What will hotels of the future look like? According to a new report from Fast Future Research and travel technology company Amadeus, travelers will expect an increasingly personalized hotel stay, and successful brands will adapt, using technology, , and other innovations to deliver a more customized experience.
According to the far-reaching, 29-page report, “Hotels 2020: Beyond Segmentation,” “Customers want increasing say, if not total control, over what they expect of their hotel and what they are willing to pay for.” A survey of 610 business travelers, conducted as part of the research for the report, found that 92 percent believe that by 2020 “hotel guests will expect their stay to be personalized around a set of choices they make at the time of booking or prior to arrival.”
The study looks at how all aspects of the hotel experience might be personalized in the future, from simple things like using the customer’s preferred method of communication (e-mail, text, social media, or mail) and giving them control over what types of communications are sent to them, to providing options on their check-in process, their in-room technology, or even their pricing model. According to the survey, 86 percent believe that by 2020 “customers will have the ability to choose the size of room, type of bed, amenities, audiovisual facilities, business equipment, etc., on booking and pay accordingly.” In a press release, Rohit Talwar, chief executive of Fast Future Research and co-author of the report, said that guests’ desire for more say over their hotel experience, is creating “a shift from neatly defined customer segments to a more fragmented set of service spectrums that will demand hotels act in a way that is guest-focused, personal, connected and informed.” The study predicts the emergence of a “total service model” that moves away from standard hotel packages to a menu of “service options from which customers then select their precise requirements.”
The study also has a chart of 48 current and emerging technologies—from tablet computers and augmented reality to telepresence virtual meetings and cloud computing—and includes commentary on the implications of each development for the hotel industry.
Research for the new study, “Hotels 2020: Beyond Segmentation,” included interviews with experts, international workshops, and a survey of 610 business travelers. Half of the survey respondents were from Europe, 18 percent from North America, and the rest from other parts of the world. Forty-two percent work in the travel industry. The full survey is available from Amadeus.