The demand for hotel and tourism has dramatically transformed. Consumer behavior in hospitality has also changed. The change has a significant impact on the management and marketing activities of the hotels across the globe. Over the past year, new expectations, and new technologies have been evident in the international hospitality market.
Consumer satisfaction is the primary concern when it comes to hospitality. With such demands, the industry must react appropriately to see the demand satisfied. There are other challenges that the industry is facing. The coming year, things will be even more challenging.
Let’s look at the various challenges facing the Hospitality industry
Electronic check-in is the latest technology being embraced by the industry. However, many hotels have found the transformation challenging. Others hotels have already implemented the innovation. When clients plan for trips, hotels register the guest and then send key cards that are equipped with the new identification recognition that utilizes frequencies.
On arrival, a text message is conveyed to the guest mobile phone entailing the room number and time, among other details.
Once the guest arrives at the hotel, they don’t have to confirm at the Front Desk. They can directly move to their room and apply the key-card. For small and other major hotels, using this technology will see their revenues and profits reduce. However, if they don’t match the pace made by other hotels, things might turn for worse.
Hotel reputation is what guests say about the hotel through online reviews, comments and photos. Most of the reviews are made on social media, i.e. on Instagram, Facebook, Yelp and TripAdvisor. All these are high ranked platforms. The hospitality industry has been battling to establish relationships with guests.
Regardless of the sectors of the national economy, a high level of trust must be maintained between a service provider and the consumer. This is the key to an effective and efficient economic transaction. Developing trust is non-trial.
Reviews and comments can destroy or market a hotel’s reputation. Mostly, hotels used to engage and respond to the concerns, needs and requests of clients publicly through old fashioned forums.
With online platforms like Facebook, hotels will have to diversify and start utilizing such platforms to manage their reputation. It’s a challenge that the industry is facing and will still face in the year 2021.
Retaining and finding talent
The success and growth of the hospitality sector depend on the state of both global and local economies. This means that maintaining adequate employees will be crucial in the coming year. In the year 2016, the hospitality industry employed 15,000 workers. This number is expected to jump to around 17,000 in 2026.
As the industry continues to bulge, retaining and attracting top talents will be a priority. For companies to edge out competition they will have to ensure they have employees with top skills. However, employee retention is a significant challenge, regardless of the sector.
According to statistics, about one-third of workers quit their jobs after working for just six months. About 45 percent of workers manage to hold on for an average of two years.
The industry will have to devise techniques to retain top skills and talents in the year 2021. Focusing on referral-based hires is a significant method they will have to implement to safeguard such talents. Also, the industry will have to adopt processes that will see a worker’s productivity and morale boosted. Favorable work schedules, technology or incentives are among the ways to motivate employees.
An increase in international travel
The number of international travels is growing every year. It’s anticipated that in the next three years, the hospitality sector should focus on offering visitors a unique experience for both domestic and foreign visitors. This will mean that the staff should be aware of different cultures.
International travels also have different expectations. These are all factors that hotel staff will have to familiarize with. It’s a challenge that most hotels will face, especially the small ones.
Hiring workers who can fluently converse in multiple languages, give information and offer services in diverse languages will be essential. Hotels with such staff will attract foreign clientele. Technology giant Google recently launched earbuds that could assist hotels in tackling this challenge. The wireless headsets can automatically translate 40 languages.
Personalizing client’s experience
Travelers have grown to be accustomed to streamlined and personal shopping experiences. This is a wakeup call for hotels. Offering clean and good design services is no longer applicable. The digital age has steered an increased desire for more personalized traveling and lodging experiences.
However, capitalizing on this trend has been a significant challenge for hotels and the hospitality industry as a whole.
People infrequently travel, ranging between one and three times per year. This doesn’t offer hotels the opportunity to learn more about their clients. Also, it gives fewer opportunities for attracting the clients back for another stay.
Hotels will have to step up and set themselves and seize providing unique designs and offering locally sourced drinks and food. They have to generate memorable activities and mobilize social media traffic if they want to improve client experience.
Remaining competitive in the Airbnb era
The emergence of companies like Airbnb has altered traveler’s expectations, especially when it comes to lodging. Accommodation websites have changed traveler’s mindsets from desiring a standard hotel room to a much homier experience.
The pricing offered by the company is also a concern for lodges and hotels. In the past years, Airbnb has received a fair share of scandals ranging from robbery and damage of property.
Hotels can utilize this opportunity and campaign for security and safety policies in their services to lure traveler’s.
This is another critical challenge that hotels are facing and will face in the coming year. Catching direct clients has posed problems for hotels. This has led some big hotel chains batting each other to have the attention of direct clients. This implies that for other independent hotels and chains involved should start offering loyalty programs which include discounts and specials.
There are several challenges that the industry will face in the year 2021. However, there is also room for growth. These are the factors that will make the industry reach greater heights.