The Top Hospitality Trends for 2019
07th February 2019
Our Founder and CEO, Julie Grieve, sets out her predictions for 2019.
1. Personalised experiences
The ability to deliver personalised experiences to guests is always top of mind for hotels and serviced apartments. With the capabilities of new technology, hoteliers can gather more insights into customer behaviours and personalise their offering. The experience of the likes of Amazon or Netflix to know your preferences and tailor offers and notifications will be adopted more and more by the hospitality and tourism world. If a guest has stayed in a hotel in the past, ordered room service or booked a spa treatment, it is possible to integrate property management systems with guest-facing technology to deliver a truly exceptional guest experience based on acquired knowledge.
2. Guest-facing technology
As millennials become today’s business travellers, the technology that seamlessly delivers information, books travel and transfers requests to and from apps on their smartphones, continues to be a top priority for hotel and accommodation operators. The full potential for guest-facing technology, however, is only beginning to be realised.
Many of the big chains and accommodation operators have been praised for their adoption of new technology and in particular their own branded apps, and as the technology becomes more adaptable and affordable, an increasing number of independents will soon follow.
More than just a source of information, the branded apps can also integrate with pre-check-in, booking engines, in-app messaging, property management systems, push notifications for upselling and guest reviews easy advocacy.
While a few hotels and serviced apartment operators might continue to invest in expensive in-room technology and other tech gadgets, the majority of them is realising the potential of the one piece of technology that really matters to their guests: their smartphone.
Today almost nine out of ten adults in the UK own a smartphone and look at it on average every 12 minutes. Mobile represents a huge opportunity for the hospitality sector and the opportunities for hoteliers to engage with their guests through apps are extensive and we’ve only just seen the tip of the iceberg.
4. AI and Direct bookings
The online travel agents have forged a new path for consumers to choose and book their travel, but the convenience bears a considerable cost for smaller hotel operators. What’s more, the traveller builds loyalty with the OTA rather than the accommodation provider. The time is now right for hotels and serviced apartments to seek to use technology to strengthen their brand and encourage more direct bookings.
In 2018, Avvio launched Allora, the world’s first Artificial Intelligence booking engine, which guarantees a 25% increase in direct revenue. The market is big enough to stand a bit of rebalancing and, as hotel owners become more familiar and comfortable with the technology that now exists, more will explore the opportunities for more direct engagement with guests, before and after their stay, and reap the benefits for it.
5. Trust & Enrichment
All technology needs to engender trust and after 12 months of dealing with GDPR, data mishandling and data privacy, it is time to show how technology can enrich our lives again. As a travel tech company, we know that the big questions about data will continue to be a focus, but it is also for us to remind people of the benefits, the opportunities and new horizons that technology brings into view.
The travel industry has a huge opportunity to embrace technology in new ways to engage with guests and visitors, providing them with local stories, offers on their doorstep and the best ways to enjoy their trip.