As the hospitality industry navigates the coronavirus pandemic, most business strategies have been put on hold.
No one really knows how long this situation will last, but as some regions in the U.S. and around the world begin to “open”, we do know that this current situation will come to a close and a recovery will occur.
So how best to prepare for this future recovery? Here are 5 trends hospitality professionals can incorporate in 2020 to ensure your property meets evolving customer expectations.
1. Strategize with Millennials in Mind
Millennials are expected to represent 50% of all travelers in the US by 2025, according to the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research.
Hotels and other properties need to define their strategies based on this demographic group’s personality traits and habits—they travel, are early adopters of technology, like personalized interactions, and are spontaneous. Hotels will want to please them with easy check-in and gourmet dining experiences at reasonable prices. In return, satisfied millennials will actively promote your business on social media channels.
2. Ensure your Technology is Up to Date
The switch to working from home during social distancing of the coronavirus pandemic has forced planners to get on board with productivity apps and the latest digital technologies. Virtual meetings that were once seen as a threat to face-to-face events are now the savior for interactions that need to happen to support business needs.
Today’s guests are self-sufficient, tech-savvy travelers who are comfortable using apps or mobile websites. Hotels need to make sure their offerings are up-to-date and user-friendly. At business meetings and conferences, travelers expect hotels and conference centers to have high-quality tech equipment and a knowledgeable support staff.
3. Eco-Friendly Practices Are More Important than Ever
As guests return to large group settings wellness will take on even greater importance. Reduced density, increased sanitation stations and pre-packaged meals could be the norm going forward. In addition, mindfulness exercises to reduce stress and promote mental health have become more common in agendas of all sizes.
4. Sustainability is the New Normal
Sustainable, earth-friendly practices have become the norm, as properties focus on renewable energy resources and water scarcity. Many hotels are installing solar panels and updating systems so that air conditioners and lights automatically switch off when guests leave their rooms.
Attendees will want to feel confident that your property is doing everything possible to reduce the carbon footprint of an event, curtail waste, and source responsibly.
5. Loyalty Rewards will Grow
More than ever, guests will be looking for personal, one-click shopping experiences paired with loyalty rewards. For properties, loyalty programs are a great way to increase customer retention. Hotels and other properties will need to embrace this trend and come up with rewards that are unique and provide services or perks depending on whether the guest is traveling for business or pleasure.
Hospitality is a dynamic industry, which makes being aware of the latest trends a crucial business strategy. As hospitality businesses ultimately move beyond the COVID-19 pandemic it will be important to have strategies in place to stand out from the competition and address pent-up customer demand.
Lanmark Staffing provides over 40 years of combined human resources, recruiting, temporary placement, sales and management, and temp-to-hire services. Visit our website and learn how our team of local, experienced professionals will partner with you to help meet your hospitality hiring needs.