Hotel and hospitality trends that will shape the travel industry in 2018

Every year, new travel trends influence the way people plan their trips. Learn how vacation rentals, domestic travel and hotel technology will shape the hotel and hospitality industry in 2018.

The travel landscape is constantly changing. Each year, new travel trends and hotel technology influence how people will plan, book and experience destinations and hotel accommodation. To help you navigate 2018’s biggest travel trends, we’ve put them in a downloadable ebook along with suggestions on how your business can capitalise: from hotel marketing and pricing strategies that boost your occupancy rate, to mobile check in apps and message services that enhance the guest experience.

The world of travel is evolving all the time. The biggest challenge for everyone in the travel and hospitality industry is to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to these changes so that we can optimise our businesses for future success.

How are travellers planning their trips? What do they expect from their accommodation? What technology can we use to meet those needs?

These are the questions we’ve been asking while putting together our report on this year’s most likely trends, which draws on insights from 129 million guest reviews and 19,000 research respondents across 26 countries.

Below, we look at some of the key trends that will influence the travel and hospitality industry in 2018.

1. People Will Travel Even More

With the global economy on the up and the omnipresence of social media influencing millennials to go and explore the world, travel is really going to boom this year. In fact, 47% of travellers plan to take more trips in 2018 than in 2017.

For most travellers, their trip starts with some online research. They’ll be browsing the internet for inspiration on things to do and places to stay in their chosen destination. If that destination is where your property is located, you’ll want to appear among their search results.

The foundation of any hotel marketing strategy should be to establish a credible online presence, and the simplest way to do that is with a hotel website. These days, you don’t even need any technical know-how to set one up, and they come with loads of ready-made design templates to choose from.

You can even customise your website with special content, such as a hotel blog that highlights attractions in your area or region. You could add also add an online calendar of local events that might interest your guests. Small things like these immediately position you as a local expert, building customers’ trust and generating direct hotel reservations on your website.

Then, you need to think about pricing strategies – have you got one? With the help of a rate shopping tool, it’s easy to decide on your hotel prices, both short term and long term. Such tools analyse all the key data – your competition, market demand and local events – and suggest regular changes to your hotel room rates in order to increase your occupancy rate.

2. Vacation Rentals Are On The Rise

In 2018, one in three travellers will choose an apartment or holiday home over a hotel. With so many travellers opting for vacation rentals, it’s vital that your property captures that home-away-from-home vibe while also offering a professional service. By adopting some hotel technology, you can offer the best of both worlds.

The modern traveller chooses a vacation rental because they want to stay somewhere that feels like ‘theirs’ – an extension of their regular life rather than something that involves a business interaction. They also prefer, and expect, to arrange practicalities through their smartphones instead of face-to-face interaction – 30% of vacation rental guests want a host that’s helpful without being overbearing.

You can meet these needs, and avoid becoming that dreaded fussy host or owner, by using a mobile check in app that lets your guests check in on the go. Or, you can take it a step further and try going keyless – there are now apps that allow guests to open doors using only their mobile.

Technology also gives you the possibility of providing an even more personalised guest experience. For instance, message services offer a quick and efficient way to share check-in information, house rules and local tips with your guests – often overcoming language barriers thanks to translation features.

These kinds of options can save time and provide reassurance during the stay, both for you and guests – especially if you don’t live close by.

3. The ‘Staycation’ Is Here To Stay

No longer does ‘getting away’ automatically mean ‘going abroad’. In 2018, one in three travellers plan to take a holiday closer to home: 46% like the cost savings it brings, while another 46% think there are great domestic destinations to discover.

Whether it’s down to personal budgets, environmental idealism or promotional pushes by local tourist boards, domestic travel is only growing.

Either way, you should prepare for more bookings from different channels. If you’re looking to capitalise on this demand and truly grow your business, you’ll need to make sure that your information is always up to date across your various distribution channels.

You might want to consider using a channel manager alongside your reservation system. A channel manager is an essential piece of hotel management software that links your PMS system with the various channels you sell your property through. By doing so, it makes it much easier for you to manage your hotel reservations and update your availability in one go – reducing the risk of overbookings.

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