Every year, trends sweep across the global hospitality industry, bringing big changes for the business, operators, and the travelers that patronize their establishments. This year will be no different.
As the calendar winds down for 2016, global hospitality industry experts are already looking ahead to the major trends that are ready and poised to reshape the business all throughout 2017. From dynamic rates to improved tech, it's going to be an exciting year for hotels.
Technology Upgrades in 2017
Technology was one of the biggest stories of 2016, and that won't change as we move into 2017. In fact, many industry experts are saying that they expect technologies role to increase next year. One trend to watch in particular is the increasingly prevalent usage of mobile apps. The global hospitality industry has already seen shifts in the willingness to cater to tech savvy guests, including providing complementary WiFi, but in 2017, industry experts say that they expect hotels will have to find even more effective ways of meeting customer expectations. For example, mobile applications are going to be expected to provide an increasing number of services and options for hotel guests.
Yared Kifle, head or revenue management for Jumia Travel East Africa, recently told hospitalitynet.org as much in an interview. Kifle is quoted as saying, "this will require constant study and analysis of the market, for hotels to adapt accordingly in an ever-changing marketplace. For instance, Jumia Travel provides all its hotel partners with modern day tools such as the extra net app which gives them real time access to any price change and inventory at any given time. The changes are updated and displayed constantly and consistently under full discretion of the hotelier."
Other technology developments that experts say will become more prevalent is the use of smart phones as room keys, television remotes, and thermostat controls.
Like technology before it, dynamic pricing has been a constant in the world of global hospitality industry trends in recent years. Hotel business, like all business, is conducted increasingly online, which means that online accommodation booking platforms and OTAs are having to quickly adapt their rates in order to meet demands. While, true, there are many, many hotels that currently do not change their rates to satisfy users of online platforms, in 2017 this is expected by many to change. Hotels are also expected to continue to attach rewards to risk free rates, by lowering their prices and offering them to any guests that are willing to pay for a room that is nonrefundable.
Reliance on OTAs
Online travel agents are becoming increasingly popular for the way they help guests fit travel into their lives, and then customize their travel preferences. This is especially true for millennial business travelers, a group that wields increasing influence in the global hospitality industry. Some experts have predicted as high as a 6 percent increase in the bookings made through online travel agents in the year 2017.
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