Written by: Mar Reguant
Welcome to the last weeks of 2017. As always, we want to say goodbye to the year looking to the future, in this case, to the future of hotels. And, as we usually say, the tourism sector doesn’t rest and this 2018 is full of changes.
As expected, new technologies will continue to gain ground in this market. Not only hotels will change, but also the traveller, who is already searching, booking and getting information in a very different way through the network and even using virtual reality. The tourist will also seek more than ever to live new experiences in the destination and also in the accommodation itself.
Booking.com has analysed 128 million guest comments, people who has booked through this platform, and the most repeated keywords lead us to some ideas to predict what the hotel trends of 2018 will be like.
The cinema and, above all, the television shows, are awakening curiosity among the most movie-loving travellers, who are interested in getting to know the scenarios that hide behind their favourite characters.
According to the Booking.com study, 36% of travellers in 2018 will seek inspiration for their trips in the locations of TV shows, films or even music videos. For example, the most popular television destinations are Croatia, Spain and Iceland, all locations of the Game of Thrones series.
Some events, such as expositions and exhibitions, or theme parks on some known saga, such as Harry Potter, also move tourists to opt for certain destinations to enjoy the experience.
Recommendations of a family member or a friend are no longer the most important ones to consider. According to the Booking study, 39% of travellers will search for ideas for their next destination in a YouTube video or blog. Youtubers have become true influencers even when choosing the place to travel. And more and more travel blogs are found on the Internet. There is a perfect blog for each destination and for each tourist style.
From your hotel, you can also work campaigns with bloggers or youtubers. In this article we talk more about the influencers.
Assuring your own well-being is now on trend more than ever. Eating well, playing sports and focusing on the welfare of oneself already moves a large sector of the population. Therefore, it’s not surprising that this trend has also reached the tourism sector.
Although in 2017 wellness tourism was already the choice of many, next year will double those interested in health destinations to relax and being taken care of. In this trend we include spas or beauty centres as well as destinations for cyclists or water sports enthusiasts. A meditation or yoga retreat also appears among the interests of 15% of the travellers surveyed in the Booking.com study.
Gone are those times when we only travelled once a year, but what a great trip! Getaways, both romantic and among friends, are in trend. Right now prices are so cheap that flights to various destinations cannot be wasted. This leads us to travel more, although for a shorter period of time. What we know as getaways.
According to Booking.com, 25% of the respondents want to travel with friends this 2018. The increase in the offer of accommodation for groups makes easier this type of trips that, in addition, tend to be cheaper than when travelling as a couple.
As we said before, new technologies will continue to have their moment of glory in 2018. Users no longer wonder about the recommendations that arrive automatically to their email or in Facebook ad format, for example, after being interested in a destination. According to Booking.com, 29% of travellers already feel comfortable with artificial intelligence as far as travel is concerned.
Along the same lines, 34% of respondents said that using virtual reality before booking would help them to be more sure of their purchase. Why not travel virtually to the destination to confirm that you are interested in the trip? Or, perhaps, a virtual tour of the accommodation and its facilities before booking a room.
As you have seen, you have endless opportunities to reach your ideal guests, you just have to know how to find them! New technologies will help you stay in the traveller's mind. How? Offering them interesting information and appearing in their Google searches. You can also work with Google Adwords or Facebook Ads, segmenting according to interest, and even working the workflows (automations) to continue offering information to your potential guest before deciding on a hosting. In this blogpost you can learn more about workflows.
Although we don’t believe it, in some occasions, these changes are more easily assumed by an independent hotel than by a chain. Although it is true that a hotel chain may have a greater purchasing power to make changes at the technological level, an independent establishment can make more immediate changes. Talk about your destiny, connect with blogs that can help you spread your hotel’s brand or specialize in a specific sector, such as cycling or wellness.
With these new trends we also see very clearly how destination is gaining a lot of strength and you, as a hotelier, should promote it in the same way that you work to improve your services. Happy 2018!