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Top Hospitality Trends for 2017
Top Hospitality Trends for 2017

2017 promises to be a year of big changes.  The global hotel industry has evolved continuously and there are a lot more changes to come. We have selected the top three trends that will most directly impact the hospitality and tourism industry in the Caribbean.

Smartphones and Customized Service

The role of the smartphone has continued to grow and has changed every aspect of the hospitality business. With new technology, guests can skip the registration desk and go directly to their room by checking-in on your mobile phone or via tablet at a formal front desk. They can also pick their room directly from their phone, and unlock their room door which will be programmed to only open when their mobile device is nearby. They will also be able to control all other aspects of the room such as lighting, AC, and reservations for dinners and other hotel services.

While the mobile based technologies offer wonderful conveniences, they also provide hotels with ample data and new channels to better market to future guests. It allows the hotel to track trends and identify how they can best follow them. Personalized travel is on the rise and consumers want to feel important. Consumers want personalized, on-demand recommendations that help them live like the locals. And they want you as the hotelier to supply that experience. Companies like Airbnb capitalize on new trend by enabling consumers to travel on their own terms in new cities and neighborhoods. Implementing a 2017 strategy with mobile based customized service at its core will help properties increase its overall booking and ancillary revenues.

Back to Basics

With all of the new technology, updated hotel designs, customer service innovations, website development and all other factors that play into providing a unique experience to guests, it is ever more important for us to remember the basics: a good night’s sleep.

Fifty-five percent of travelers said they look for reviews that specifically address sleep quality, according to TripAdvisor. Eighteen percent said they look for hotels that offer special “sleep perks”. There are many ways hotels are addressing this most basic need, and all of these sleep amenities are becoming a large draw for new guests and brand builders for returning guests.

  • Branded Bedding: every property, with a relatively small investment, can offer a sleep experience that guests will want to take home. Soft plush bedding and pillows made with local fabrics, engraved with your hotel’s logo are an inexpensive branding and additional revenue generating opportunity.
  • Luxury Lounging: offer your VIP guests a special turndown service; provide them with “slumber kits” that include an eye mask, ear plugs, and a CD of ambient music. On TV, guests can flip to channel 46, the “Sound Sleep Channel,” set on a sleep timer. Guests can also order an after-dinner “sleep elixir” with chamomile and apple cider to promote relaxation and sleep health. Click here to get more lux sleep services from Huffington Post.
  • Digital detox: barraged by social media and endless decisions, some guests look to their vacation time as an opportunity to escape the pressures of modern life. Wilderness experiences, summer camps for adults, mindfulness retreats… are all becoming more and more popular as the frazzled guests aims for a more restful visit.
  • Sleep Technology: hotels are starting to work with sleep apps and wearable technologies to enhance their guests sleep beyond blackout shades. These apps provide creative solutions like sound and lighting technology, as well as sensitive wake up tools to make every guests stay more restful. Click here to read more about these technologies and the hottest sleep apps.

Wellness Travel

In recent years, more people around the world have begun to recognize the importance of wellness – a trend which has seen the value of the industry increase year-on-year. The various segments making up the wellness travel are diverse and include, among others, healthy eating and weight loss, fitness, alternative medicine, the spa industry, and have also tied in closely with environmental and cultural conservation. During a national survey by market research company Nielsen Scarborough in spring 2016, 13.71 million people said that they had used day spa services within the past 12 months.

  • Corporate Wellness Retreats: corporate wellness services are forecasted to reach 11.3 billion U.S. dollars by 2021. The industry is comprised of companies which provide workplace programs to improve or support the health and wellbeing of their employees. Wellness retreats open up great revenue generating opportunities for group travel.
  • Health and Wellness: incorporating active options and fitness adventures into travel packages are going to be vital game changers in 2017. At the destination level, great strides have been made to capitalize off of this ever growing and lucrative market. The Aruba Tourism Authority launched Aloe Wellness Month earlier this year, and the event is once again on the books for 2017.  The Saint Lucia Tourist Board has declared November as the inaugural Adventure & Wellness Month. These initiatives are undeniably just the beginning of what we can expect to see in 2017.
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