There is no doubt that the pandemic and resulting demand fluctuations have significantly impacted the hospitality industry in the last couple of years. Not surprisingly, in 2022, everything is changing. But how is the hospitality industry trending?
In response, some innovative approaches have gained traction in the hospitality industry, including enticing patrons back to restaurants, assuring guests that they are safe to stay in a hotel again, and accelerating existing trends.
Society has undergone a shift as a result of the pandemic. In the daily activities of hospitality businesses, contactless technologies, hygiene protocols, and staycations have all become firmly embedded. These things will continue to rise in prominence in 2020 and 2021, but we are seeing the emergence of some new trends as well.
Growing consumer awareness of sustainability, purpose, and health & wellness has set new standards in the hospitality industry. Here are the current hospitality industry trends for 2022.
6 Hospitality Trends for 2022
As we enter thisnew year, with the pandemic still at the forefront of most patrons’ minds, we shift gears as we take a closer look at the trends we’re seeing.
1. Virtual & Augmented Reality
The ticket to making an establishment stand out this year will be providing guests with videos that include 360-degree views of beachfront hotel locations, café terraces enveloped in greenery, or restaurant ambiance.
In terms of virtual reality in hospitality, the idea is to reach as broad an audience as possible. The primary hurdle to overcome will be to make content accessible on various devices without requiring owning a VR headset.
While sustainability is not a new trend for the hospitality industry, it’s worth noting that it is holdingstrong through 2022. Some of the industry-wide focus we see includes:
More far-reaching environmental and ethical considerations
Reducing food waste
Eliminating unnecessary paper consumption
Avoiding disposable plastics
Disproportionate repercussions, when implemented at scale, come from simple decisions such as which towel rails to install during renovations. Hospitality businesses must think of this and opt for eco-friendly changes, including:
Offering more vegetarian and vegan options
Reducing energy consumption with smart bulbs
Choosing organic material bed sheets that have been ethically produced
Replacing miniature toiletries with larger, locally sourced dispensers
3. Asset Management Strategy
Within the hospitality industry, asset management has been and always will be critical. The 2022 trends show it is evolving into a more intricate process of analyzing operating results and data. Companies can now focus on their business model and improve efficiencies across the board with the separation between real-estate assets and hotel operations management.
4. Experience, Economy & Essentialism
By 2022, experts predict that travelers will be more inclined to spend their money wisely and purposefully by doing good on the planet. Additionally, guests will consider selecting conscious travel operators who give back to the local community and environment.
Today’s guests expect to be treated as individuals and well respected. Data tools help businesses to make strides in personalizing email marketing, ensuring highly targeted audience-specific communications. Meanwhile, establishments go the extra mile to greet their guests and focus on exceeding their expectations personally.
Create one-to-one interactions between the guest and the host at scale with technological platforms such as CRM and CEM. During the booking process and responding to recurring questions, AI-powered chatbots have proven to be a customer service asset.
6. Digitized Guest Experiences
You can now control many aspects of the guest cycle and experience using apps. This digitized guest experience is becoming increasingly important in the way hotels manage the services they provide to their customers.
Since 2020, contactless and digital services have not consistently been trending, but have more recently gained traction, with the pandemic acting as a catalyst. Services that were historically customer-facing are being transformed thanks to the accessibility of more technologically advanced options, which include things such as:
Soon, guests can expect the same convenience in accessing hotel rooms that they use to unlock their laptops and smartphones, using fingerprint and facial recognition.
For hotel managers, it’s important to discuss costs. As you can imagine, these upgrades will come at a cost to both install and maintain. It’s highly recommended to make the investment early if you want to stay ahead of the curve.
The hospitality industry is no stranger to disruptions, but to overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it requires pulling together all of its resources and working through collective action.
The pendulum of change has drastically swung, from where the hospitality sector wasjust a few years backwith the past looking almost archaic. We often forget that the conveniences of hospitality today that we have become so familiar with, such as mobile bookings or property rentals, were not always around.
Thankfully, to stay competitive, you don’t have to be overwhelmed by adapting to all these trends at once. However, it may be best to note that some of these trends are slowly becoming the norm, so it is best to play catch-up while it is still early.
Similarly, technology heralds most of the trends above, so make sure to use them to your advantage. For instance, horizontal solutions like CRM software can help you nurture long-term customer relationships or learn how companies use chatbots to provide reliable customer service.