The hotel sector is set to be transformed by changing demographics and travellers seeking bespoke experiences, according to the latest European Hotels Megatrends report from Savills.
The report highlights the need for the hotels sector to evolve further in order to meet the changing demand, with technology, social media and personalisation key factors to develop going forward.
Facial recognition software will be common across hotels targeting business travellers, speeding up check in, while hotel loyalty programmes will store increasing amounts of information on travellers’ preferences to ensure each visit is personalised.
While the average hotel bedroom may shrink to accommodate larger communal spaces, rooms will be personalised with guests being greeted by their favourite film on TV, their chosen lighting levels and their drink preference waiting in the mini bar, as the hotel industry competes with home-sharing platforms.
Hotels will polarise between online and offline. Most will offer superfast wifi, letting guests live-stream every moment of their stay, but others, unwilling or unable to compete, will be offline sanctuaries for travellers who have privacy concerns or wish to digital detox.
Ecotourism will be a way of life by 2030 and eco hotels will no longer be exceptional. Approximately 73% of millennials and Generation Z say they are prepared to pay more to travel sustainably, compared to 51% of baby boomers, so to attract them hotels will need to demonstrate they minimise their carbon footprint, generate their own energy, use fair trade products and support local communities, all without compromising on comfort.
Alice Marwick, European research analyst at Savills, adds: “Ecotourism will be mainstream by 2030 and therefore will be impossible to ignore: those hotels that fail to demonstrate their eco credentials when faced with competitors at a similar price point that do are set to lose out. Given continued growth in social media use, hotels may also need to decide which side of the digital divide they fall on: committing to either providing a fully-integrated digital experience or stepping away and offering a reflective, unplugged environment.”