As we enter the New Year, it is time to start looking ahead to the upcoming trends in the hospitality industry for 2017. Notably, last year was one of tumultuous ups and downs, primarily underpinned by the result of the EU referendum. We will no doubt see the effects of this decision for many years to come but what are the short term implications for hoteliers in the UK?
On the one hand, the uncertainty that continues to linger following the Brexit vote has put a halt to many travel plans. On the other hand, the weaker pound has attracted higher numbers of foreign tourists as the UK becomes a cheaper destination than previously. Furthermore, with holidays abroad more expensive than ever for British people, the UK staycation has seen a welcome boost.
Here at Hotel Supplies, we are confident that the UK hospitality industry will continue to grow. Nevertheless, in light of the uncertainty that 2016 has produced, it has never been more important to remain aware of the travel trends that are set to dominate 2017. Staying afloat of consumer demands and expectations will place you ahead of the competition and will allow you to anticipate your customer’s’ needs before they even realise them.
Recent years have seen the unprecedented rise of the sharing economy, from holiday accommodation through to taxi rides. Platforms like Airbnb have reshaped the travel industry, as consumers seek more of an authentic experience from their travelling. Phrases such as ‘live like a local’ have become a staple of modern travel and peer-to-peer accommodation has increased as a result.
Despite this, it seems that the majority of hoteliers regard the sharing economy as a low to moderate threat to their traditional business model. Although it has increased the competition, there is still a strong demand for traditional hotels and boutique establishments that shows no sign of declining. Nevertheless, it is worth taking note of the reasons why consumers may opt for peer-to-peer accommodation over a hotel and repackaging these desires into your own hotel offering.
Business travel has always been a mainstay of the UK travel industry but it is unknown whether it stands to grow or decline in the coming years. With increased economic hardships, companies may cut down on business travel expenses, yet on the other hand, some companies may view it as a valuable way of building and growing the business.
What we do know is that the lines between business and leisure travel are becoming increasingly blurred. More often than not, and where time allows, business travellers are extending their stays to add a couple of leisure days. This enables them to experience the destination for pleasure, rather than business, and hotels should be aware of this trend so they can leverage the potential for up-sales.
It is no secret that technology has changed the way we find and book our holidays. Travel has become more accessible than ever before and booking can be as quick as the push of a button. It is therefore vital that hoteliers are technologically prepared, as falling behind the digital marketplace can have highly detrimental consequences. Ensure that customers are enjoying a first-class experience right from the start of planning their holiday.
With information available at our fingertips, travellers have become increasingly impatient. Make their experience as smooth and efficient as possible, from the check-in to the wi-fi speed. Furthermore, leverage the marketing power of the digital landscape and encourage your guests to share their positive experiences on social media. At the same time, be wary of how easily customers can share negative feedback and always remain on top of any criticism to soften the impact where possible.
Health / Wellbeing
With the fast-paced lifestyle that is so prevalent nowadays, travellers are increasingly seeking relaxation and recuperation. Establishments with spa facilities or ‘self-discovery’ offerings will continue to grow in popularity and hoteliers should consider how they can integrate a culture of relaxation into their stays. Engage with the holistic lifestyle that is so sought after and guests will appreciate having somewhere to regain control of their busy lives.
Particularly prevalent amongst the younger generation of travellers, consumers are ever more conscious of their carbon footprint. With greater expectations of environmentally friendly travel options and an increased appetite for eco-friendly travel destinations, sustainable travel will be a recurrent theme throughout 2017. Discussion around this hot topic is only set to increase over the coming years, therefore hoteliers should start doing their bit for the environment as soon as possible.
If you are looking to revamp your hotel offering to kick off the New Year, get in touch with one of our experts today and we can help you transform your establishment. Here at Hotel Supplies, we believe in the small details that can make a travel experience unforgettable.