Five key hotel trends have become apparent since the travel industry emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic. Though some are related to backend facing design and customer service trends, others point to what travelers are looking for.
“We’re living in an era that’s defined by constant change and new technology advancements,” said Amaris Garcia, senior director of partner relations-hotel, at last week's Ensemble Horizons conference in Las Vegas. “The way we travel, the experience we have, and where we go are all being reshaped…”
Garcia identified three customer-driven trends advisors should be aware of.
Travelers today are looking beyond the tried and true, in what Garcia referred to as “the age of awe.”
In fact, sixty-three percent are willing to spend more money on out of the ordinary experiences.
Wellness front of mind
Wellness is a growing trend in the hotel space, both in terms of health and wellness offerings, but also in terms of being able to disconnect from their busy everyday lives. More travelers, Garcia said, want to be away from crowds and closer to nature.
Additionally, according to Garcia, 30% of people are interested in travel where they can be off the grid.
Seeking human connection
Travelers today seek out ways to connect with others, particularly through shared experiences, Garcia said. This is particularly true for solo travelers.
She added that solo travelers make up a high percentage of Gen Z and Boomers, both of whom are looking for connections.
“Culinary experiences are a way of connecting with individuals,” she said, adding that they are also great ice-breakers.
Additionally, Garcia mentioned two backend trends in the hotel space.
Like the rest of the travel industry, hoteliers are looking at how to incorporate artificial intelligence into their business. A growing number, Garcia said, are using AI to create tailor-made experiences and/or augment hotel services that result in higher guest satisfaction.
Finally, what would any list of trends in the travel industry be without sustainability?
According to Garcia, 43% of travelers state that hotel sustainability is either important or very important to them, and hoteliers are listening. Carbon reduction, solar energy, and other sustainability options are driving design choices in what she said shows a focus on creating “harmony between nature and man-made spaces.”