Top 10 Trends Reshaping Hospitality in 2019

Today – hospitality industry 2.0
What does the future of hospitality hold? Overall, our faculty suggests the need for hoteliers to properly embrace the above mentioned trends and understand what’s at stakes. Six dimensions came out from our survey:

1 – Standardization can no longer be the norm : It is becoming critical to personalize and tailor the services to the needs and preferences of the travelers.

2 – To create value, focus on niche markets : More customization and specialization may enable increased value creation for hospitality companies. But be careful, as a respondent said, as this requires to genuinely think about the value proposition of your offer and not “simply branding and rebranding”.

3 – Exploit technology as an accelerator for business: Technology will be at the core of the hotel experience both in room, before and after the trip. This will lead to the development of new concepts and more innovation in the industry and contribute to the emergence of an ever more individualized offer.

4 – Social responsibility is a moral and an economic obligation: The impact of global warming can today be considered a major risk for both corporations which may lose in revenues and profits and society as a whole. It is thus critical for governments but even more so for corporations to become more sustainable: “not just green, but real sustainable business models”.

5 – Develop more responsive and resilient business models : “Tourism, despite ever growing flows of travelers, will become riskier and more prone to crises” as the number of travelers steadily continues to grow. This will be accompanied by increased regulation as a response to a disproportional increase in tourist flows in some places (e.g. Venice or Barcelona).

6 – Manage talents actively: The days of long-lasting employee retention as well as passive, hierarchical management styles are definitely gone. “Attracting, developing and keeping the right talent into and within the hospitality industry continues to remain a core challenge.”

Tomorrow – The hospitality industry 3.0?
While, as seen above, the consensus revolves around the need for the industry to evolve in order to better adapt to the current environment, some respondents were more ‘extreme’ and suggested that hotel rooms, as we know them today, “will become a thing of the past”.

These respondents refer to the impact of the sharing economy and the tendency of today’s customers to avoid traditional hotels. They believe that adjustments in the offer, like the ones listed above, are not sufficient and that the industry has to truly reinvent itself.

This standpoint is reinforced by the increasing importance of technology in the hospitality industry and the power that technology firms are acquiring. A respondent elaborates:

Major technology firms will replace most hotel brands, because they can offer technology solutions and create markets to attract customers. The traditional hospitality industry will evolve into niche markets (serving specific types of customers), or extremely luxury sector (so they can afford to pay their staff reasonable salary). Those who can’t identify their niche will become the money machines for technology companies. Some brands big enough may survive, but their business will get tougher.

While respondents are more or less alarmist as to the future of the industry, all nevertheless agree that it has to evolve and reinvent itself in order to exploit the opportunities and cope with the challenges it faces. The only question remaining is up to which extent this transformation will have to take place.

Inputs from : https://hospitalityinsights.ehl.edu/2019-top-hospitality-trends

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