Trends Driving the Hospitality Industry
Hemanth, a young techie completing five years on his MNC job, decided to take his family on a vacation-cum-temple visit to Thanjavur. The group of five visited the temple city, which has countable hotels and homestays. The entire family, which included Hemanth's grandma, was happy to get accommodation in a good hotel after tiring hours of temple visits. Grandma was quite surprised to see the fantastic hospitality of the hotel powered by the latest technologies. The beds were electrically managed, and they were adjustable too. Her imagination went to the tune of her asking whether they had come to the hospital or the hotel. In truth, not just grandmas, even we often get surprised at the latest advancements in hospitality trends.
Even COVID-19 has impacted the hospitality industry in drastic ways. It has accelerated the trends in the hospitality sector. Let us look into the emerging hospitality trends:
Smart Hotel Technology:
Smart hotel technologies help both the hoteliers and the guests. We can see that the robots speak our languages when we enter the hotels. Automated technologies enable guests to control the room temperature with voice commands, call for the services they need, and even check in and out digitally. Smart hotels also have other smart systems, including smart multimedia hubs, auto curtains, intelligent coffee machines, automatic heating machines, Customized sound systems, Sensors-based lighting systems, Robot housekeepers, Soft keys, etc.
Reports suggest that hotels are responsible for one percent of global emissions. As the demand increases, the emission will start to increase, leading to a higher percentage of emissions. According to sustainability reports by booking.com, 68 percent of the clients search for eco-friendly hotels, and 87 percent of the customers opt for sustainable traveling. Besides, it is important for the hotels to connect with the people with a sustainable approach and with the environment to protect biodiversity.
Let's look at some of the major sustainable practices that hotels follow.
Operational Changes: The hotels are using a property management system and have implemented changes using the reporting tools from popular PMSs to benchmark utility use and provide set points for temperature adjustments. In order to manage the usage, the temperature is controlled. The technical usage at the operational level can be done using LED lighting.
Waste Reduction: Hotels produce excessive amounts of waste, and large hotels produce more. Because of this, hotels have to take sustainability measures in the recycling and disposal of waste. Hotels have taken recycling measures in common areas, reusable food service materials, and made newspapers available in common areas rather than delivering them to each room. They have started using reusable water bottles by having filtered water stations and giving guests reusable water bottles instead of plastic bottles.
Energy and Water Conservation
Conservation of energy is a major step towards sustainability because it has been found that reducing energy consumption can have the same effect on revenue management as increasing the average daily room rate. The major steps towards sustainability are energy tracking, having digital thermostats in the guest rooms, and using LED light bulbs. Other ways to conserve energy are installing a one-switch system for lights so that lights don't get left on accidentally, as well as installing solar panels to power water heating.
Hotels use water most as they use it for preparing food. It is about 24 percent of total utility expenses. Bathroom fixtures, laundry, landscaping, and kitchens use the most water. Water conservation not only reduces the cost but also is one step towards sustainability.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
Almost all industries use VR and AR in their operations. It is already used by the gaming industry and is attracting the hospitality industry. Customers who want to try before they buy can take virtual tours of your property and even parts of the destination. With AR, a hotel might use an interactive map to provide information to guests.
Asset Management Strategy
The asset-light approach has become more common in the hospitality industry. The separation between the management of operations and real-estate assets now allows hospitality companies to focus on their core business, thus improving efficiencies. It, however, induces additional complexity and potential agency problems, explaining the emergence of new types of jobs, such as asset managers. Moreover, new job profiles have emerged following the increasing complexity of the hospitality industry. Besides, the need for quantitative competencies for forecasting, budgeting, etc., has also increased.
Big Data and Big Analytics Helping the Hospitality Industry in the Digital Transformation
At present, the hospitality industry is using big data in its operations. It plays an important role in the digital transformation of the hospitality industry. It plays an essential role in collecting customers' experience, marketing, and business intelligence. It is the business imperative for the hospitality industry. The variety of big data will be overwhelming for hotel managers.
In particular, big data is associated with revenue management in the hospitality industry. The hospitality industry needs to secure the data given by the customers. The well-designed data governance frameworks provide quality data and will be able to provide a protective framework for the customers' data.
According to the reports and analysis, by 2023, big data analytics is expected to reach $ 103 billion. If we look around the world, people from European countries such as Paris and Germany have the most leisurely hotels, which will see the data and the data analytics in the future.