoy and make your own – and these are exactly the sort of jobs that will we have to offer as an industry if we want to attract and retain the talent we need.
5. Marketing gets ‘transformational’
We frequently talk about hospitality being part of the wider ‘Experience Economy’, which was a term coined by Pine & Gilmore just before the turn of the particular millennium.
More recently, the same authors have developed the notion of the ‘Transformation Economy’, where experiences are usually elevated from mere enjoyment to actual personal transformation.
What does this particular mean to get hospitality advertising? I think we will notice a shift in messaging to amplify this idea of change through journey experiences, particularly around the belief of wellness and health and wellness. Messaging will also become even more personalized – down to the granular level – specifically in the luxury segment. The advantage with digitalization is that it makes this kind of moves easier to pull off.
The message will thus evolve to something such as
I see that you are traveling because you are trying to change something in your own life. We can be component of that will journey by being the place where you sleep, where you look after your health plus fitness, or even by becoming your place associated with work while you explore how your career can move forwards.
One of the brands already doing this successfully will be Equinox, which began inside fitness yet has right now opened what it phone calls “the fittest hotel on Earth” (pictured above) within New York’s ultra-trendy Hudson Yards. The particular promise is that a stay there will help you about your individual journey of being healthier, more focused and higher performing. This turns the particular transformation economy from theory to real-world practice!
6. Can the hotel ‘brand explosion’ last?
While the particular other styles I’ve highlighted can primarily be seen as opportunities rather than risks, this sixth and final one can be perhaps a little even more open to debate. It concerns the fragmentation from the resort sector into a plethora of sub-segments, each with their own stable of competing brands.
Whilst choice is certainly generally the good thing for a consumer, has this process gone too far within the hotel business? Are customers getting more confused than inspired by getting faced with so many manufacturers? Will these people feel that once independent brands which are today part associated with a multinational group may still deliver authentic experiences?
I personally think that such concerns are usually valid, and that in time we may see a few rationalization because the larger operators focus on one brand name in lifestyle, one in boutique, etc .
These are just six hospitality developments I’ve chosen to highlight today. There are plenty more items on the food leader’s strategic agenda; several of which usually – this kind of as social responsibility – may ultimately prove a lot more impactful than those mentioned above. And the red thread which runs through most if not all of them is the resort industry’s ongoing battle in order to attract plus retain staff.
Much of what I have talked about is centered on delivering transformational, ultra-personalized encounters to guests. But how can a hotel do this particular successfully in case its frontline workforce is changing every six months?
As an market, we need to address the method we engage and excite young people to work within hospitality; deploy technology to give us more freedom to invest in people and provide them roles that captivate both all of them and their guests; and reclaim that will notion associated with personalized, human-to-human interactions which usually Airbnb used to such great effect when it first emerged as a challenger in order to the traditional hotel company.
If the hotel sector can pull this off, it will provide exceptional growth, because this is the particular way that guest demand is going.
About Glion Institute of Higher Education
Founded in 1962, Glion Institute of Higher Education is the Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees inside hospitality, luxury and finance to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland plus London, UK.
Glion will be ranked among the world’s top five higher education institutions for hospitality and leisure management, and in the top three number for employer reputation since its entry in the ranking in 2018. (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2022).
Part of Sommet Education, worldwide leader inside hospitality education, Glion is usually accredited simply by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
For more information, visit glion. edu