Your Guests' Booking Habits are Changing, Yours Must Change Too
By Ravneet Bhandari Chief Executive Officer, LodgIQ | August 13, 2017
The only consistent aspect in the way people plan travel is that it's constantly changing. Each decade brings new ways for customers to connect with the hospitality experience because of both changes in technology and customer behavior.
Think about it this way, the industry has come a long way since a sign out front touting air conditioning and color TV were enough to attract a customer; that is, if they could find you. It wasn't all that long ago when finding a hotel meant pulling off the road because you saw a sign, or by researching a potential stay by utilizing thick books published each year by Mobile or AAA.
There were also the big annual printed guides from each hotel brand, which eventually morphed into the first hotel internet sites. Of course these sites were essentially electronic brochures and not bookable, but eventually, online booking came into play. At that point, we entered a decade of where travelers spent long hours in front of a desktop computer monitor researching available hotels. Now of course, everything has changed yet again, and it's pushing hoteliers to rethink how they attract guests.
The simple answer is that smartphones are changing everything. But it's much more than that. To better understand where are now, we must better understand how people's desires and interests have changed in the last decade.
Prior to the Great Recession, culture and society focused more intently on collecting things. In fact, the consumption of things was such a part of mainstream American consumerism culture at the time, even then-President George W. Bush included a line about materialism in a 2006 speech. "And I encourage you all to go shopping more," said Bush. The idea was that by spending money, we could keep the economy going strong.