This November the World Travel Market rolled into London town, where the industry’s tastemakers peered into their crystal balls and predicted the emerging travel trends, affecting the hospitality sector in the coming months. Here are my Top 5 hospitality trends, from the WTM, to look out for in 2015:
Rise of the Planet of the MAMILs
While there’s nothing new about Middle Aged Men In Lycra (my dad has been part of the clan for nearly 15 years) the demographics’ emergence in North America is having a big impact on golf tourism, which has seen numbers decline from 25 million in the early 2000’s to 19 million in 2013.
In contrast the number of cycling enthusiasts in the country has risen from 3.5 million in 2012 to 3.8 million in 2013, while DuVine Cycling & Adventure Co reported a 70% increase in demand since 2009.
In a recent article: 10 Tips for Handling Negative Online Reviews, I featured the story of Todd Petersen, owner of the Blue Sky hostel in Glasgow, who handled a customer’s online complaint by abusing her on Facebook. At one point he qualified his clearly terrible service with “It’s a backpacker hostel. Not a hotel. It’s [Sic] the cheapest place in town. What do you expect?”
Unfortunately for Todd, 21st century consumers booking hostels expect plenty.
Poshtels (hostels catering for more discerning lodgers) are set to be the new trend for travellers in the UK and Western Europe in the coming months. Distinct from standard hostels and boutique hotels; Poshtels serve the “cost-conscious, but style seeking consumer” according to the WTM Global Trends report. The recent announcement that luxury hostel brand Generator have secured €60 million expansion investment from Invesco, only adds further weight to the belief Poshtels will be big business in 2015.
The AirBnB model (renting unique places to stay from local hosts) has made the natural transition to traveller’s dining experiences. A number of Peer2Peer dining websites, such as bookalokal and eatwith have appeared on the market, prompting corporate level companies like Trip Advisor, to jump on the bandwagon. Much like Poshtels, Peer2Peer dining offers tourists a unique and authentic experience, within a suitable budget; with user reviews (for both guests and hosts) providing helpful guidance through the experience.
With the Apple Watch on sale early in 2015 plus Google, Samsung, and Sony already with products on the market, wearable technology is expected to become a global mainstream trend that will have a profound effect on the hospitality industry.
Travellers are already able to receive regular updates, book rooms, check-in and order room service using mobile devices, with a handful of hotels.
But with sales of wearable-tech devices expected to reach 180 million units by 2016, and with hotel groups including Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt working with companies such as checkmate, to develop the service, it is only a matter of time before the mobile concierge is commonplace.
She may not realise it, but my mother recently found herself at the forefront of a global trend: the Braggie! Celebrating her retirement with a trip to New York, Mrs H was posting boastful selfies to Facebook before she had even left the airport.
According to a recent poll for the Hotels.com mobile app, over 5 million British tourists upload holiday photos within 10 minutes of arriving at their destination.
Keen to capitalise on potential brand ambassadors, canny hoteliers and travel operators have coined the Braggie; an envy inducing selfie aimed at creating more word of mouth business. The smartest operators offer incentives for your Braggie, such as a free drinks, meals, wi-fi or spa treatments.
If you want learn more about how Ignite Hospitality Marketing can keep your restaurant or hotel on trend in 2015, email firstname.lastname@example.org