2016BlogPost

As the year comes to a close, it’s time to take a look at what 2016 will have in store for the hospitality industry. We’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth and change in the last year, only leaving us to wonder what 2016 will bring.

Mobile is key, and can be one too

We’ve seen mobile take the lead when it comes to travelers researching, planning, and booking their trips. But, predictions are that in 2016, mobile is going to shine even more. A must have for 2016 is the ability to leverage mobile solutions for consumer-facing applications. (1) Both consumers and marketers agree that this is key in keeping travelers connected.

When a traveler is connected, their trip becomes more enjoyable, and in return, they share more about their trip (2), potentially leading to more revenue for your company, as social sharing is a viable way to sway potential travelers to book a trip at your property. Companies are also looking at how they can leverage mobile to keep guests connected throughout their trip, and we’ll likely see more hotels switching to mobile keys, instead of the traditional key to enter your room.

How and why we’re traveling

2016 will bring new ways and reasons travelers choose the destinations they do. This year, travelers are seeking new experiences, and are willing to spend more because it’s “worth it”.  That doesn’t mean travelers are going to shy away from a special offer or deal. (3) It has become clear that the experiences your travelers gain will keep them at your property, and attract more travelers, more so than discounts.

With so many properties providing great experiences for all ages, the popularity of multi-generational trips is predicted to increase in 2016. With multiple generations traveling at the same time and wanting to stay under the same roof, vacation rentals are predicted to surge as well. (4) Lastly, travelers have finally figured out that life doesn’t have to be all work and no play. 2016 is expected to bring a rise in “Bleisure” travel. (1) Business + Leisure = Bleisure…now that is some math I can get on board with!

Managing the change

With the changes coming in the world of hospitality, it is important to look at what managers are taking into the next year. A trend we’ve seen in the industry is an evolution into “omni-channel” branding. Businesses must go beyond the counter and allow consumers to access their brand and systems in a way that makes the most sense for their lifestyle. (1) Your brand has to extend past the travelers stay. We’ve seen some companies already adapt to this, like Marriott, a big-name brand testing an app that lets the traveler communicate with the hotel before, during, and after their stay. With this in mind, marketers are looking to dive deeper into the experiential travel market and refine segmentation to make their brand more personal to the consumer. (2)

Why is keeping an experience personal so important? Online reputation has become a major player in all industries. Brands are going to be trying harder than ever to manage their online reputation while keeping all comments positive. Giving them this personalized experience is more likely to elicit these good reviews. (3) The consumer’s opinion is stepping into the limelight, and making an impact on others more than ever before. Brands will be looking to take advantage of reviews and word of mouth to attract more visitors to their property.

On to new adventures

As the industry continues to grow and change, it will be interesting and exciting to look at all of these predictions and see which come true, as well as take some curveballs along the way. With 2015 wrapped up, we at ResortsandLodges.com are looking forward to what 2016 brings, as well as continuing to level the playing field for the independent property.

Resources:

  1. Hospitality Technology: 2016 Top Tech Predictions
  2. Fortune: 4 Travel Trends to Watch in 2016
  3. TripAdvisor: 6 Key Travel Trends for 2016
  4. The Fiscal Times: 12 Must-Know Travel Trends for 2016