Guest trends change every year as economic conditions, weather, average income and a number of other such variables constantly influence travel plans. But there’s one major factor that plays a huge role in how guests will behave during the next era of travel – the mindset of the travelers. Millennials, who are emerging as the primary audience for hospitality businesses, are more adventurous about visiting places. They also prefer to spend money on experiences rather than materialistic goods, qualities that sit very well indeed with hoteliers.
With this generation of travelers becoming more dominant, we are already witnessing sweeping changes in the travel industry. The majority of bookings are now made online, on mobile devices and often just a few days in advance. Hotels need to find a way to cope with these new guest trends or risk being left behind. Fortunately though, it doesn’t take a lot to attract these travelers – in fact, it’s the independent hotels that have the advantage!
Experimental Travel Is Growing In Popularity
Travelers today aren’t satisfied with just visiting a place, they feel an urge to go out and explore the local attractions. They prefer to eat food at traditional restaurants rather than globally known franchises. And they certainly prefer to stay at the charming local inn over the typical multi-property chains they’ve been seeing all their lives! Independent hoteliers just need to set their property up with the right management and distribution technology – once they’re connected to OTAs across hundreds of countries, they instantly exhibit their property to millions of guests around the world!
But this doesn’t exclude them from the pressures of competition. There are other properties that also cater to this segment of the audience. That’s where cloud-based technology is making all the difference in the way independent hoteliers attract guests today. It’s not always about the management benefits – other tools within the PMS enable hoteliers to build relations with guests and improve the overall guest experience.
The review collection tool for instance, reminds guests to provide TripAdvisor with feedback on their impression of the hotel. Guests usually forget such things without being reminded – even if the stay was positive. A tool this simple could increase the number of reviews on the property’s TripAdvisor page, which in turn drives up occupancy.
Distribution is another major challenge for many of the properties preferred by adventure seekers, usually located at more remote areas. With connectivity to the GDS and hundreds of other OTAs, properties can break past these geographical boundaries and sell their inventory to consumers around the world!