As the year winds to a close I thought I would compile a recap of top 10 lodging trends 2017. Some of these come from blogs I have written this year and others from a quick Google search of hotel/lodging trend articles.
1. In-room technology. The two items that stood out were: High-definition flat screen TV and high-speed Wi-Fi. It is all about providing the best picture and the fastest band width. Instant gratification plus a shorter attention span are the drivers.
2. Varied dining options. In most of your Inns, it is breakfast. The trends are:
- Grab & Go for early risers and early departures.
- Letting your guests know (on your website breakfast page and/or booking process) that their food allergies and/or preferences are gladly accommodated. Stressing they MUST let them know in advance.
- Lighter fare options at breakfast. See The B&B Team Pinterest board for some great lighter fare breakfast ideas.
3. Self-check-in options for after hours. Convenience and peace of mind for the many guests that are delayed for a variety of reasons. Or just want to mosey their way to you without a time schedule.
4. Communal areas that bring people together. Hotels have been remodeling their lobbies to become more people friendly. Your common rooms and dining rooms may need a revamping too. Sometimes it can be as simple as rearranging your furniture to create comfortable communal seating areas or creating comfortable reading or laptop working nooks with great lighting.
5. Don’t forget the millennials. The ‘millennial appetite’ is not just about food or a more contemporary design. In addition, they are more into a healthy lifestyle, self-growth, and digital technology. They may want to experience the same places (your Inn and location) their parents have but experience them in a different way. They are a bit more adventurous and willing to explore ‘outside the box.’
6. Paying attention to your guests’ experiences outside your Inn as well as inside your Inn. Get to know them before they arrive. In your confirmation email you can ask them targeted questions. Why are you travelling to… (name your town and state)? Are you celebrating a special date? Take your pick of questions but don’t make it an inquisition, you’ll lose them.
7. Bring in the locals. Hospitality has always been focused on the traveler, as it should. But what about the locals? There are business influencers in your community that can benefit you and your Inn. Events like Pop-up dinners, Inn tours, holiday open house, Chamber After Hours, and hosting local charity events. These events welcome locals into your Inn which brings awareness to your Inn and you!
8. The new definition of luxury. Read my past blog on that subject.
9. Mobile friendly websites. Getting back to technology. Today 51.8% use mobile devices to book. In 2019, the estimate is 86.4%. ‘Nuff said.
10. Video. 4 times as many customers would rather watch a short video relating to a product or service than read about it. Create your own or find out if your town chamber or state tourism organization has a video you can use on your website.
Woods Hole Inn, Woods Hole Massachusetts has a great video.
I know that many of you out there have been paying attention to these recap of top 10 lodging trends 2017, but there are still the innkeepers out there who are lagging. For those laggards, in the long run (your future) it will affect your business negatively. It is December and the future is just around the corner. Time to make your list and check it twice in 2018.
Thanks for Listening,