16 Hottest travel trends of 2014
World travel and tourism have grown faster than the global economy with a 4% rise in international trips in 2013. The outlook for 2014 is rosy with a 4-5% growth forecast for outbound travel.
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1. Personalisation will be one of the hottest travel trends of 2014
Every time you take a trip, chat to a hotel staff member, fill in a survey or even post on Facebook, someone could be collecting that information to build a profile of your travel habits.
2. Reviews and Reputation Management
The 21st Century is the age of digital referrals and the power of what has been posted on the web via review sites can drastically impact a business’ revenue. Monitor Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google Places reviews and alert management of any low reviews twice a week. Comment on positive reviews to thank them. Comment on negative reviews and how the property intends to handle future situations.
3. Sustainability is The New Standard
Sustainable hospitality, with eco-friendly practices becoming the norm, rather than the exception, so expect 2014 to see standard “green” practices, products, programs and packages
4. Room Service Reinvented
The majority of hotels are dedicated to reinventing the concept of room service. Renowned chefs, concept-driven restaurants and artfully crafted menu items to digital in-room dining menus and online ordering to doggy bag meal deliveries.
5. Speed and precision
These two will be a requirement when it comes to accommodating guests in upcoming years. Fast booking, fast check-in, fast WiFi and fast responses to customer service needs will need to be implemented within hotels.
Leadership is showing your management team how critical it is to circle around and talk. Forming a connection with guests can improve dramatically with genuine, individual interaction.
7. Expectation of more international visitors.
Average rates and occupancy levels are likely to increase influenced by a very new market. For instance, China is preparing to send about 100 million leisure tourists into the international market every year. The globalization of travel will prove to be a massive force.
8. Social media and mobile
Social media and mobile already live in symbiosisn influencing factor and we will only continue to see them merge over the course of 2014. Mobile activity has allowed social media to live in real time by allowing users to create updates, tag friends and check in on their mobile devices.
9. Content marketing vs. traditional advertising
Traditional advertising is losing value as hotel marketing professionals begin to take advantage of effective content marketing. Try
implementing media tools such as blogs, social media, newsletters, webinars, eBooks, photo or video sharing and shared media.
10. Renewed focus on property websites
Finding ways of encouraging direct bookings will be one of the most important parts of a marketing director’s job in 2014. Considering travelers are increasingly taking their transactions online, the hotel’s own website needs to become the most important avenue for bookings to gain the highest ROI. Fresh content, consistent updates of promotions and rich media will draw in the guests.
11. Bring Your Own Content
Guests carrying their own devices have implications for more than just bandwidth; guest devices are home to a lot of rich content such as movies, music, games, etc.. Syncing services like Shodogg and Roomlinx allow guests to attach their devices to the television, are expected to be successful services for 2014.
Guests’ demands are changing with the technological environment
12. Automated Services
More than 85% of guests use online service requests for room service to housekeeping.Over 90% of guests check in or would check in using an automated kiosk. These services are no longer peripheral, but expected services.
13. The Lobby as the Social and Technology Center
Communal tables, outlets, and charging stations are encouraging more than just transactional traffic in hotel lobby spaces. More and more guests are seeing lobbies as a way to get work done while enjoying the surroundings and networking opportunities.
14. More Investment in Guests and “Free” Wi-Fi:
Over 80% of guests think that Wi-Fi should be a free service.
15. Remote Office and Meeting Spaces
As workplaces have transformed with technology, so have hotel meeting spaces. Programs like Workspace on Demand and Liquidspace, along with better meeting space design, have enabled more productive use of hotel meeting and convention spaces.
16. Service and Social Integration
Social technology continues to be woven into guest engagement and service. Social networks are quickly becoming a standard.