With a new decade on the horizon, the 2010s have brought about huge changes in technology, politics as well as ecology, all of which have had an impact on the hotel industry.
We’ve looked ahead to the next 12 months and here are our predictions for the sector on key issues affecting UK hoteliers:
We have discussed sustainability in a previous blog and we predict this hot topic will continue to be a focus through 2020 and beyond as all types of businesses grapple with the increasing need to adapt to reduce environmental impact.
As consumers we are consciously living our lives in more sustainable ways and hotels need to reflect this constantly changing mindset and behaviours which protect rather than erode the planet.
Operationally, hotels need to consider water reduction strategies, the products they use and offer to guests, food sourcing and supply chain and crucially, how they communicate their actions to guests.
Personalisation has been a buzz word in the hospitality industry for years and we predict this to continue for the foreseeable future. With cheap flights and foreign accommodation still very much on offer, UK hotels can find it hard to stand out in a fiercely competitive market and are now looking at all the ways in which they can set themselves apart.
Giving guests a more personalised service at every touch point from enquiry and booking through their stay to check out and post-visit will ensure they feel valued as guests. We are seeing increased investment by hotels in initiatives which enhance the guest experience alongside new technology and processes that deliver more individually focused packages. Actively engaging with guests on an individual level is no longer an option – it is vital to commercial success.
Technology now touches every area of our lives and is one of the single biggest drivers of industry change.
In 2020, UK hoteliers will continue to increase their use of automated processes. Digital check-in and out as well as customisable apps which allow for room service and in-stay extras to be ordered online via guests’ own phones then added to the bill at check-out are just some of the ways in which automation is becoming more prevalent in UK hotels.
With new technology being introduced all the time 2020 is set to be the year of automation for the hospitality sector.
As competition increases, hotels are forced to find ways to stand out and we predict that hotels will look a lot different in 2020.
New hotels and concepts are being designed intentionally to be an Instagrammers’ dream as architects and interior designers work with hoteliers to design hotels in new and creative ways, with the aim of drawing in people looking for the next big thing.
Hotels have long been an aspirational source for the latest interiors and design trends and with consumers being more visual than ever with the impact of social media we will see more hotels investing in refurbishments and design differentiation.
It is hard to make predictions about the new year without addressing the rather large elephant in the room, Brexit. Whilst most is still uncertain about what effect it will have on UK hotels, the recent election results all but confirm that we will leave the EU in the new year.
This will undoubtedly have a big effect on the UK industry in 2020, and our prediction is that hoteliers will have to work smarter in order to make the best of the situation. There may be positive as well as negative fall-out – if the pound continues to be weak we will likely see increased overseas visitors to the UK. This offers opportunity to hotels in tourist hotspots and could also mean the ‘staycation’ trend continues for Brits.
Understanding the benefits of existing outside the EU and how to mitigate adverse effects is an important focus for hoteliers as they adapt to a new set of market conditions.