The hospitality industry is in constant evolution. As the world becomes more connected and interdependent, events, trends and changes generate ever more impact. With a historic 2015 behind us, we can be sure of some major mega trends in 2016. We look at the top 5 major hospitality industry trends to look out for in 2016:
1. The Rise of the Millennials
A completely new consumer will dominate the future of the hospitality industry. As baby boomers start turning 70, the millennials (those aged 20-36 years of age) will begin to become the dominant consumer group; from hotels to flights and restaurants to cruise ships.
2. The Takeover of Smart Tech
As we predicted back in 2013, consumption goes tech and mobile is the rage. Statistics show that 3 in 4 travelers agree that their smartphones are very important, even critical with 1 in 3 even admitting to using smartphones more during their travels than when they are home. Think about it, smartphones and tablets are everywhere and with the growing list of features, photo and video qualities and growth in connectivity (e.g. European-wide roaming without additional charges, hotels, cafes and even nightclubs with free Wi-Fi) the mobile technology will be more dominant than ever before.
3. The Online Travel Agencies Versus Direct Booking
OTAs (online travel agencies) are continuing to grow and companies like Booking, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Priceline and Hotels Combined continue to expand. While OTA commissions are well deserved, more hoteliers are complaining about rising commissions and harsher terms and conditions. With this trend comes the opportunity for niche markets that focus on direct bookings. With travelers visiting 38 websites before they make a choice on their trips, new travel startups will continue to come and go.
4. Disruption in Every Possible Way
Airbnb has made headlines around the globe this year, with hoteliers protesting the popular industry disruptor. But there is more disruption coming in 2016. Whether it is from the likes of Airbnb or from geopolitical challenges like the European refugee crisis, the Middle East war zone, political uncertainty or the rise in global terrorism, the hospitality industry is in for a disruption.
5. Nostalgia Takeover of Bars, Restaurants and Nightclubs
Innovation in the bar and restaurant scene has not halted one bit. Similar to the fashion industry, bars, cafes, restaurants and nightclubs will see a significant rise in nostalgia from a growing segment of its customers. Whether it is cocktails or authentic gourmet burgers, history will repeat itself. A back to basics aura will also bring rise to health-food. From smoothies to fresh organic produce, watch out for it. Those industry leaders jumping on the bandwagon early will kick-start the year on a boost.
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