The new Hotels 2020 report by Amadeus and Fast Future Research offers the following insights about the characteristics, nature and capabilities of the successful global hotel brand of the future.
1. An organization capable of surviving and thriving in turbulence and uncertainty. The path of the economy and hotel market over the next 10 years is uncertain. We have to prepare for a range of possible future scenarios. This implies development of leaders, managers and staff who are curious, tolerant of uncertainty, capable of scenario thinking and willing to make decisions with imperfect information.
2. A portfolio of strategies for an evolving marketplace. In response to differing rates of growth and development, hotel groups will increasingly adopt a portfolio approach to strategy with a range of different goals and approaches being pursued in parallel within different geographies and market tiers. An increased use of co-branding with well known consumer businesses is expected, along with the emergence of unbranded hotel groups providing ‘white label’ services to hotel owners.
3. Deep understanding of an increasingly geographically, financially,
generationally and attitudinally diverse and rapidly evolving customer base. There is a clear expectation of a growth in tourism from the emerging markets, although it’s by no means clear how profitable that business will be. At the same time the fallout from the financial crisis could see an even broader spectrum of customers and diverse needs from established markets. Traditional segmentation models will no longer suffice as we try to capture the needs and nature of tomorrow’s traveler.
4. Delivering a personalized experience through a wide spectrum of service choice. Customers will increasingly demand choice over every aspect of their hotel stay – encompassing check-in and departure, service levels, the size of the room, decor, the furniture in it, the audiovisual facilities, amenities and food and beverage options.
5. Immersive, tactile and multidimensional technology interfaces. Generation Y and those that follow them are coming into the hotel as both guests and employees with a very different relationship to the technology they use. For them the boundaries between the physical and virtual world have blurred and the range of ways in which they’ll interact with their data will be far more visible and tactile than anything we’ve experienced to date.
6. Open, listening, collaborative and experimental approach to innovation. Hotels will increasingly adopt best practices from other parts of the business world and start to integrate the customer and other business partners into their innovation processes by using techniques such as open innovation and crowd-sourcing.
7. Continuous search for ancillary revenue streams. A range of approaches will be considered to increase revenue generation including discount offers to capture a share of pre- and post-trip travel spend, introduction to the hotel’s own branded goods catalogue and extension of the range of business services provided.
8. Connected, adaptive and predictive. Tomorrow’s hotel will be far more embedded in the Internet, playing an active role in social media and using it to highlight the changes on the horizon. Internally, a greater emphasis will be placed on flexibility to respond rapidly to a changing environment. New advanced analytical techniques and software tools will be adopted to help anticipate future patterns of demand.
9. Asset light, insight rich. With a focus on becoming lean, flexible and responsive, hotel groups will continue to shed their fixed assets and develop innovative financing models for hotel investors. Analysts will increasingly start to value groups on the depth and quality of their market insight and their understanding of emerging drivers of change.
10. Continuous evolution – the hotel as a living laboratory. Hotel groups will increasingly view themselves as being in a constant state of experimentation – with the individual properties acting as living laboratories for the development and testing of new ideas. Every customer interaction could be viewed as a potential source of feedback, new ideas and competitor insight.