Consumer technology to shape hotel spa market in 2012
Sustainability, ecommerce and mobile apps will be some of the biggest drivers of change in the hotel spa market this year. The international marketplace will evolve to accommodate changing consumer attitudes and access to technology, according to annual trends report The Hotel Yearbook. The report identifies eight trends that are set to become increasingly important issues for the hotel industry. The insight has come from ideas and information exchanged within the hospitality industry by the Cornell Centre for Hospitality Research in the US. The trends include: 1. The expanded role of travel intermediaries and portals - the industry has seen a growth of intermediary sites such as Expedia and Travelocity. Google has also added a new dimension where users can book directly through the search results page. 2. Mobile apps and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips - the big electronic development for hotel distribution is mobile devices, allowing guests to use their smart phones to book a room, check in, open their room door and settle their bill. 3. Brand management and customer relationship building - the hotel brand will become more important than ever to build customer loyalty. 4. Daily deal sites - the rise of daily deal sites, such as Groupon has melded social media with customers' desire to get a deal and is set to continue as other sites follow this trend. 5. Sustainability goes mainstream - customers' demand for sustainable hotel operation has taken root and expanded, as demonstrated by a push for consistent reporting standards and industry best practices. 6. Blending of hospitality and health care - the core principles of hospitality management apply to health care just as they do hotels as demonstrated by two major hospitals in the US that have managers who were formerly with Ritz-Carlton Company. 7. Next generation globalisation - hotel brands from developing nations are expanding in developed nations. 8. Economic uncertainty - economic and political turbulence is set to continue.