Music, scents, environment and branding aren’t always top of the list when we talk about what’s happening in the hotel industry but, in 2017, it’s more than simply price and economic factors which will be affecting the industry.
For example, there’s a whole science behind how music can affect guests with studies showing easy-listening music makes guests stay longer. The study also found guests stayed for a shorter amount of time at the same restaurant with classical music and even shorter without any music at all.
The industry has moved from providing guests with somewhere to stay to offering a full experience instead of just a room. Anders Nilsson, CEO for four ESS-Group hotels, has seen a distinct trend since they’ve rebranded most of their hotels. Their occupancy rate has been significantly higher and not as emphasised on seasons as it was before. This is something that, together with the next subject, is going to be crucial for this year.
During the Lounge Event in Sweden we picked up on 5 trends:
1. Mobile and Digital
Landline phones in the room are becoming more and more scarce. They’re being replaced with user friendly apps or tablets that allow guests to do everything, and more, that was previously done through the phone. Statistics show that 5% of the communication between the hotel and guests is by phone and 95% through another channel.
And it’s not just guests who can benefit from mobile and digital. Hotels who implement a workforce management solution, for example, are making an investment, not only for their employees, but the whole organisation.
2. Continuous growth
In recent years there has been major growth within the industry and occupancy rates are at the highest they’ve ever been. RevPAR (revenue per available room) in the last two years alone has grown by almost 20%. Hotels are using more intelligent tools, both in their operations and marketing, to ensure every rooms’ revenue is maximised.
The combination of low rates, private sector investment and fast growing RevPAR will ensure 2017 sees continuous growth within the hotel industry.
3. From service to an experience
Hotels have to offer something more to their guests than just a place to stay. The experience their guests have should be one of their top priorities. One natural way to move in this direction is a higher focus on service and, just as Johan Bjärkling, Development Consultant at StigFram, says; “The world would have been quite dull without service”. Great service goes beyond delivering the basics. Guests expect good WiFi and clean rooms, it’s the personal touches (like a handwritten note from the hotel’s manager) which make all the difference.
4. The modern room
A hotel’s environment is becoming more and more important. The room itself becomes a key feature as do the conference spaces, with many of the latter looking virtually the same as they did 20 years ago. 2017 will hopefully be the year when we realise the need for updated conference spaces where we will be able to perform, achieve and reach the goals we set for a meeting.
5. Keeping hold of talent
Something the hotel industry has been struggling with for a long time is transient staff. Younger employees see it as a temporary stop and a way to finance their studies before moving on to another industry. If the hotel industry can’t show their employees a clear path where they can develop and climb the ladder, this trend looks set to continue. The hotel industry must get better at re-recruiting and, to some extent, develop the way they’re working in order to hold on to their younger employees.
There’s never been a more exciting time for the industry, both for guests and for hoteliers. At Quinyx we want to be part of this by creating an intelligent, proactive and intuitive workforce management solution which will fundamentally change the way hotels operate and employees interact with their employers.