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Each year our team likes to pause, evaluate the state of the hospitality industry, and look across the travel landscape to see what trends may lay ahead.Here are five hospitality trends to look for in 2017.
Sustainable travel has become more than just a buzz phrase and a way for ownership to save money.Sustainable travel is cool.The United Nations has declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism. On the hotel side, we’ve seen industry-wide moves to reduce carbon emissions, conserve water, and to locally source food and beverage. This year will bring more green initiative rollout than ever before.For travelers, it’s no longer simply about reusing towels and forgoing fresh linens. They’re seeking hotels that incorporate eco-minded practices in all aspects of their operation, and some are selecting destinations that have a relative close proximity to home. Fewer planes, trains and automobiles mean a smaller carbon footprint.Further, sustainable travel is important to many in the Millennial market. As that audience continues to grow, hotel brands that are active in implementing and marketing their sustainability efforts are positioned to benefit for some time.
One of the most bittersweet trends afoot is the race to destinations that are at risk of disappearing.Climate change is altering the global landscape in ways that will result in some destinations becoming history, literally.There’s a newfound sense of urgency for travelers hoping to visit at-risk locales while they still can. Paris will likely be a lovely destination for the foreseeable future, but what about the melting snows of Kilimanjaro, or the dying corals on the Great Barrier Reef? There are whole islands in the Pacific that could disappear in our lifetime, and travelers are yearning to experience those communities before it’s too late.
As Millennials surpass Baby Boomers as the largest demographic of consumers, their distinct generational differences in style and experience are increasingly at the center of hospitality. That will mean evolution for some hoteliers and entirely new brands for others.Those born after 1980 are Moxy Hotel's target audience. The boutique Marriott brand has crafted its culinary selections, fitness options, and other programs specifically with Millennial travelers in mind. Offerings include acupuncture "Happy Hour," pro-run, high-intensity fitness programs dubbed “Pump at the Moxy,” and massage treatments that incorporate health-conscious libations, and that's not to mention features such as a hotel bar that never closes.Moxy's first two U.S. locations (Tempe and New Orleans) opened their doors in early 2016, with more than 40 properties around the world slated to open over the next two years.
Sure, the comment card has been around as long as there have been inns. Now, guests are tweeting, posting, Instagramming and otherwise broadcasting their experience.This year hotels are set to be more proactive than ever in the direct cultivation of guest feedback - the good, the bad, and otherwise. It’s a consorted effort to keep their finger on the pulse of modern travelers, find ways to evolve their property and strengthen brand loyalty.That’s what Hyatt Regency did with their “It's Good Not to Be Home” program. The brand rolled out the campaign influenced by a crowdsourced social media promotion that focused on business travelers. Finding several clear trends, the brand developed new features (including personal training and fine dining), advanced its fitness programs, and created an innovative beauty bar.
The internet killed the travel agent, right? Well, not exactly.Many traditional “travel agents” have evolved into journey concierges, a service particularly attractive to practiced (and typically wealthy) world travelers. Many affluent clients are accustomed to a personalized experience and prefer on-demand, one-stop-shopping for a number of their needs. Travel is not exception.Catering to the whims of well-heeled travelers is the focus of specialized setups such as American Express Travel. According to Claire Bennett, the Vice President of American Express Travel, their “travel agents” offer their clientele facets of travel that go way beyond simply air and accommodations. They market VIP access to events and eateries, up-to-date details on what’s new/hip/happening at a destination, and other details that make for a tailored travel experience.The trick with trend, of course, is that it's fluid. For the latest trend, news and hospitality industry insight, subscribe our newsletter (bottom of page) and follow Screen Pilot on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+ and Instagram.