HomeNewsThe Top Three Trends Transforming the Hotel Industry in 2022

The Top Three Trends Transforming the Hotel Industry in 2022

Hospitality management solutions company Cloudbeds recently released a new book entitled, More Reservations, Happier Guests: The Ultimate Guide for the Modern Hotelier, as part of the company’s growing initiative to make hospitality education and resources more accessible. The book features an analysis of the three interrelated trends that were fast-tracked by the pandemic and appear destined to transform the hotel industry well beyond the recovery.

Self-service is Transforming the Guest Experience

Traditionally, part of the appeal of hotels is a stress-free getaway with an abundance of staff on hand to perform tasks guests normally do for themselves at home, such as cooking meals, making the bed, handling luggage, etc.

Today, travellers are far more self-sufficient. Instead of waiting for employees to serve them, guests are performing tasks themselves, and hotels are encouraging this behaviour. According to a global survey from McKinsey & Company, 58% of all customer interactions globally are now digital, compared to 36% prior to the pandemic. For instance, Airbnb customers can use its mobile app to make a reservation, check-in, get assistance, check out, and pay their bill, all without ever seeing a host or employee.

Sonder, an operator of short-term rentals, calls its mobile-first service “the future of hospitality.” Self-service is about giving travellers greater control of their trip experiences. Today’s luxuries are speed and convenience.

Automation is Transforming the Employee Experience

While machine automation has been used in hotels for decades (for example elevators, dishwashers, and washing machines), only recently has computer automation become more pervasive. Whereas self-service is about guests helping themselves, this type of automation is about computers helping employees.

While the notion of humanoid robots serving guests generates a lot of media hype, the bulk of automation today involves more banal work: computers performing simple, repetitive tasks and automating data processing, workflows, and reporting.

Today, hotels have access to an array of tools with built-in automation, from accounting software to property management systems and revenue management systems. There are tools for managing operations, housekeeping and maintenance tasks, employee and guest communications, staff scheduling, payroll, customer relationship management, online reviews and surveys, and dozens of other processes. The end result? Operators of all types of accommodation can run their business more efficiently, strengthen guest satisfaction and loyalty, and increase revenue and profits. 

Hotel Staffing Models and Job Descriptions are Changing

Rather than lead to massive reductions in staffing, today’s automation tools are designed to ease pressure on staff. They augment their work, handling mundane tasks to free them up for more complex, high-value tasks like providing elevated guest service, problem-solving, analysis, planning, and strategy. Over time, however, the number of hotel jobs is likely to shrink.

Jobs involving simple, repetitive tasks and data processing are most vulnerable to being displaced. This includes reservations, front desk, guest services, and accounting. Jobs involving complex multitasking and physical labour such as housekeeping and food services are less vulnerable to automation but more vulnerable to the self-service trend. As the industry changes, it’s important to attract and retain employees who can grow and evolve in a more tech-enabled workplace, providing training and upskilling opportunities, competitive wages and benefits, flexibility with schedules, and remote work opportunities. 

Now available to download at Cloudbeds.com, the guide offers lodging owners and operators unique insights and strategies to increase reservations, streamline operations and create better guest experiences. 

To access a free copy of the book, visit cloudbeds.com/modern-hotelier-book.

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