If you are in the hospitality industry you will undoubtedly be on the look-out for the latest travel trends and how they will affect you in the coming year.
Not to worry.
We have done some digging and have come up with these five travel trends and how they will affect the hospitality industry.
So let’s dive in;
Hotels Are Becoming Smarter
The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data within the hospitality industry has become what many have come to rely on.
Why you ask?
Contextualisation. This kind of data provides insights into your loyal visitors, what they like, what they enjoyed, what activities they partook in, what food and drink they enjoyed.
These insights allow you to tailor perfect packages for repeat visitors.
I mean talk about blowing them away. You know what they love and are offering it to them before they even have to inquire. As far as travel trends go, this one is set to blow customer satisfaction out of the water.
The Need for Unique and Local Experiences
As more and more millennials are entering our workforce, the more the hospitality industry will experience them as they begin to travel and explore.
Millennials love local experiences when they travel. They enjoy experiencing everything from local cuisine to local transportation, they are always on the look-out for something new and different. Speaking of the have you tried the 30⁰ South Restaurant with us? It’s a pretty epic tummy filling experience 🙂
We can see that home-sharing company Airbnb has begun adapting to travel trends themselves by offering “experiences” to provide a lot more value to this kind of traveller.
Greater Collaboration Between Home-Sharing Companies And Hotels
Hotels are beginning to worry about the rise in popularity that home-sharing companies like Airbnb have gained over the last four years. Airbnb currently has a presence in 65 000 cities around the world. Today it has become the norm for travellers to consider a home-sharing platform like Airbnb over a hotel stay.
So what are hotels doing?
Many hotels are now beginning to offer more unique local experiences.
Hotels such as Accor, Hyatt, Wyndham have started investing in home-sharing companies and are looking at the various ways that they can work in association with them.
For example; Hyatt Hotels invested in a home-sharing company called Oasis, where you can bid on a hotel room. They have called this the “Unbound Collection” where they seek to position themselves as a hip, boutique hotel brand with ambitions to attract millennial travellers.
Let’s talk about Google
Many who own and maintain a website know the struggle it is to keep up with all the updates to Google’s algorithm to make sure that people find it easy to find that perfect holiday spot.
So how do we overcome this?
Umthunzi has made sure to list ourselves on Google Maps, Google My Business, Google+ and Google Hotels; doing this adds incredible amounts of SEO magic for your hotel, allowing people the ease of finding hotels like ours for their next holiday.
An Increase in Travel Pricing
This is maybe not the best of news for most, but there is a predicted increase in travel pricing as the global economy continues to strengthen. Yup, even with Trump, the global economy is set to grow!
The Global Travel Forecast for 2018 predicted that airfares would be increased by 3.5% and that hotel prices were set to increase by 3.7% with a 0.6% increase in ground transportation.
Increases in travel pricing is music to the hospitality industry’s ears. We are looking forward to the growth of the industry and tackling the challenges that come with that head-on.
The Role of The Travel Agent
The rise of technology has had an incredible influence in travel and tourism, if you don’t keep up, you will fall behind.
The rise of Online Travel Agents (OTA) has meant that many travellers no longer need a travel agent to book their aeroplane tickets or hotel stays and their pricing is often a lot more competitive.
That does not mean doom and gloom for the travel agent as we know them.
It just means that with technology, a bit of change is necessary…
From travel agent to travel consultant.
Travellers are in need of more personally tailored packages according to a variety of preferences whether that be a trip catered to a solo traveller or an all women travel group.
Travellers Have Much More Control
Hand-in-hand with the changing role of the travel agent, the role of the traveller has also changed as I briefly touched on earlier. Today, travellers prefer to have much more control over creating their holiday according to their needs
What does this mean?
Your online booking systems need to be seamless and simple. The easier you make it for your visitors to check-in and check-out all from the comfort of their home, the more likely they are to recommend you to their family and friends.
**Top Tip – If you can include personalised experience as part of this too…you’re already setting yourself up for great 2018!
The rise of technology and the access to information and data that is readily made available to us needs to continually be harnessed. The hospitality industry is ever changing and always growing, make sure you stay on top of all the latest in travel trends to put your hotel at the very fore of growth.
So now that you know more of what to expect in travel trends for 2018 why not go ahead and book your next holiday with us 🙂