Hospitality is the way we serve our guests and meet their needs, wants and desires. The hospitality industry is changing rapidly and it’s not slowing down in the next few years. From digitalised guest experiences to holistic hospitality, health & well-being, solo travel and staycations. We’ve already seen some of the biggest hospitality brands embrace new technologies like virtual reality, artificial intelligence, blockchain and chatbots...but what's next...?
Digitalised guest experiences
The hospitality industry is going through a major transition where the focus has moved from offering great services to delivering memorable digital experiences. This is being fuelled by the increase in demand for personalised service, which is emerging as a key trend for 2022. On the other hand, there are increased expectations for efficiency and cost-effectiveness when it comes to customer service. The industry has to manage these expectations carefully so that they don’t compromise on the quality of service. As such, it is important that hotels have strategies that allow them to provide personalised services without compromising on efficiency, leveraging the technologies at our disposal.
Holistic hospitality, health & well-being
In just a few years, industry experts say there will be major changes in the hospitality industry from; food and beverage, to include health, wellness well-being and so much more.
In today’s competitive hospitality industry, wellness and holistic health and well-being, are more important than ever. In the United States, it is estimated that over 38 million Americans have a food allergy and 1 in 5 follow a special diet. These numbers are projected to continue to rise as we become a more “health-conscious” society.
Shifting consumer preferences have also led to a growing demand for natural ingredients, whole foods and gluten-free products. We have also seen this shift carry over to lifestyle changes. To keep up with this demand, hotels need to offer guests more than just healthy choices on the menu i.e. vegan options, gluten-free etc but also offer options that address lifestyle choices that align such as yoga mats, workout classes, meditation videos on the entertainment hubs.
Today’s guests want holistic wellness programs and products which address the entire person – body, mind, spirit, and emotions.
From 2022, the hospitality industry will start to see an increase in solo travellers. Solo traveling has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years. Nowadays, it is no longer just an activity reserved for an elite circle of globetrotters. A lot more people are experimenting with solo travel, thanks to a growing number of companies that have opened up the options for single travellers. These companies create opportunities for adventurers who want to explore foreign territories all by themselves. As this industry continues to grow, so do the trends associated with it.
In fact, a recent study by Airbnb revealed that 50% of American millennials are planning trips without friends or family over the next 12 months. This trend is expected to continue growing.
As the economy continues to improve and travel becomes more affordable after the pandemic, we are seeing a shift in spending patterns. Consumers are looking for cheaper vacations that they can enjoy in their own backyard. This is what I would call “staycations”. A staycation can also be a more convenient option than a regular vacation if you can’t afford the airfare and lodging and serve as an alternative for those who are still uncertain about traveling due to the pandemic.
Staycations in 2022 will help the hospitality industry due to the number of people who will be staying at hotels, booking meals and making purchases while they are closer to home.