2017 was a big year for the hospitality industry, which hosted its fair share of ups and downs.
Here is a quick look into some of the big industry news, themes, and learnings from the year that was…
Hotel brands, and Airbnb, began trying to sway how people perceive them; from a hotel with a room to an entire travel experience.
We saw this last year when Airbnb launched Trips. On the Airbnb app guests are now not only offered rooms, but are given options for experiences. Airbnb explained, “Now, you can access unique experiences, incredible homes, and local favorites — all from one app”.
The hospitality industry directed its attention towards vacation rentals, after they became the preferred way to stay. Vacation rentals proved to be especially popular with celebrities and other high profile travelers looking to find privacy and anonymity during their vacation.
Onefinestay CEO Javier Cedillo-Espin commented that the future of vacation rentals is “hyper personalization”.
This evolution is great news for B&B owners. Generally speaking, the small size of B&Bs means there is greater opportunity for hyper personalization, so hoteliers should aspire to fine tune staff customer service methods.
In 2016, customers browsing the web for accommodation would often come across consistent messages from hotels saying things like “Save money, book direct” and “Stop clicking around”.
China isn’t like other global markets, and has been very difficult for western companies to break into it.
In 2017, AirBnB rebranded itself in China, a plan which included renaming Airbnb to “Aibiying” (爱彼迎) – this translates to “Welcome each with love”. Airbnb also introduced a new product for trips in Shanghai that included a peer-led tours and activities.
B&Bs looking to profit from this demographic can increase their chances of attracting chinese travelers by staying active on TripAdvisor ( a commonly used resource), and listing rooms on Chinese OTAs such as Ctrip. It would be a mistake to neglect the OTA market in China.
Additionally, your website should offer Mandarin and Cantonese languages and have the technology to convert prices into Chinese currency.
Marriott and Hyatt announced a more strict cancellation policy, arguing it is better for hotel owners when managing inventory, as well as better for guests in the long run.
Hotels became more orientated around making sure they nurture guests’ health and wellness during their stay. Many hotels introduced wellness rooms and gym spaces. The Hilton even debuted a design that brings the gym into the guest’s room.
Health and wellness is a trillion dollar industry. Your B&B can tap into this resource by offering healthy options in your restaurant and a place for your guests to stay active. If you do not have these facilities you could actively promote resources in your area such as vegetarian cafes, bush walks, hikes, or pools.
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