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OPINION

Hospitality Industry Global Trends and Developments

Hospitality Industry Global Trends and Developments

Number of international travellers continues to grow and the global industry is changing faster than ever before. According to UNWTO's long-term forecast report “Tourism Towards 2030”, the tourist international arrivals will reach 1,8bln by 2030. The 10 global trends and developments in the hospitality industry which every industry player should be aware of, are outlined below:

Airbnb: With listings in over 190 countries and 65,000 cities, Airbnb forms a growing market share with high price competition that hotels need to face. Why travellers choose Airbnb over a hotel? Beside lower cost, Airbnb establishments also offer experiences as most of the properties are immersed in neighborhood and townhomes. Staying in an Airbnb makes you feel like you’re living as a local.  
 
Activities and guest experiences: Activities and experiences are growing in importance for travellers and affect their decision making. Hotels are increasingly making necessary arrangements to accommodate such needs. The 2017 fastest growing experience category per Trip Advisor relates to Historical and Heritage tours followed by Sunset cruises. 
 
Growing importance of cultural tourism: According to the UNWTO survey 40% of the travelers classify themselves as “cultural travelers”. A suggestion would be to involve guests in cultural-related activities so as to relate with the country e.g. cooking local food using local products or participate in the production of local crafts or other traditional activities. 
 
Influx of International Visitors: Visitors from a growing number of different origins/countries mean different expectations and demands thus creating additional challenges in the form of tailored experiences. We have to understand deeply our visitors and service them in a variety of languages, responding to their different cultures.
 
Emphasis on health and well-being: Hotels all over the world are tapping into the enthusiastic health-conscious market, as many new trends and demands emerge. There is potential in the growth of the sector by attracting people who want to stay focused on their well-being while travelling, but are having a tough time doing so. 
 
The increasing role of sustainability practices and the impact of Climate Change: Sustainability is becoming increasingly synonymous with best practices and tourists are becoming sustainability-sensitive. Eco-friendly practices are becoming the new trend. Impact of climate change is becoming more and more evident. The Climate Change Adaptation Strategy developed aims to provide mitigation measures addressing the impacts. Each destination should adapt these measures and directly relate them to its specific realities. 
 
The impact of millennials: Millennials as a customer group have different and overall higher expectations. They expect personalised interactions. They are very familiar with the use of social media, active in them and early adopters of technology. 
 
Technological advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA): As in most industries, AI & RPA is changing the way the value chain works. Significant opportunities are available in key areas like advertising, front desk services and general management. 
 
Changes in marketing practices: Marketing practices are also moving to be more digital and personalised. The practice is to sell a story not just a room and promote the destination not just the hotel. In addition, there is an imperative need for real time replies to social media comments both positive and negative. 
 
Marketing and promoting the tourist destination: At destination level, it is not a single person’s responsibility. A collaborative approach with all stakeholders along the tourism service provision value chain is required. In tourism destination management, stakeholders work together to create a common vision and a holistic strategy for the destination. The Environmental, Social and Economic impact as well as Safety and Security, are all integral parts of the quality of tourism service provision, and are important strategic elements.
 
New ways of competition, changing customer expectations, social trends and technological advancements, drive global trends and developments. Industry players need to react on trends and developments timely and reconsider their operating model in terms of cost optimisation, corporate strategy, process optimisation and customer expectations.

 

Ioanna Ioannou
Senior Manager
Assurance
Member of the Hospitality & Leisure Team
PwC Cyprus

 

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