Regular readers of our blog know that we believe there’s one key thing every innkeeper needs to offer their guests: a good night’s rest.
It’s been true as long as there have been inns and it will be true as long as people need a place to sleep.
But that doesn’t mean our industry never changes. Smart innkeepers know that guests’ tastes can change from season to season, year to year. Here are a few hotel industry trends you should keep an eye on in 2019.
1. Smart technology in rooms
“Most guests are tech savvy now and want to stay in a tech-friendly atmosphere,” writes Sarbendra Sarkar, founder of Cygnett Hotels & Resorts, in Entrepreneur’s look at emerging hotel industry trends.
That means adding things like tablets, voice assistants and automatic lighting to rooms. It’s already starting. The Wynn in Las Vegas recently announced plans to add the Amazon Echo to more than 4,700 of its rooms to let guests control lights and temperature.
2. Wellness traveling
Wellness tourism is big business, on track to become a $919 billion market by 2022. Travelers still want a comfortable bed with clean sheets, but they also look for places that offer things like yoga, spas, fitness centers and healthy dining options.
3. Mixing business with pleasure
This could be a big year for the “bleisure” class, travelers who mix business trips with leisurely vacations.
“For young professionals, bleisure is the perfect opportunity to take an extended vacation after a week of mandatory meetings and networking mixers,” writes Beekeeper in its 2019 industry forecast. “Not only do these extended vacations help keep hotels full and dinner reservations booked, but a happy millennial in vacation mode is also more likely to spend money on other amenities.”
4. The sharing economy
The next entry on our list of hotel industry trends is something that was at one time seen as a threat to the industry: Airbnb.
Millennial travelers love services like Airbnb, which has made competition in the hotel industry fiercer than ever. Airbnb has expanded its services to include hotel rooms and B&Bs that offer unique guest experiences such as locally-sourced amenities or places with knowledgeable owners on site.
5. Private experiences
More and more guests are searching for a private vacation that nonetheless lets them have access to the larger pool of amenities offered by a hotel. Some hotels are catering to this need by creating private spaces adjacent to the hotel.
6. Attracting the Instagram crowd
“As influencer-based visual marketing continues to dominate in 2019, going the extra mile with aesthetics and amenities could be game-changing for your hospitality business,” Beekeeper writes.
People want rooms with “character and unique features,” things they can share on social media.
7. Local food
After years of courting celebrity chefs, hotels are beginning to shift towards a focus on good, simple and local food, says Bjorn Hanson, a hospitality consultant who teaches at NYU’s Tisch Center for Hospitality in an interview with Travel Market Report on hotel industry trends,
Higher quality establishments are exploring what they can do with local food and drink, offering unique, interesting and – most crucially – tasty offerings.
8. Local décor
Hotels want guests to feel like they’re staying in a customized room, Hanson notes. Gone are the days of seeing the same art prints – or same furniture configuration – from room to room.
More and more people want to “escape the concrete jungle,” and travel to places that let them experience nature.
At the same time, consumers have begun to expect eco-friendly practices from the businesses they patronize, and the hospitality industry has responded with measures like removing plastic straws to green energy measures (such as lights that shut off automatically when a guest leaves the room).
10. More global tourism
Lower-cost airfares are allowing more people to see the world at a discounted rate, while healthy economies in places like China and India are allowing whole new markets to take farther-reaching vacations. That all adds up to an increase in global tourism.
Whether your guests are coming from India or Indiana, InnStyle has the products you need to make them feel at home.
No matter how hotel industry trends change, your customers will still want the top quality bedding, comfortable mattresses and other amenities we’ve been providing for decades. Contact our sales team today to learn more.