2019 was a year of uncertainty for many businesses...
not least of which has been the shadow of Brexit and the implications on spending, investment and decision making.
However, regardless of the fluctuating political situation the hospitality industry has continued to grow and innovate. New technologies and topical issues such as climate change are increasingly finding themselves at the forefront of the minds of hoteliers.
We’ve picked out a few trends that made a big impact in 2019 and we think will continue to influence the industry throughout 2020:
The green agenda
Environmental issues rose further up the agenda in 2019 and as more customers are seeking out green alternatives, businesses are rising to the challenge by considering how they can reduce their carbon footprint, even if it’s small things like switching away from paper invoices and of course, plastic straws.
There’s also been a noticeable move towards ‘eco-luxury’ with customers opting for properties which combine a very high end offering with impressive green credentials including solar panels, green roofs and efficient water systems.
Locally sourced food
Hand in hand with concerns over carbon footprint has come a growing demand, especially among Millennials, for more responsibly and ethically sourced food and drink. This has manifested itself in more hotels choosing to work with local producers and increasing transparency about where food comes from. James Sommerin are a great example of a hotel and restaurant doing just this.
The ‘Instagrammable’ venue
Whilst design has always been key in creating a comfortable hotel experience, more and more hoteliers are looking to create a venue that is ‘Insta-worthy’ in a bid to attract social media savvy customers.
Venues such as Hotel Una in Brighton have got this spot on, appreciating that there’s massive value in social media posts and pictures shared organically by customers.
As technology becomes cheaper and more accessible, innovations such as virtual 360 hotel tours are allowing customers to explore hotel rooms and facilities from the comfort of their home before they book.
360-degree video on Facebook and virtual reality headsets are feeding into this trend and many business owners are investing in specialist filmmakers to capture high quality video content.
Check out The Amberley Inn for an example of a 360 virtual tour in action.
Hammet @ Castle Malgwyn is the perfect example of obtainable luxury. This high design hotel and award-winning restaurant offers couples and families alike a stylish but affordable hotel experience. Expect to see more typically luxury brands reaching out to new audiences in a similar way as the market continues to shift in 2020.
Mobile tech remained a huge area of growth and innovation for hotels in 2019 and is set to be another key trend in 2020. To this end it is imperative for hoteliers to have a mobile friendly booking journey which integrates rooms, tables, packages and payment into one smooth process.
Guest demand for tech solutions to enhance their stay is only set to increase with everything from lighting/heating controls to their key card being connected to a guest’s phone.
Great guest experiences start with a great booking experience. If you’d like to learn a little more about how High Level Software can help your hotel, get in touch!