Keeping up with the latest travel and hospitality trends is important, not only to improve the guest experience, but to improve your internal business processes too. See what trends you can start preparing for now so that the new year continues on a successful note for everyone involved.
1. Fast Wi-Fi is non-negotiable
Many of you will agree: guests’ appetite for high-speed internet is hard to satisfy. And while it might add to the costs of running your property, it’s such a deal-breaker that it’s worth the investment now. Make it free too. And accessible from all the places your guests like to hang out. (Except of course, when you market your property as a get-away-from-it-all, off-the-grid retreat, when you might exclude public areas.)
2. Strong visual content is gold
We can’t say it enough – a good-looking, mobile-friendly website, with excellent photos and useful content is essential in creating high ratings on online sites and securing bookings. And there’s nothing like lots of Instagram postings for effective (and free) advertising. Some guesthouses and lodges are creating Instagrammable scenes around their property to encourage photos and sharing which makes sense when research shows that many under 35s prioritise “Instagrammability” when choosing their next holiday spot. If you’re not already on Instagram, find out how to get started here.
3. The mobile experience must be seamless
Make sure your web site looks great and works well on mobile phones. A growing number of bookings occur literally from the airport to the guest house, via mobile websites and apps. If your mobile booking process is not user-friendly on an iPhone, Android or tablet, or if it’s too slow, you will lose customers. Find out more here.
4. Cloud-based management software is taking off
Technology is everywhere, and it’s not going away, so make 2019 the year to embrace it. With cloud-based management software – in other words, it’s web-based – you can access your booking software from any device that connects to the internet, wherever you are. You can be far more efficient with it, and save time and money. NightsBridge’s front-desk booking system is fully cloud-based and there are lots of benefits. Get in touch with us if you would like to know more.
5. Guests are seeking out hyper-local experiences
Everyone has “been there, done that” with the major attractions and sightseeing destinations; people want to do “what the locals do and go where they go”. And there’s a big focus on restaurant variety, food quality and diversity, foodie events and fresh organic produce from on-site gardens and greenhouses. If you can tap into this trend, either on your property, or in your town, promote it in your marketing activities.
6. Your green credentials count
The focus on sustainable living and providing future generations with a greener place to live is becoming more and more popular as time goes on. If you have solar power and recycled water options in use as a business, or if you grow your own vegetables, mention it – for some guests that’s a real drawcard.
7. Human interaction still wins
Despite all the talk about tech and that new digital tools and services can genuinely enhance the guest experience, remember that nothing can replace kind, thoughtful human interaction.
Read more industry insights here.
Photos by Steve Daniel and Markus Spiske on Unsplash