Asset management strategy
The asset-light approach has become prevalent in the industry. The separation between the management of operations and real-estate assets now allows hospitality companies to focus on their core business, thus improving efficiencies.
It however induces additional complexity and potential agency problems, explaining the emergence of new types of jobs, such as asset managers. In addition, new job profiles have emerged following the increasing complexity of the hospitality industry. In parallel, the need for quantitative competencies (for forecasting, budgeting, etc.) has also increased.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Chatbots have proven to be a customer service asset both during the booking process and in responding to recurring questions. This is especially important in an industry such as hospitaliy which is expected to be on 24/7.
ChatGPT, a chatbot that uses the GPT-3 language model developed by OpenAI, is adept at imitating human conversational versatility when delivering answers. Think of it as a new smarter iteration of a search engine, one that will do away with the endless blue links which require the user to open up multiple tabs and sift through the information to find the answer, but rather, interpret the users wants and needs and bring back a succinct response that draws on all of the information on the web. This could be a search query for a user looking for travel recommendations, for example.
Whether it is specifically ChatGPT or another AI-powered chatbot, it’s inevitable that advanced AI will soon be deployed into customer-facing entities like travel and hotel search. So 2023 is the time to get ahead start on this trend which will surely feature heavily in the hospitality industry of the future.
A hospitality trend that is both current and a hallmark of recent years: “sustainability” once again assumes its position, with a focus on renewable energy. In recent years hospitality outlets have been making small steps by prioritising the removal of disposable plastics, eliminating unnecessary paper consumption thanks to opt-in receipts and reducing food waste, however more far-reaching ethical and environmental considerations are shaping decisions made at the hospitality management level and within the construction stage.
Technology is beginning to play a role in this by enabling hotels to track and reduce their energy and water usage. This article explains how iconic London hotel Claridges installed a ventilation and extraction system in its kitchens that reduced energy costs by 30%. The intelligent system, supplied by Quintex, moderates its output or switches off depending on the conditions in the kitchen and saved the hotel £10,000 ($13,200) a year with a payback on the initial investment after 1.8 years.
EnergyLink defines the 5 renewable energy sources suitable for hotels: solar, wind, combined heating and power, geothermal and bio fuels. The problem is that it takes considerable funding and often space to implement many of these solutions. However, hospitality businesses are realising that not only is it the right thing to do environmentally but with the volatile energy market we are currently experiencing, there is cost saving insentive too. So 2023 is set to be year of the innovative renewable energy source.
Today’s guests have grown to expect to be recognized and treated as individuals, one study revealed that 71% of buyers expect personlized interactions. The problem for most businesses is that they’re still personalizing at segment level and customer expectation has moved far beyond that in 2023, towards hyper-personlization.
Hospitality businesses can implement hyper-personalization by using technological platforms such as CRM and CEM which use big data to create highly customized one-to-one interactions between the guest and the host at scale. Hotel, Travel providers and Restaurants are able to draw on data to utilise insights into customers past browsing or buying habits, enabling hotels to tailor their offers and promotions, and automatically provide services the individual is searching for.
Hotel operations more generally are increasingly shaped by the use of management systems to monitor and optimize revenues, customer relationships, property, channels and reputation. Not to mention the rising importance of integrated messaging, predictive analytics, customer profiling and middleware, which seeks to connect any disparate systems. Even if you’re establishment has some technical limitations, the front of house team can go the extra mile to personally greet guests in the offline world.
Virtual & augmented reality (VR & AR)
Following on from the orientation towards visually appealing content, it seems only natural that businesses in the hospitality industry should seek to capitalize on features such as virtual tours, conjuring up a digital environment for consumers to picture themselves in.
Videos providing 360-degree views of restaurant ambiance, café terraces enveloped in greenery or hotel beachfront locations, for instance, are just the ticket to make an establishment stand out this year. As ever, keeping the access threshold low is key to reaching as broad an audience as possible with virtual reality material: making content accessible on a variety of devices, without the need for a VR headset.
Once on site, guests should be able to whip out their trusty sidekick – their smartphone – and simply point it at real-world artefacts to summon up additional information. Augmented reality uses graphical or informational overlays to enhance in-situ environments. Once they have downloaded the respective app, guests can use this tool to access restaurant opening times, reviews or interactive tourist information maps or even create user-generated content.