New research released by Amadeus and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) surmises standard room types with fixed inclusions are coming to an end, among the key findings published in the Drivers of Change in Hospitality report.
The beginning of the end of room types
Traditional room types – single, double, twin, suite or family room – are a tried and tested format, loved by hotels and understood by guests the world over.
However, new research suggests that this will change dramatically and give way to a new trend that sees 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 their preferred view.
Hotel accommodation, which has traditionally been bought in a standard and uniform way, will need to adapt to travellers’ growing bespoke leanings. According to the study, 61% of global travellers state a preference for hotels to be priced in a way that allows them to add on bespoke options.
The study surmises 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 that suits their needs rather than a traditional overnight stay.
Achieving cult status at scale
The kind of status usually reserved for luxury or boutique hotels or consumer brands will be available for all who are able to earn loyal fans. In the competition for guest loyalty, hospitality providers need to identify how to offer value through delivering memorable, shareable experiences, the study stressed.
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 travellers 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.
If done right and with the requisite technology, personal attention and personality will no be longer a characteristic of boutique brands only, the study imagines.
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.
Chris K Anderson, director of Center for Hospitality Research, Cornell University, remarked: “The hospitality industry is on the cusp of a new chapter. Guests are seeking richer individual relationships and seamless experiences with their hospitality providers, and are willing to share more data and insights than ever before.”
Findings from the Drivers of Change in Hospitality were informed by over 7,500 consumers worldwide and industry experts.