Hotel Industry Trends to Watch 2024
Past Trends Trending Up
While the hotel industry continues to evolve, many past trends have become standard operating procedure. Sustainability, eco-friendly efforts, techno-savvy business practices, and personalization are no longer trendy, they’re expected. Health and wellness travel continues to grow and travelers still plan to mix business with leisure.
From the integration of Artificial Intelligence to Adventure Tourism to vegan and plant-based menu options, here are some trends to continue to watch in 2024.
Travelers expect to see hotels employing substantial eco-friendly initiatives and many base their choice of where to stay on this. They want to see energy conservation as part of hotel operations including energy-efficient light bulbs, smart devices to automate lighting, and reduction of water consumption including low flush toilets and towel and sheet reuse.
A growing number of travelers are more loyal to hotels with renewable energy practices such as solar panels, recycling plans, and locally sourced menus.
Transparent efforts by hotels to reduce their carbon footprint highlight their social responsibility which is a key differentiator for many guests.
Technology will continue to play a major role in the hotel industry. Most guests are now accustomed to contactless check in, digital concierges, and using their smartphones for everything from ordering room service to temperature and lighting control in their rooms. Hotels are investing in self-service kiosks, chatbots, and AI.
Artificial Intelligence will continue to optimize hotel operations and enhance efficiency in the hospitality industry. The ability of AI to ease the burden of back-office administrative tasks will free up hotel staff for more face-to-face interactions that improve the guest experience. AI will improve predictive customer preferences and data management and accuracy.
AI will enhance hotel revenue management with predictive modeling, and help hotels target and customize content for a more personalized guest experience.
Guests also expect more personalization and purposeful experiences tailored to their personal preferences. The new generation of hotel brands is doing away with cookie-cutter properties and incorporating local character in alternative accommodations with a more authentic feel.
AI-powered chatbots will be utilized as digital customer service agents that can answer questions, process reservations, and payments, personalize travel itineraries, and communicate in multiple languages, and they’re available 24/7.
Personalization is a powerful factor in creating brand loyalty.
Wellness travel continues to grow as travelers seek more spa, health and fitness services. This includes yoga, pilates, and nutrition classes as well as healthy, locally sourced and vegetarian, and plant-based menus. And some people just need a good night’s rest, so don’t forget comfortable beds and linens.
Gen Z, Millennials, and active Baby Boomers seek experiential travel, and the demand for adventure continues to grow. This includes day hiking, climbing, ziplining, biking, rafting, hunting, fishing, and any immersion into nature. Hotels offering access to these experiences will benefit from this growing trend in 2024.
With inflation still influx, the global economy uncertain, and some remaining labor shortages, forecasting demand and planning operations will continue to challenge hotels. While demand for hotel rooms remains strong, hotels will need to find a healthy balance with their pricing to grow profits while still appealing to the large number of deal-seekers.