Planning a trip for 2018? Virginia Tech’s Vince Magnini, associate professor of hospitality and tourism management in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, highlights five new trends that hotel guests will see in 2018.
- Eco-friendly hotel features will become more tangible. Guests want tangible evidence of sustainability efforts. Examples include exercise equipment that feeds power back into the hotel when operated; vertical herb gardens in the lobby and other common areas.
- Accessibility will become an even bigger priority. ADA requirements will be seen as the bare minimum efforts and hotels will do more to deliver satisfying experiences to aging baby boomers. For example, 'lever-style' door handles in guestroom bathrooms that are easy to grip and more adjoining rooms for multi-generational travel groups.
- Safety from terrorism will become increasingly reflected in hotel design. This includes physical barriers such as concrete planters to prevent vehicles from driving into the lobby and exit doors that cannot easily be changed shut from the inside.
- Independent hotels will continue to become affiliated with soft brands in Europe and North America. Soft brands allow a unique hotel to retain its identity, but utilize branding advantages such as economies of scale in purchasing and affiliation with guest loyalty programs.
- Increased mining of online customer reviews. A customer who refuses to complete an 8-minute survey will instead invest 20 minutes crafting an online review or blog posting. While many hotels have been using software for several years to find trends and patterns in this information, the knowledge currently being extracted only begins to scratch the surface of the potential to better understand guests’ attitudes and perceptions.
Magnini is an associate professor of hospitality and tourism management in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech. He was recently ranked as one of the top 12 most prolific hospitality researchers worldwide. He has been featured on National Public Radio’s (NPR) With Good Reason and All Things Considered and cited in the New York Times. Before his career in academia he worked on management teams at Marriott, Hyatt, and Hilton Garden branded hotels in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern regions of the U.S.
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