Sabre’s top consumer trends to watch in hospitality

Adara derives travel patterns, trends and behaviour from more than 750 million monthly unique traveller profiles across more than 190 travel brands

Sabre has partnered with TrendWatching in a study that looks at the top consumer trends expected to shape the hospitality industry in 2019 and beyond.

“The hospitality industry is always reinventing itself, constantly adapting to the changing expectations of travellers,” said Clinton Anderson, president of Sabre Hospitality Solutions. “As a result, digital transformation has become a rising priority for hoteliers due to its ability to generate more targeted, personalised offers. Ultimately, shifts in how individuals interact with technology, brands and even space translate directly into new, untapped opportunities for hoteliers.”

Engaging consumers through new channels that see ‘magic point-of-sale’

Virtual companions
While time-pressed travellers may wish to avoid other people during their stay, others will welcome companionship – even in virtual form. Travellers deeply accustomed to digital assistants, chatbots and more will look to the next evolution of artificial intelligence. They will seek out virtual personalities that have the power to entertain, educate and befriend. The presence of virtual digital assistants has grown incrementally since 2011, and shows no sign of stopping.

Breaking bricks
Traditional brick and mortar retailers are expanding into hospitality – building immersive brand experiences for their customers – providing an entirely new breed of competition for traditional players, while delighting loyal fans.

Social media feeds have become saturated with picture-perfect travel snapshots of branded lifestyles, and as a result, consumers have ever-higher standards when shopping. Brands hold the capacity of reaching overstimulated customers by launching unique partnerships to cut through the noise, in unexpected locations.

Magic point-of-sale
Using their devices to summon a “magic point-of-sale”, travellers can engage with establishments, browse products, test and purchase in innovative new ways. Smart brands are using technology to gain rich data on consumer preferences and habits, and are leveraging innovative channels like these to reach them in the right place, at the right time.

Globally, the augmented reality (AR) market hit US$1.1 billion in 2018, and is expected to reach US$7.9 billion by 2023. The maturing of virtual reality and AR revolutionises how and where consumers shop and engage with brands.

New workforce
The proliferation of on-demand services and co-working environments are transforming expectations around work and travel. A growing cohort of professionals are making travel their main priority by becoming digital nomads. The explosion in gig economy and freelancing platforms indicate that consumers are embracing alternative lifestyles that don’t tie them down to a specific company, location, or even daily schedule.

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