Virginia Tech’s Vince Magnini, associate professor of hospitality and tourism management at the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, highlights five new trends that hotels and guests will see in 2018.
1. Eco-friendly hotel features will become more tangible.
“Guests want tangible evidence of sustainability efforts. Examples include exercise equipment that feeds power back into the hotel when operated and vertical herb gardens in the lobby and other common areas.”
2. Accessibility will become an even bigger priority.
“Hotels will do more to deliver satisfying experiences to aging baby boomers. For example, ‘lever-style’ door handles in guestroom bathrooms that are easy to grip and more adjoining rooms for multi-generational travel groups.”
3. Safety from terrorism will become increasingly reflected in hotel design.
“This includes physical barriers such as concrete planters to prevent vehicles from driving into the lobby and exit doors that cannot easily be changed shut from the inside.”
4. Independent hotels will continue to become affiliated with soft brands in Europe and North America.
“Soft brands allow a unique hotel to retain its identity, but utilize branding advantages such as economies of scale in purchasing and affiliation with guest loyalty programs.”
5. Increased mining of online customer reviews.
“A customer who refuses to complete an eight-minute survey will instead invest 20 minutes crafting an online review or blog posting. While many hotels have been using software for several years to find trends and patterns in this information, the knowledge currently being extracted only begins to scratch the surface of the potential to better understand guests’ attitudes and perceptions.”