As the Christmas and New Year period steams towards us, it’s time to cast an eye forward to 2020.
With the rise of technology and shifting consumer behaviours, the hospitality industry is set to experience another year of growth and changing tides. Expect unique customer expectations and advancements that mean your venue will need to meet the ebbs and flows of a new era.
Here are some of the major trends you can expect in 2020
Digital technologies will continue to evolve and shape our operations
There are four major technologies that are well-worth keeping your eye on next year, including:
- Internet of Things (IoT): This technology effectively uses sensors in physical objects to farm data and help improve and automate operations. The hospitality industry has been slow to adopt IoT technologies so far, but this is expected to boom in 2020 with location-based information for customers, predictive maintenance for machinery and smart resourcing. For example lights and HVAC systems that turn on and off depending on whether people are in the room.
- Artificial Intelligence: AI may still be science fiction for many, but it’s fast becoming scientific fact across a range of industries. Digital assistants have been rolled out across the internet to great success and are expected to play a larger role in hospitality, with customers getting a more personalised experience when booking and seeking information. Hooking up all of this data into a POS system will only further add to these advancements – it’s a win-win.
- Virtual Reality: We are not talking about high-end video games here. VR can give customers around the world a visual recreation of rooms and experiences, enhancing the likelihood of them investing in your services.
- Facial Recognition: While this technology is being implemented into security systems to identify threats, it can also be used to enhance the customer experience. Modern facial recognition technology can identify customers, their likes, their dislikes, their wants and their needs and enable you to deliver a personalised experience just for them.
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Consumers will seek more of an “experience” than a product or service
A trend that has been identified in hospitality for 2020 is the increased desire for customers to access memorable experiences at the places they visit. This means they’ll want more than just a room, a table or some food and drink – they want a memorable experience that they can document and share with those around them.
One of these ‘experiences’ that consumers crave is the local flavour. Tourists and travellers want to experience the culture around them, cuisines and ways of life and become immersed in the place they are visiting. Think of all of this as an opportunity to spread word-of-mouth.
Sustainability measures will become essential
The world is moving towards a more sustainable future and businesses that adopt these greener practices are fast becoming the preferred options for consumers.
As the hospitality industry has traditionally used large volumes of resources like electricity and water – as well as consumables like plastics and paper items – it is an industry firmly under the spotlight.
Simple measures like replacing plastic cutlery and straws with paper or recycled options, all the way up to employing recycled water options and renewable energy sources, will be viewed favourably.
And when it comes to food and drink, customers want to know where their meal has been sourced as part of their experience – so think hard about your set menu moving forward.