The end of room types, robots at the concierge
and achieving ‘cult status’: new Amadeus-IHG research asks if this
is the future of hospitality?

The ‘Drivers of Change in
Hospitality’ research, explores the changes we can expect as guest insight,
technology optimization and the ability to hyper-personalize take
effect.

 Informed by over 7,500 consumers worldwide and industry
experts, the study identifies three trends that the sector must
respond to meet the needs of the consumer of the future.


Traditional room types have been around forever
– single, double, twin, suite or family room. It’s a tried and
tested format, beloved by hotels and understood by guests the
world over. However, this latest research suggests that
this will change dramatically. It will see guests able to
swap desks for yoga mats, stream their own content through the
in-room TV, or ask for that third-floor room with the view they’ve
always loved.

Consumers are used to buying exactly what they
want and need when it comes to music, entertainment, fashion and
travel. Hotel accommodation, which has traditionally been bought
in a standard and uniform way, will need to adapt as 61% of global
travelers state a preference for hotels to be priced in a way that
allows them to add-on bespoke options. This will see the emergence
of attribute-based booking, where guests pick and choose the
individual components of their room, marking the end of
traditional room types. New selling models will become more
mainstream too, with guests able to book a room for a length of
time that
suits their needs rather than an overnight stay where you must
check-in and out and traditional times.

The Rise of Tech-Augmented Hospitality:
Hospitality providers will need to serve guests in a significantly
more connected way, striking the right balance between automated
solutions and human interaction. The study details how technology
will be used to empower staff to deliver unprecedented levels of
service at scale. It suggests that technology needs to support
human interaction, not replace it, as the majority of guests (67%)
say they prefer to interact with a person for the emotional
interaction. For example, the deployment of real-time translation
earphones and smart glasses could ensure that concierges easily
interact with guests in their native tongue.

Achieving Cult Status at Scale: The kind of
status usually reserved for luxury or boutique hotels or consumer
brands will be available for all, if they can build a loyal
following of fans who feel an emotional connection. In the
competition for guest loyalty, hospitality providers need to
identify how to offer value through delivering memorable,
shareable experiences. To do this, hotels must understand
individual guest needs on each trip, and offer a host of unique
and unexpected surprises. In fact, 70% of global travelers would
like hotels to provide more advice and tips about unique things to
do, with only 20% saying they currently get ideas from the hotel.

Ongoing guest relationships must be underpinned
by technology if they are to function at scale. Personal attention
and personality will no longer be a characteristic of boutique
brands only. Instead, data allows hotels to anticipate the best
way to make each individual guest feel valued, whether that is
through unexpected perks, experiences or rewards.

Francisco Pérez-Lozao Rüter, President,
Hospitality, Amadeus, said, “Amadeus is committed to partnering
with leading players such as IHG to shape the future of
hospitality. We hope that this research will prompt industry
debate and discussion as it demonstrates the significant
opportunity that technology offers hospitality providers to
enhance the guest experience, as well as their business. At the
same time, it highlights the importance of people. Equipping hotel
staff with the insight to deliver richer, more informed
interactions with guests is what makes for truly special hotel
experiences.”

Underpinning all of the trends detailed in the
study is the emergence of advanced data analytics and artificial
intelligence. Without the strong and powerful back-end systems
able to crunch through multiple datasets, deliver information to
where it is needed and simplify the implementation of new models,
it is clear that hospitality providers will struggle to meet the
future requirements of guests.

Commenting on the nature of changes within the
hospitality sector, George Turner, Chief Commercial and Technology
Officer, IHG, said: “Modern expectations around travel continue to
become more complex and sophisticated, with shifting consumer
dynamics and increasingly intelligent technology pushing the
boundaries of what is possible. IHG has proven itself to be
pioneering and ambitious over many decades and this paper offers
perspective on how the hotel experience could further evolve in
the not too distant future.”

You can download the full report from the IHG
website in .pdf format

here
.

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