Macro Global Trends Impacting the Hotel Industry

By Marc Glasser Managing Director, RM LLC | March 25, 2012

This article is “global” (intentional pun) in nature as we discuss macro global trends and significant associated information. There are numerous macro global trends, directly or indirectly, impacting the hotel industry. While most of the article content does not identify specific Macro Global Trends Impacting the Hotel Industry this in no way detracts from the critical importance of the identified global trends below. Please pay particular attention and emphasis to the identified global trends below. Their importance and management are enhanced by this article’s supplemental information. Before we identify global trends impacting the hotel industry it is important to emphasize there is a direct correlation between macro global trends impacting your company and company valuation. Value impact can be in terms of such quantifiable indicators as: company stock price and company value (including privately held corporations); market share and room rates. Additionally, harder factors “to quantify” include: company reputation and your customers’ feeling of safety and security. There are certainly a lot of details associated with global trends, company valuation, awareness and action. This article will concisely address some of the significant details. First we will discuss macro global trend awareness.

As a hotel executive you have a responsibility to your stakeholders to be aware of current macro global trends and “Black Swan” events (discussed below) impacting the hotel industry including your company. Further, you need to be aware of and be able to assess less significant global and local trends to determine the likelihood they may indeed progress to significant macro events impacting your hotel operations. It is important to note that “stakeholders” include equity shareholders, privately held/company owners, senior executives to include your company's Crisis Management Team as well as customers, employees, vendors, regulators and the media. This list is by no means all-encompassing. Additionally, in smaller companies senior management and staff often wear “multiple hats”. For example, in a smaller company the Crisis Management Team, whether officially designated or not, may consist solely of the CEO (or appropriately titled individual fulfilling the typical CEO responsibilities) and/or executives already having responsibilities for multiple business functions.

Crisis Management Teams, Global Trends and Company Value

Up to this point in this article, we have utilized the term “Crisis Management Team” a few times. Let's explain further. A company’s Crisis Management Team considers strategic and tactical responses to a significant crisis affecting the company and provides direction to, among others, c-suite, emergency management, business continuity, supply chain, security and public relations company personnel. A company’s Crisis Management Team’s (or those serving this role) response, or lack thereof, to a macro global trend or significant regional or local event can further have a “macro” impact on your hotel operations, positively or negatively. The response can range from comprehensive mitigation, response and recovery plans to”nonexistent” awareness and lack of preparedness. If your company is lacking the Crisis Management Team function, it may be because senior company management:

  • is unaware of potential or impacting macro trends;

  • is aware of the significant trends but is not adequately aware of likely ramifications affecting company hotel operations and bottom line; or

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Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.