An unimaginable global lockdown and the impositions of restrictions forever impacted guest expectations from hotels and service providers as well. More aware of the additional risks in the business, hotel owners have changed their approach to investing in the sector. They place greater demands on their operating partners on sharing the downside risk. Even hotel management companies had to re-evaluate the way they do business and adapt to stay relevant.
The pandemic has merely accelerate trends that were already emerging in the hospitality space. Be it safety and hygiene, automation and robotics, customisation and personalisation, mobile and contactless or social media and chatbots to drive engagement – each of these were around for a few years. The pandemic merely forced adoption by the mainstream.
One key trend that is here to stay is the awareness of the impact on the environment and the need for consumers and businesses to make more responsible choices. While discussions on sustainability and green messaging have been ongoing, environmental, social and coverage governance factors will be key drivers for socially responsible investors as well as consumers.
Management companies will need to incorporate contactless and self-service technologies into their service offering to provide a more customer-centric experience. Many will need to assess and fill the gaps in their current digital offerings to meet what is now a core component of the guest journey.
LEARNING FROM AMAZON
Hotel management companies can learn a lot from tactics adopted by online retail companies who quickly transcended the gap between physical and digital world. They did a phenomenal job in using data to personalise the buying experience.
Hotels, too, can use data regarding past purchases to send offers and recommendations based on a guest’s preferences. Imagine the option of having a mini-bar stocked with only one's preferred beverages and accompaniments?
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