Boutique Hotel Future Trends 2013

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Increased Conversion and Consolidation: We'll see increased conversion and consolidation as less successful hotel businesses get scooped up or shut their doors. There will be a continued lack of financing for both early and late stage hotel businesses without a clear road to profitability. We expect an uber- cautious approach to first-time hotelier entrepreneurs with little track record on the back of continued economic uncertainty.

Disruptive game changers: The disruptive innovation, flash sale and peer to peer trend amongst tech service providers will continue to grow, but we expect to see a market correction happening that will make it harder for companies that aren't actually businesses to find the capital they'll need to grow. That said, we expect the importance of same day booking utility to grow as hoteliers embrace more user-friendly platforms on which to load rooms and display to the masses those that would otherwise stand empty

Social engagement: The major social platforms will continue to dominate guests' time spent online, but hotel brands will become more focused on creating campaigns that engage the consumer based on their interests and passions-as opposed to which social network they prefer. For an increasing number of hoteliers, fostering social behavior 'future platforms unknown' -not a large Facebook community-will equate success, enabling hoteliers to focus on the story they want to tell, rather than worrying about the constraints of current social media platforms.


Cost effective colour self-expression: In 2013 'self-expression' design trends will be most intensely played out around colour. Because colour is easily applied and relatively inexpensive, room transformation can be cost effectively 'painted on' and easily changed. Expect more in-your-face room shades and nuanced textures and designs that provide a transformation at a cost effective bottom line.

Healthy Hotels: What constitutes a true 'lifestyle hotel' will be redefined. We'll see an explosion of new 'health and happiness, wellness everywhere' hotel chains and environments becoming more mainstream. Fitness gyms and spas are mere amenities, and established hotel chains are re-branding around wellness and it's not just about fitness. Customized food and beverage offerings (gluten-free and vegan menus) are becoming standard fare, and hotels are jumping into the detox -themed vacation frenzy.

Super-stress and sensory explosion: As stress becomes recognised as a serious medical concern hoteliers will need to demonstrate efforts to help prevent it - see above. Hoteliers will look for more ways to engage the senses as they magnify the stimuli. Guests will come to expect ever more potent products and experiences.

Predictive personalisation: Guest data analysis becomes more measurable and cost efficient. Hoteliers are increasingly able to predict customer behaviours, needs or wants and tailor precise offers and communications pre, during and post visit with bullet-point cashflow efficiency through the preferred guest communication method.

Interactive mobile fingerprints: Smartphones will continue to take over the universe as technology is infused into them to become encyclopedias, keys, wallets,  light and temperature dial operators and more -. Soon, they'll morph into interactive fingerprints that constitute unique identity for guests providing a more seamless and enjoyable guest experience.

Inclusivity versus exclusivity: While many boutique hotels have brought design elements from the outside in, now they are focused on bringing people from the outside in. In an era when living publicly is becoming the default, hoteliers are coming up with creative ways to encourage active social spaces and guest engagement, both on and offline ( playing pool in the hotel lobby for instance). Finding the balance between designing for a niche audience and making the space accessible for a broader base of guests that aspire to be similar to the niche will drive incremental guest and non-guest revenue whilst contributing to the community landscape and creating memorable social experiences. Rather than rejecting today's ubiquitous social media and sharing tools outright, the best hoteliers will reap the benefits of maintaining a vibrant off and online personality while gradually defining and managing a new notion of privacy for the 21st century.

BRIC building: Many countries are seeing a boom in tourism from Brazil, Russia, India and China's 1.3 billion population alone. How OTA's and hoteliers reach out to these travelling guests, with an adaptive offering to ensure a pleasurable guest experience will play an increasingly important part in the new economy. Basic website language translations and culturally experienced 'mother tongue' staff are a pre-requisite. How can my boutique hotel capitalise on this affluent demographic should be a question on every owners lips.

These topics and more will be discussed at the International Boutique Hotel Summit, May 22-23, London and the educational networking events hosted through the year.

Limited Delegate places are now available for the next panel session based on 'Appealing to the Chinese guest' taking place February 4th 2013 at The Bermondsey Square Hotel, London.

 

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