The hotel industry has survived the global recession and come out of it triumphant. It has shown positive signs of growth since 2010. However, the hotel industry performance has historically been cyclic in nature. A long period of growth (10 years) is usually followed by a deep slide, according to a Deloitte report. Which means a downturn is imminent. Already, as per a survey by HVS Global Hospitality Services, the national hotel occupancy in the US is expected to dip by half-a-point.
Deloitte says, “brands which fail to innovate will risk market share”. Boutique and niche players like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO have the digital advantage. Plus they don’t usually invest heavily, which cushions them in the event of a market exit. Big and mid-sized hotels face a higher risk. They might have the moolah but not much maneuverability. To survive disruption by digitally native brands, they need to innovate.
Though it calls for a big investment, outcomes on innovation for big and mid-sized hotels are promising.
Innovation leads to increased earnings and greater customer satisfaction, which is what hotels ultimately aim for. It also beefs up the 3 precious Rs for any hospitality establishment — positive reviews on travel sites, more referrals, and a greater number of revisits. Alongside, innovation means hotels receive a brand boost through partnerships and promotions. Along with the guest experience, the employee experience improves greatly as well.
Here are the top innovation trends mostly started by niche hotels that bigger properties are waking up to.