Trends come and go but it is always good to recognize those great ideas in travel and tourism that keep travelers interested and engaged. Here are a few thoughts for January 2017.

 

Trend 1 – Technology will continue to evolve as tech companies both inside and outside the hospitality industry create and invest in programs and processes that add value to travelers experiential stays. Luxury and boutique hotels will be the first to embrace and fund these initiatives although big brands will also step into the game. The hotel industry always seems to be last to embrace tech falling behind the air and cruise industries. Carnival Cruise Corp. just announced a ‘chip’ where cruisers can ditch room keys and other ID forms making it painless to purchase, disembark and enter their rooms.

 

Trend 2 – Brand redefined with personalities and popular consumer brands entering the boutique space faster and more creatively.  Names such as Karl Lagerfeld, Robert DeNiro, Williams Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, Fendi, Equinox and others. In this brand redefinition era, wellness is a huge component and on the top of mind of customers so hotels must deliver on this whether through health education, exercise options, food and beverage selection, off-property programs or using sustainable products in-room and throughout the property.

 

 Trend 3 – Cyber and Guest Security – Properties need to be armed with tools to ensure their IT systems are secure and their staff is properly trained. This will be one of the top components that hotel guests will be asking about when selecting a property and a destination.

 

Trend 4 – Increasing numbers of branded properties turning to small boutique brands and/or becoming totally independent, particularly with the recent mergers. This is a huge opportunity for properties to realize their own value by ‘going it alone.’  Although they are never alone when they join BLLA!

 

Trend 5 – Experiences – Properties like The Betsy in Miami are adding experiences to their repertoire of experiences during their stay, both inside and outside the property. Airbnb brought to light the opportunity in a big way which set off the need for boutique hotels to take a hard look at their offerings and how they’re marketing to their incoming guests and prospective customers.

What is trending in your world?  Send a note to blog@blla.org and we’ll consider publishing it.