Before we look into the top major hospitality trends, predictions and forecasts for 2013, we must understand the current market trends and the given future economic developments. Most economies in the west (including the USA, and European Union) will continue to see a worsening in their monetary and fiscal turbulence, with many countries falling back into recession, unemployment figures continuing to explode and major government intervention contributing to the fall.
In no particular order, the hospitality industry in 2013 is guaranteed to be in for the following 5 major trends:
1. Brutal shift and redistribution of consumer spending
As the majority of consumers have less and less to spend, fast food restaurants, on-the-go cafes, budget hotels and in particular hostels (as well as bed & breakfast and guest houses accommodations) will see a huge boost to their income – given that consumer will spend less, but reluctantly give up their vacation, eating, drinking, or leisure spending. Also in on the boost will be the top-tier luxury hotels, exclusive nightclubs, distinguished restaurants and premium casinos – given the rise in concentration of wealth. All those hospitality businesses in the middle that do not reposition their businesses will likely be in for a nasty surprise – (FAIL).
2. The age of the “eat or get eaten”
As certain hospitality players begin to crumble, others will begin an acquisition spree, resulting in major acquisition deals, mergers and takeovers, especially in the middle market. Cash-rich hotel chains will acquire, merge and take over on a global scale, while quality bars, cafes and restaurants will take a leap and risk a secondary venture. Tour operators, travel companies and leisure businesses will likely also engage in new ventures, acquisitions and developments.
3. Consumption goes tech
Social media and mobile (with over 1 billion smart phones globally) will become a game changer in consumer habits, as more and more dominance and competition emerges in the online and technology world. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, Pinterest, Google+, iPhone apps or new startups such as Peek, MrArlo, or new mobile apps, the social media and technology landscape will set the path for consumption. Bars, restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, casinos and other hospitality business that jump on the bandwagon at the right time will profit immensely, those lagging behind will be crushed or simply expire.
4. The revamped hospitality job market and education
The hospitality industry will experience quantum shifts both economically as well as structurally, leading to thousands if not hundreds of thousands out of a job and countless new hospitality-related university and college graduates with a bleak future in sight. The good news is that new arrivals with an edge (i.e. jobseekers with something additional to offer – not just the standard education and mainstream skills and experiences) and institutions offering an education with that “extra something” will take a leap in recruitment terms and graduate employment ratios, given that all major hospitality players will think twice about hiring, and only give it a go if the candidate has something unique to offer.
5. The fall of the snobby and rise of the realistic experts
While there are still a long queue of travel, hospitality and leisure (THL) experts “tooting their horns” – promising growth, recovery and rebound, many new faces will emerge that will not hesitate to unveil the truth and realistic picture about the dark clouds on the horizon. Aligned with the truth about the doom and gloom will come professional, sound and realistic advice as well as humble expectation and founded hope regarding the future. This will come in terms of genuine sustainability (and with this we mean real-all-round-encompassing sustainability not just a bit of recycling or corporate-social-responsibility) that will align with the undeniable fact engulfing the globe – 5 billion in poverty, wars and more wars, exploding pollution and contamination and an ever increasing unemployment rate.