by Alan Campbell, Featured Contributor
Can it happen twice?
Today the hospitality industry is going through a period of unprecedented, irreversible change, and perhaps in the years to come it will be completely different from what it is today. What challenges lay ahead for our industry? Will it be able to attract the new breed of travelers that will be walking through the doors of the new hotels that sprout up?
It looks like the hotel industry is in very good shape but that is just smoke mirrors people. The hospitality industry revenues will be in the trillion come next year or so. Let’s ask ourselves, are we ready for the next wave? Occupancy, adr and repar are high and yet that could all change in a wink of an eye. If you don’t believe that look at 2008, how many of you hotel gurus prepared for that? You really never saw it coming. If the hospitality gurus had seen it Caesars Entertainment Corp. would not be in the mess they are today.
Over the next few years millennials will occupy the majority of the hospitality pie. You have to be prepared for it, and I will say that a whole lot of you aren’t, why? Because you are riding the current wave of prosperity. The new thing is wellness and boutique style accommodations for the millennials. Now with that in mind the branded properties are going to have to step up to the challenge if they wish to survive. Branded properties are franchises, and if the parent company decides to upgrade to a better picture, it will mandate the franchises to invest what could amount to a large capital investment. Some of these franchises may, or may not have the money to do so. Get the picture?
Smart phone technology will probably dictate the next wave of where the guest will choose to stay, more and more people use the smart phone for just about everything. Your phone will open hotel doors, check your home, turn on the lights, and if possible will have a meal waiting for you when you return.
The hotel industry lags behind in mobile technology compared to other industries, such as transportation and banking. Those industries are far ahead in the tech field. Why the hotel industry always seems to lag when new innovations appear on the market.
If the hospitality industry wishes to stay afloat it better learn to engage via smart tech devices with its guest, they will require a personalized app that will allow them to communicate directly. The industry better have the capabilities on their apps to engage guest experience, be it check in, lighting, room temperature, or eggs for breakfast. Remember that the industry is on a building frenzy, tread with caution and choose wisely, the next time if there is such a thing, it will be catastrophic. Think before you leap in to the sea of hotels. Social engagement is the wave of the future people, don’t ignore it.
Ps. How many of you have scenario schedule for a 20% drop in business? Just in case.