The hospitality sector was one of the worst-hit during the pandemic and requires evolving in these uncertain times with fresh perspectives
While looking at trends and data in the past three years, with regards to the hospitality industry, there’s only one thing we know for sure- change is the only constant. Gone are the times when there was a specific set format and a considerable difference between leisure and business travel. From doubling down on investment in relevant technology to accelerating and automating processes to identifying and shifting the way we cater to different groups of guests, it’s about time we take a pause and move forward in a strategic manner as an industry, on the whole.
These are some of the many points that were addressed at the 44th Annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, which was a great opportunity to network with industry leaders, and get exclusive insights, perspectives and happenings on everything hospitality.
Understanding the prevalent shift in customer expectations, and what we are and should be doing about it-
- As of late, lead booking time has considerably reduced to anywhere between 0 to 6 days, with almost 50% of guests making their bookings on the very same day as their arrival. A steady increase can be seen in the rate of impulsive travellers, and the only way to match this pace is to be agile with our technology. Pre-pandemic trends can no longer be taken into consideration, and the steps that we take henceforth has to reflect futuristic thinking.
- Subscription-based model is gaining high momentum in the high-end leisure travel and hospitality sector. There are also a number of bookings that have already been made for the foreseeable future, which also means a large increase in lead booking times. Companies and brands have to focus on catering to both these groups- impulsive travellers and high-end leisure travellers.
- A sharp increase can be seen in group travel, with private properties and hotel suites getting booked out faster than ever. While this was not so prevalent a few years ago, more companies turning to remote working and experimenting with 4-day work week is opening up opportunities for an increase in group/family travel and stay.
- The fact that technology could possibly replace FTE is causing a certain sense of fear in people. While we should definitely be pro-automation, having people handle front office operations is a must. An ideal 10-15% of the process can be automated, and live engagement with customers without having to use Business Intelligence tools is a definite must. We must ponder about how we can use technology better to enable these live interactions and also how automation can enable staff and co-exist with them rather than replace them
- Events and entertainment are taking a front seat, and travel specifically for this purpose is making a huge comeback. With Las Vegas being completely booked till 2024, it only makes sense to take this new development into consideration whilst strategizing.
- There is a notable trend where the current generation of customers prefer to minimize interaction with agents entirely. Brands have to think of other ways to adapt to this situation and adopt necessary SaaS-based tools to match people’s expectations.
Technology interventions are the need of the hour to take your hospitality business to next level. The time for hotel industry to hold back on adopting technology has passed away long back. Today, as a leader in the hospitality sector you need a technology provider who can help you future-proof your tech stack.
Tech4TH Solutions, a global digital solutions and services company does exactly that by providing intelligent engagement to enterprises in the hospitality domain with a combination of technological expertise, domain knowledge and consulting.