A few decades ago, there were a only a small number of nationally recognized brands, and fewer still were recognized across international markets. This has changed rapidly in recent years with the advent of new technologies, changing travel patterns and innovative new hospitality product types. In fact, the notion of what exactly defines a “hotel” or a “hotel room” has dramatically been altered. There's a revolution going on in the hospitality sector, and here's why.
Digital innovation technology. Digital innovations, such as mobile booking, check-in, payment and in-room service, have become more popular with busy travelers, particularly the younger generation. Easy anywhere/anytime online access has become the expected standard for many, which has changed the concept and necessity of the “front desk” and other service aspects of the hospitality industry.
Impact of Internet marketing and distribution. The availability of internet marketing has led to increased competition and has created pressure on room rates. In addition, the delivery cost for getting customers into hotels has changed significantly by the emergence of online travel agencies or booking websites
Combining business and pleasure travel. “Bleisure” is a portmanteau referring to the practice of taking a business trip and adding a few days of vacation at the beginning or end. Combining work and play is a popular trend, especially among younger travelers who want to spend time sightseeing after their meetings.
Impact of the sharing economy. Sharing economy or peer-to-peer lodging platforms continue to shape the global hospitality industry for both leisure and business travelers. In 2016, the number of listings on probably the best known peer-to-peer platform, exceeded 3 million globally, in over 191 countries. Increasingly, peer-to-peer players are being subjected to the same rules, regulations and taxes as those imposed on traditional hotels, closing the gap between hotels and alternative lodging platforms.
According to this ‘Hotel Management’ article, there’s a revolution going on in the hospitality sector around how we define and choose hotels, led by five factors: digital innovations, such as mobile booking, check-in, payment and in-room service; the availability of internet marketing and the rise of OTAs leading to increased competition and pressure on room rates; consumers becoming more sophisticated and better educated via online ratings and more international travel, leading to them looking for a sense of local character in their hotel room and their stay; the rise of “bleisure” travel, ie taking a business trip and adding a few days of vacation at the beginning or end; the impact of the sharing economy and peer-to-peer lodging platforms.
It also discusses the growth of three types of accommodation: boutique, lifestyle and soft-brand hotels; sharing economy-meets-hotel options; and hybrid hotel products such as new lifestyle brands, which blend private-rental, hostel and hotel formats in a community living space shared also with locals.
The conclusion is that it is vital to seize the moment and adapt to the changing concept of hospitality to expand market share.
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