Hotels 2020: Responding to Tomorrow’s Customer and the Evolution of Technology
By Rohit Talwar CEO, Fast Future Research | August 14, 2011
Hotels 2020: Beyond Segmentation
The future of travel and tourism is being driven by a complex set of converging forces which are forcing the industry to think about how they might reshape the experience. As hoteliers respond to increasing economic turbulence and start developing strategies for the next decade, it is critically important to scan ahead, understand these key external drivers of change and identify the emerging opportunities that could shape the strategic agenda for the sector. The Hotels 2020: Beyond Segmentation study set out to explore these ‘future factors’ and explore the implications for hotel strategy, brand portfolio, business models, customer targeting and innovation. The study placed particular emphasis on the impact of increasing personalization, emerging technologies and a changing economic outlook.
We used a range of primary and secondary research techniques to identify key drivers of change, emerging opportunities and evolving guest and traveler expectations. We also scanned widely for examples of how the hotel sector in particular was already innovating, for ideas on what future innovations might look like and for technology developments that could impact the industry. We used these to suggest a range of future scenarios covering how guest behavior might change, what the implications might be for the services, facilities and technologies hotels would require and how hotel groups might evolve their strategies, business models and market positioning. We then tested guest and industry responses to these scenarios in a global survey with just over 600 respondents.
Drivers of Future Traveler Behaviour
The role of travel in our lives is changing. In a survey conducted as part of the study, 83% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that ‘People will view travel as a right rather than a luxury and consider it an increasingly important part of their lives’. As individuals, we are facing increasing pressure on our available leisure time, which is driving the desire for unique and personalized experiences. We are also not completely logical and consistent in our behaviours. On the one hand we want constant connectivity, yet on the other we are looking for stories to tell our friends about the remote new ‘unspoilt’ destinations we’ve discovered!
Concerns over environmental impacts of tourism, and greenhouse gas emissions from transport in particular, are encouraging travelers to think more carefully about their ecological footprint. In the study 82% agreed that ‘Environmental considerations will play an increasing role in the choice of business and leisure hotels’. For tourism destinations, environmental factors are forcing a rethink of how many tourists to allow in, what to charge and who to target. Political upheavals and security concerns are also leading some travelers to rethink the desirability of visiting certain locations. Finally, innovation is reshaping the travel experience by - for example - enabling shorter flying times.
The Hotel Business Review articles are free to read on a weekly basis, but you must purchase a subscription to access
our library archives. We have more than 5000 best practice articles on hotel management and operations, so our
knowledge bank is an excellent investment! Subscribe today and access the articles in our archives.