Hotel Trends 2024 – From Smart Rooms to Contactless Services

Staying abreast of hospitality trends is crucial for ensuring any hotel business thrives.

From using technology to bringing bespoke experiences, to focusing on holistic wellness options, as well as capturing the recent digital nomads or flexible workers, these trends are going to play a significant role.

Experiential Travel

Millennials, who are increasingly drawn to experiential travel, are looking for authentic experiences they can document and share on social media. But hotels that present such authentic experiences should show higher demand by 2024.

There, we project the highest growth for higher-end RevPAR for 2024, mainly because Europe’s tourism was among the worst-hit sectors during the pandemic but is now rebounding rapidly, and major sports events, such as the 2024 Olympic Games and the 2024 UEFA Euro Championships, are expected to be a driver of change, alongside strong business performance by the meetings and groups segment.

These hotel companies that want to ride this trend will have to deliver an ‘exquisite and seamless’ guest experience, but to do that they need to have access to high-quality data – and generative AI may be able to help deliver all that, through operational efficiencies, better targeting for campaigns and customer services, and an enhanced understanding of the business.

Smart Rooms

The growing global trend in hotel technology, whether it’s helping hotels run smarter or giving guests better experiences, has not stopped for 2018. In general, smart rooms are becoming more widespread: connected room spaces using sensors and software that automatically operate guest-room functions (including lights, TVs and entertainment) without the need for staff to be at the heart of those actions, offering guests the same functions they are used to at home without having to interact with a staff member.

Examples of functions could include guests switching off lights or activating a do-not-disturb mode from their phone, controlling music through voice control, accessing their own accounts on third-party services and more. At the same time, hotels could monitor the performance of devices remotely, to anticipate technical problems before they worsen and fix them rapidly – increasing the quality of the guest experience while allowing the operations to run smoothly and efficiently.

Artificial Intelligence

Despite all the headlines, AI is just one aspect of the latest hotel technology trends – and, at least according to experts, it is possible that, in the future, hoteliers might be spending far more time ‘killing back-end zombies.’ ‘I expect hotels to start investing significantly in back-end tech that starts talking to each other cohesively, almost forming a single entity for all hotel systems,’ says Kurien Jacob, partner and managing director at Highgate Tech Ventures.

Hotels might use generative AI to improve efficiency in operations, generate new marketing concepts and segmentation, also productivity and experience of workers and guests and even guest journey. To this aim, chatbots might be useful as they can address basic requests made by guests or they could be put in touch with someone to address more specific and complex issues.

At hotels, generative AI could help generate recommendations of restaurants or spa services that match individual guests’ tastes, as well as predictive analytics tools that forecast guests’ needs before they even explicitly express them; for example, perhaps a room overlooking the stadium when you travel to watch your team live!

Contactless Services

With guest preferences changing, hotels are looking at ways to reduce the interaction process altogether for guests. Through remote online check-in and self-service kiosks, these guests can totally avoid physical contact with members of staff and complete the arrival formalities over the counter without interacting with anyone. Smart locks are another technology that permits guests to unlock their rooms with devices rather than a key card.

Lastly, the guest experience needs to be aligned with the traveller type in question – a business traveller might appreciate space to work, more secluded from distractions and faster internet, while a green-conscious consumer might favour hotels incorporating energy management solutions as part of their commitment to sustainability.

Although keeping up with the trends in hospitality might not always be an easy task, it is essential. Trendy predictions can help the operators anticipate them, and thus be better able to meet the demands of guests and future-proof their business. Whether you want to improve your operational efficiency or market your hotel better with new campaigns and segments, or enhance employee performance – there’s always a technology that could be of help. Do you want to improve your revenue growth?

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