As we enter 2016, the hospitality industry is on the precipice of a new era in travel and lodging. This era will dismiss some of the tried and true methodologies hotels used to appeal to their guests.

How so?

Let’s take a look at food and beverage services. In a blog post for Travel Market Report, Harvey Chipkin discussed some of the old and new rules of food and beverage.

Where hotels used to be restaurant-centric to provide guests with the experience they desired, today’s hotel must be bar-centric as that reflects the current traveler who is looking to connect and network in a more socially-charged environment.

Additionally, restaurants and bars that offer food are expanding their menus and providing buffet options to reflect changing dietary needs.

Speaking of the current traveler, many of the hospitality trends for 2016 are being driven by Millennials.

Along with the affluent, Millennials make up the largest percentage of travelers who are willing to pay for experience.

Many Millennials rank experience above goods in how they spend their money and want a unique experience that meets their expectations and values.

As Millennials are expected to make up 50% of all travelers by 2025, hotels across the country are doing more to appeal to them now, so they remain life-long customers.

What Should We Expect to See in 2016 in the Hospitality Industry?

Hotels will make a major investment in technology: Remember the days when you had to check-in by standing in a line at the lobby and the only way you could complain about a bad experience was at a dinner party with friends and family?

This is certainly not the case anymore. Millennials are driving a heavy investment by hotels in technology-based solutions like power check-in, and mobile payment processing.

Things like free WiFi are not an option; they are a requirement.

Many travelers will bring a few devices, so they remain connected to their jobs and social structure on the go.

A blog post published by Occidental Hotels and Resorts gives a strong argument for why hotels must offer free WiFi to their guests to remain relevant.

Additionally, Millennials are more likely to use apps and sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp to find places to visit.

They will, of course, provide a review on these sites after their stay too.

Hotels will get greener: Another consideration Millennials will make in their decision to choose lodging is whether or not the hotel practices eco-friendly, sustainable efforts.

When deciding between one hotel over another, the deciding factor may be if the hotel fits a variety of specifications.

These include: eco-building certifications, sustainability programs for energy, water, and other utilities, and efficient waste management techniques.

Travelers want to bring business to proprietors that reflect their own value systems.

Hotels will get healthier: In the past decade, one trend that has emerged is the rise of wellness vacations.

Dealing with the stresses of everyday life, some travelers are taking vacations to get away from their poor lifestyle choices.

Wellness vacations may include fitness programs, detox menu, mediation sessions, and cooking classes.

Hotels and resorts are now offering more of these options to facilitate their guests’ desire to get healthy.

Vacations are no longer a time to binge on unhealthy foods and activities; instead they are becoming a way to recharge the batteries and upgrade their routines.

 

Author Bio: Darryl Lewis is a digital marketing and a fine/performing arts enthusiast.

His concern about social and environmental issues is unwavering, always seeking opportunities to create a positive impact on the people in his community and the world.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing from Stockton University.