Hospitality has long been synonymous with the hotel industry. Any changes in trends of hotel business have wide scale implications on an otherwise diverse industry. What might be an opportunity for a traveler can be a matter of survival for hotels? It will not be an oversimplification to suggest that the emerging concepts in hotel industry reveal an atmosphere of stiff competition. Here is a look at a few major issues:
Is Green better?
Amid growing concern over environment friendly services, a majority of travelers now prefer Green and Eco lodgings. Recent surveys by trade associations such as Partnership Travel Industry Association and online retailers like Yahoo revealed that nearly seventy percent of the tourists are willing to pay extra when it comes to environmental friendly lodgings. These surveys further revealed that these guests will pay anywhere from nine to ten percent premium on the already advertised prices.
What can be stated as a welcome relief for the educated traveler might pose real challenges for the hotel business. To better understand the scenario, it should be noted that hotels are presently facing severe shortages in occupancy rates which are at their lowest since 1971. Such a crisis and lack of funds can definitely hamper any efforts to install appliances that comply with the LEEDS standards (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design). Some experts agree that a trade off may lead hotels into removing free amenities that include little bottles of shampoos, jams and free basket of fruits; all of which are the hallmark of these eco lodgings.
Where have the Workers gone?
The hotel industry gives employment at a very large proportion of part time workers, who after gaining substantial experience, leave for other lucrative jobs at restaurants and outdoors. Low wages in the hotel industry is one of the primary reasons for low retention rates.
Hotel industry Gurus are already thinking of ways to attract and retain qualified workers by increasing the pay scales and by reducing the long working hours. The top management is now devising constructive methods that will retain the existing workers by sponsoring education and creating attractive career paths.
The rising cost of construction and a struggling real estate has prompted hoteliers to deploy the pre-fabricated and cost effective solution in the construction of new hotels. In fact they are fighting back by producing highly efficient designs that utilize a greater proportion of space for revenue generating purpose. Future trends in the hotel construction will seek to maximize the use of building areas by constructing a multi purpose facility that will include Casinos, shopping outlets and Theatres. The stand alone hotel concept is likely to vanish as the new properties will be constructed as a mixed use development to provide guests with facilities such as Church, Hospitals and Theme Parks. Such a variety will ensure that guests remain at one spot which will help generate revenue for the entire hotel complex.
The evolution of savvy traveler
The evolution of internet has given rise to a phenomenon where travelers are becoming ever more demanding. Industry professionals suggest that an increase in a trend, to review properties online, will make travelers less forgiving as they are able to post their travel experiences. Such an overemphasis on web may even lead to stiff competition and price reduction strategies where only large players may be able to survive.
To ward of such threats, the small business owner is now turning towards opening a boutique establishment as an alternate to 70s style motels. Such niche properties are popping up everywhere by advertising a more personalized “home away from home” kind of experience. The introduction of such boutique properties has also given rise to the popular and widely accepted theme of modern hostels. These hostels are keen to provide a clean and safe environment for budget conscious travelers. Their goal is to wipe out the myths associated with cheap motels and dingy guesthouses.
Whatever may be the case, one thing is for sure that constant remodeling of the hotel industry has made it more functional and practical not only for the guests but also for the hotel owners.