The rise of social media, advancement of technology and the popularity of the internet has changed the face of travel so drastically and suddenly that it has placed enormous pressure on the Hospitality industry. Today’s traveler is more demanding and fickle than ever, and the demands themselves are extremely erratic and each demand is extremely different from the other. Catering to these intensely diverse demands can be prove to be quite a challenge for hotels. However, whatever the case may be, hotels have to reinvent themselves to incorporate these new trends so as to capture the emerging body of modern travelers. Here are five traveling trends Hotels need to watch out for and plan strategies to deal with effectively.
1. Shoestring Budgets
Traveling at very, very low budgets has become a really popular thing today – and it is not just because people want to save money on travel, but because the modern traveler has a desire and experience the destinations he/she travels to in its purest form. However, the trend of shoestring budgets is changing the face of the hospitality industry as it is today, because travelers look for extremely low-budget hotels, or if it can be helped, nit stay in a hotel at all!
Hotels today need to rethink of ways to attract this new crowd, and convince them that staying at a hotel is actually a better option for them and can actually help them be the shoestring travelers that they want to be.
2. Interest in local cuisines
Today, people have become more daring when it comes to food. Gone are the days when people from culture would joke about the food habits of another culture. Instead, people are interested to get out of their comfort zone and try new food!
In-fact, food has even become a major motivation for people to travel. People today travel to different locations across the globe simply to try a different cuisine or to taste some exotic dish. The interest in food has had a major impact on traveling habits, and hotels could actually seize this trend to increase their guest-base. Hotels can regularly host food-related events and festivals, showcasing different cuisines from around the globe. The idea is to convince travelers that they can get a taste of the cuisine they are interested to try at your property, thereby pulling in more business towards your hotel.
Wanderlust has become a very popular term today. Today’s traveler is interested in ‘wandering’ around the locations they travel to. Travelers today are daring, and like to go out of the usual known routes, go to places that are less-visited, and simply, to go with the flow rather than follow a rigid itinerary.
Now, this complicates things a little for hotels, because ‘wandering’ definitely would not include planning a stay at a reputed hotel in advance. Attracting and retaining a market so fickle when it comes to customer-loyalty can be quite a challenge. Hotels need to figure out how they can become pivotal points for such travelers, being available to them when they need shelter, but without appearing as an extravagant establishment that they are wasting resources on.
4. Travel over tourism
Today, the keyword in ‘travel’. Tourism is seen more as an extravagant activity engaged in only by the privileged few. Travel – enthusiasts even go to the extent of saying that tourism does not give a first-hand experience of the locations like travel does. Whether or not there is any truth in this, the fact is the trend where people are relying lesser and lesser on package-deals and planned trips and more on impromptu, spontaneous traveling has made it necessary for hotels to rethink how they are going to capture a market that loves spontaneity over routine.
5. Curiosity for the unknown
As we have already seen, today’s traveler loves to experience what is less-known and harder to attain. As such, you can see that today, people are showing a growing preference to visit places that are less-popular over places that are well-known as tourist-spots. Of-course, a hotel cannot actually follow the traveler around and establish itself wherever he travels to. However, hotels can pay close attention to places that are gaining popularity, and try expanding in these areas so that they can be well-established by the time the locations grow to become full-fledged tourism hubs with lots of visitors. Just as travelers today refuse to do the usual and try visiting places that are not so popular, hotels too could try and establish themselves in places that have future potential rather than places that are already flooded with hotels.