Let’s go back just twenty years. It’s not a long time. It’s merely two decades, but the craziest thing about it is that the world has become a completely different place since 1998. In absolutely every aspect, we have changed. We've noticed lots of hospitality industry changes.
The way we communicate, sure, but so has the way we shop, the way we study, the way we commute to and from work, the environments in which we work. The way we watch films, the amount of time we spend staring at a screen. Technology and the rapid pace at which it has advanced has changed absolutely everything.
Hospitality industry changes
The greatest thing about it though is the way we have adjusted to it. Even people from previous generations have had to adapt to the modern age. We are an adaptive species and it shows, more so today than it has in history. We could go on dissecting our hurried embrace into the great unknown, but let’s focus on a single industry. An industry in which we are involved in, the hospitality industry.
The past 20 years:
Many aspects have changed in this ever-evolving industry due to innovative technology and the behaviour patterns of consumers. The results have been of a positive nature:
- The enhancement of products
- Expansion opportunities
- The attraction of a much wider spectrum of guests
It has also had somewhat of a negative effect, but none that the industry couldn’t overcome:
- The internet and equal access has created increased competition
- This affects prices, rent, running costs etc.
- Increased outlay for online advertising/digital marketing
Guest/consumer behaviour & expectations:
In the modern day, the way restaurants or hotels deal with their clients’ expectations have a crucial effect on their overall success and profitability. This is down to the fact that consumers want to develop a long-standing relationship with the places they dine at or visit. They base their experience on past visits or with other establishments.
There is also a major influence from online reviews. We won’t mention any names, but think about how often we as consumers search for something online. If we’re going out for dinner or booking into a hotel, nowadays the first thing we do is search for the establishment online. Negative reviews can have a serious backlash and detrimental effect on a business, and there have been instances where places have had to shut down because of it.
Mobile devices have become a crucial part of the consumers’ journey. Be it in hotels, or in restaurants and bars. What does this mean?
- Absolute transparency (people take photographs of everything these days. This means that establishments need to be more on top of things than ever before i.e. hygiene, décor, quality of drinks &food.)
- Travel research, booking into hotels, ordering transport services, all of this is now done from the palm of our hands.
- Cloud services have eliminated the need for onsite IT professionals at hotels. Maintenance is done remotely.
- Social Media; as mentioned above, clients literally document their entire stay/visit and share it on their platforms, be it Facebook or Instagram, everything about the venue is available online for everyone to see.
- Check-ins online. This has been a positive movement for hotels and restaurants because of exposure – it’s also a fantastic way to engage with your clientele and essentially create and maintain a loyal customer base.
Accommodation listings sites like UK hotel listings or Bed & Breakfast UK have affected the overall profits of establishments in a negative and positive way. Agencies like these take a commission when someone is referred to an establishment via the listings site. These commissions are ever increasing because of competition. On the other hand, though, it gives establishments more exposure and a greater chance of gaining clients.
This is the way the world is evolving and from an overall perspective, the hospitality has embraced it well.