The hospitality industry is hardly just a bed-and-breakfast stay. Today, it’s a promise of an entire experience to remember.
From resorts in theme parks to hotels on private islands, every detail of a hotel is catered to the joy of holiday-goers worldwide. In 2018, 3.7 million tourists boarded Philippine-bound flights in just the first six months alone, despite the temporary closure of Boracay. According to The World Travel and Tourism Council, the entire industry contributes 10.4 percent to the global GDP—that’s trillions of US dollars circling the global economy thanks to vacation leaves and long holidays.
But for the hospitality industry to keep up with its economic growth, it will require innovation to stay ahead of the curve. Here are the top hospitality trends to look out for in 2019:
The spread of sustainable practices have reached the hotel industry as many hotels are hitting two birds with one stone: appealing to an increasingly eco-conscious market while lessening environmental impact. Energy-saving technology, from lamps to cleaning products, is popping up in hotels around Europe and Asia, and beach resorts are avoiding plastic as much as possible to reduce the amount of plastic trash that makes its way to the ocean.
Alexa and Siri may soon take over hotel rooms as Entrepreneur predicts that smart rooms are coming in 2019. With smart technology dominating everything from phones to watches, it shouldn’t be a surprise that digitized amenities will come in the form of motorized curtains and automatic lighting to room voice assistants and hotel tablets.
With the contemporary lifestyle growing faster by the minute, travelers are seeking frequent breaks from their hectic schedules with more, if shorter, vacations. Dubbed “serial short breakers,” this market will be seeking out opportunities for city walks, staycations, and long weekends to recharge from work and school.
For large groups of travelers, Airbnb has been a saving grace that offers comfort at an affordable price. While its presence disrupted the status quo in a once hotel-dominated industry, vacation rentals are not going anywhere as the global vacation rental market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.89 percent from 2018 to 2022. Aside from Airbnb, HomeAway (which also owns VRBO and VacationRentals.com) is also in the Philippine market, offering entire houses and lots for rent as opposed to the condo-dominated Airbnb.
The hospitality industry is proving that health is wealth with a growing investment and focus on guest wellness. Holistic spas, yoga retreats, fitness resorts, and immersion getaways are on the rise as the Global Wellness Institute states that wellness tourism is growing twice as fast as regular tourism with an average annual growth rate of 31.1 percent from 2015 to 2017 in the Philippines alone.
If anything, these hospitality trends aren’t just directed to the experience of the traveler but the wellness of the planet—a trend that all industries should adopt this 2019.