The hospitality industry has undergone a series of major transformations over the past twenty years. A number of these trends are responsible for reshaping the industry and will play a role in determining where the hospitality industry is headed in the future.
Online communities and social networks have changed the way customers view players in the hospitality industry. One of the most influential networks is TripAdvisor. The added transparency by these networks has improved the experiences of many customers.
Community-Based Business Models
Companies like Airbnb caused a major disruption for hotel owners. This competitive industry is now even tougher to penetrate. A major reason for this is Airbnb properties do not have to meet the stringent regulations required of hotels.
Online travel agencies have affected the industry in three major ways: These agencies have caused a shift in industry distribution channels. Brands like Expedia and Travelocity are more recognizable now than major hotel chains. And customer loyalty exists between consumers and travel websites to the extent hotel owners must now pay these websites for access to customers.
Apps have changed the way hotel owners manage customer services. Many aspects of the guest experience are now controlled by apps.
The Global tourist Boom
Lower costs for travel has made it possible for more members of the world community to realize their travel dreams. The strengthening economies of some countries have also increased the ability of their citizens to travel.
The Independent Traveler
More customers are looking for personalized experiences that are unique to their own tastes. This is leading some customers to bypass travel agents and arrange their own travel provisions.
The hospitality industry now favors lighter assets. More business efficiency has been obtained for some companies who have successfully separated operations management and assets in real estate.
New jobs have been created by recent changes in the hospitality industry. This has caused the need for measurable competencies.
The Y and Z Generations
The needs of these generations are much different from the needs of past generations. Ryan Hibbert, the cofounder of Riot Hospitality Group, explains it this way. Past generations thought about car rental companies and hotel brands. However, generations X and Z tend to think Uber and Airbnb.
Members of the global community are much more conscious of social and environmental issues. Green initiatives are now an important part of the branding process.