“What’s trending?” doesn’t just apply to social media, it’s a question that curious independent hotel operators should ask about the latest happenings within the hospitality industry. Keeping up with the news can be challenging while running an independent hotel, so we’ve summed up a few of the latest industry trends that hoteliers should keep an eye on.
Food has always been a key part of the travel experience, but now it’s considered “the leading hook in travel.” Instead of figuring out where to eat after arriving, travelers are planning their visits around the local selection of delicious eats. With TV shows, celebrity chefs, bloggers and tourism agencies showcasing where to find incredible cuisine around the globe, more travelers are now exploring to satisfy their appetites, as well as their wanderlust.
For many travelers, wellness is more than simply working out and eating healthy when it fits into their schedule – it’s how they live their daily lives. To accommodate the growing number of wellness-minded travelers, hotel brands are molding their operations to fit their needs. From placing fitness equipment in guest rooms and updating food and beverage menus to partnering with trainers and wellness coaches and adding health-focused services, hotels are positioning themselves to capture business from travelers who want to seamlessly maintain their wellness routines while away from home.
Direct vs. OTA bookings
As we touched upon last month, the booking battle between hotels and OTAs is heating up. Although hotels and OTAs continue to operate in concert, they’re also working to convince consumers to “pick a side” when it comes to booking rooms directly versus through an OTA. The large hotel chains will grab the headlines as this story unfolds, but independent hotels will also feel the impact of shifting consumer behaviors. While it’s too early to tell exactly how travelers will react, it’s probably wise for independents to start assessing their online booking strategies to ensure they’re well-prepared for the future.