Every month, we round up the top stories from the world of hospitality. Covering everything from new hotel technology to industry thought-pieces to the latest travel developments, this is the month in hospitality!
Friction-Free Experiences Are Must-Have Amenities For Travelers
The people over at CMO took a detailed look at how travel brands can better engage new customers while continuing to grow their core business. The answer, as you may have guessed from the title, lies in embracing technology to create friction-free travel experiences.
One of the key takeaways: Hotels need to look at integrating AI into their marketing, pricing and in-house interactions to create a truly frictionless service.
Likewise, experiential marketing is pushing the boundaries of what a travel company can do. Brands such as Disney and Scandinavian Airlines are utilising data and wearable technology to develop a seamless service that puts the customer front and centre.
Mobile and geolocation technology, meanwhile, is now a central facet of the travel experience. Travel brands have clearly recognised this; mobile analytics were the number one investment point for travel companies in 2017.
The key takeaway from all of this? Brands need to be ready to adapt to new technologies in-line with the customer. Those that don’t will soon find themselves left behind.
You can get the full story here.
Will Automation Be the End of the Hotel Check-in Desk?
Genie provided their expertise on a guest post for the good people over at HospitalityNet this month. The article discusses the growing prevalence of AI in hospitality and, specifically, what it means for traditional hotel features like the check-in desk. Long seen as integral to hotel operations, more and more hospitality brands are beginning to ask if the check-in desk is an outdated concept.
After all, the ubiquitous nature of smartphones, along with the shift toward a more socially-oriented design approach, is already changing how we travel. The introduction of automation, AI and IoT solutions to the hospitality sector could prove too much for the fabled front-desk.
So is the hotel lobby about to undergo a drastic change? Not exactly – even if every hotel shifted to a completely automated check-in process, there’d still be traditionalists looking for a bit of personal engagement and a central starting point for new arrivals.
You can read the full article here.
Hospitality industry launches packaging waste pledge
As one of the biggest sector contributors to plastic waste, the hospitality industry has a responsibility to pursue sustainable initiatives wherever possible. Thankfully, this month proved industry figures aren’t looking to shirk this responsibility. Boutique Hotelier covered the UKHospitality’s Unpack the Future of Hospitality and noted that industry leaders had committed to a number of pledges, including:
- Collaborating to eliminate unnecessary plastic in the hospitality sector by 2030
- Producing industry-wide guidance to reduce packaging throughout the sector and its supply chains
- Promoting WRAP’s UK Plastics Pact and implement its principles
- Establishing a hospitality sector sustainability forum
- Working with expert groups to enhance the UK’s recycling system.
The hospitality industry has always been at the forefront of innovation, so it’s heartening to see brands taking a serious approach to one of the biggest challenges of our time. As UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The hospitality sector is acutely aware of the problems caused by packaging waste and have been taking innovative and effective steps to proactively and voluntarily tackle the issue.”
You can check out the full post here.
Why are travellers so open to alternative accommodation?
The guys over at Hotel Business posed a question this month that the industry has been grappling with for some time: Why are modern travellers so open to alternative accommodations? The question might sound like it has some easy answers, but those answers, in turn, throw up a whole new set of questions: the key question being, what can hotels do to respond?
With the news that Airbnb is pushing further into the hotel sector with the launch of Airbnb Plus, hotels are now faced with the prospect of an online OTA offering properties with all the amenities and features of a hotel.
But the article from hotel Business looks to understand why more travellers are opting for alternative accommodation. The answer may lie in the success of companies like Airbnb Plus, but there are already some secrets hoteliers can discover if they know where to look.
You can find out all about alternative accommodation right here.