According to a recent Oracle Hospitality and Skift survey, 95 per cent of people want to travel in the next six months, with 29 per cent planning an epic revenge trip.
However, many individuals want to eliminate the ‘touch’ from the high-touch sector they used to know. For example, almost three-quarters of travelers (73 per cent) prefer to use their mobile devices to manage their hotel stay, including checking in and out, paying, ordering food, and so on.
This is good news for hotels relying on technology to help them deal with a labor shortfall without sacrificing client engagement or service.
Over the next few years, the survey shows guests will want to further personalize their vacation by choosing their specific room and floor, paying just for the amenities they desire, and even pre-screening properties in the metaverse (68 per cent ).
Furthermore, 74 per cent want hotels to use AI to personalize better services and offerings, such as accommodation pricing, meal recommendations, and discounts. This ‘unbundled’ strategy is seen as the future of hotel revenue management by nearly 40 per cent of hotel executives.
“The pandemic has established technology’s role in the guest and associate journey, and the industry is never going back,” said Alex Alt, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Hospitality. “Whether a hotel organization has two properties or 2,000, guests are looking for the highly digital, self-service experience they have come to expect in other parts of their lives, from banking to ordering food. For hoteliers to meet these demands, especially with constrained property staffing, they need systems that will enable them to quickly adapt, ‘plug in’ new services, and better and more efficiently serve a diverse group of travelers.”
The 2022 “Hospitality in 2025: Automated, Intelligent… and More Personal” survey polled 5,266 customers and 633 hotel executives worldwide to learn about changing guest expectations and how hotels adjust.
Consumers and executives were polled from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, and Mexico.
You can read the full report on the survey here.
Travelers want people to ‘go away’ when on vacation.
After two years of limitations, many have a pent-up urge to travel, with 29 per cent planning a more extensive, more expensive “revenge travel” vacation. However, the epidemic has made many travelers antisocial, with many wishing for contactless and self-service technology:
While staying at a hotel, 92 per cent of tourists say they don’t miss being among other people.
Seventy-three, however, per cent, said they’re more inclined to stay at a hotel with self-service technology since it reduces touch with workers and other customers.
38 per cent desire a self-service approach with employees accessible only on demand.
Room service is something that 39 per cent of people want to be able to order via their phone or a chatbot.
Contactless payments are desired by 49 per cent of respondents (only 5 per cent want to pay in crypto).
The staff remains slim. Tech is helping
The hotel industry’s labor shortage remains a primary concern. However, hoteliers are working hard to integrate modern technology to help guests and employees cope:
According to 65 per cent of hoteliers incorporating new technology for employees is the most significant way to deal with labor shortages and attract fresh talent.
Contactless technology is being invested in by 96 per cent of respondents, with 62 per cent predicting that “a fully contactless experience” will be the most commonly used technology in the sector in the next three years.
Between now and 2025, 54 per cent of respondents said that adopting technology that enhances or eliminates the need for the front desk experience is their top objective.
Travelers differ in their willingness to be patient throughout this transition:
For all basic hotel transactions (check-in/out, food & beverage, room keys, and so on), 39 per cent stated they prefer a contactless experience.
A staff shortage and the consequently delayed service would be the number one impediment to rebooking a hotel, according to 34 per cent of respondents.
However, 23 per cent of survey respondents said that a lack of daily room cleaning is a problem, indicating that customers have accepted (and 17 per cent welcomed!) the fact that this pre-pandemic staple would never return.
Even when not at home, people want the comforts of home.
Whether ordering room service or watching Netflix, visitors desire the comforts of home while on the road.
The number one must-have during their stay, according to 45 per cent, is on-demand entertainment that effortlessly links to their personal streaming or gaming accounts.
Similarly, 45 per cent of hotel executives stated they’re most likely to employ this in-room entertainment setup by 2025.
For hotel customer service requests, 77 per cent of passengers are interested in using automated messaging or chatbots.
Voice-activated controls for all amenities in their rooms are desired by 43 per cent of respondents (lights, curtains, door locks, etc.).
Room controls that alter temperature, lighting, and even digital art depending on pre-shared preferences are desired by 25 per cent of respondents.
Hotel rates based on a la carte pricing
Consumers are drawn to a hotel model that allows them to pay only for the services they consume. As a result, hoteliers are working together to develop new service models that upsell anything from amenities to excursions.
Between now and 2025, 81 per cent of hotels predict a significant shift in service models.
Special amenities and upgrades are crucial to their revenue plan, according to 49 per cent of respondents.
Unbundling room prices, similar to the “basic economy” vs “economy plus” strategy on airlines, is expected to be the future of hotel revenue management, according to 36 per cent of respondents.
87 per cent indicated they’d be more likely to book a hotel that charged just for the features they used.
54 per cent are willing to pay more to pick their view; 38 per cent to choose their room; 37 per cent to check in early/check-out late; 33 per cent to utilize the spa, wellness, or fitness facilities; 32 per cent to choose their room floor; and more.
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