The key hotel trends of 2014
Holidays were once essential for people to relax and switch off from the stresses and strains of their lives and recharge their batteries. However, it would appear this is changing with more people wanting to keep in touch with friends and relatives back home, not to mention check in with colleagues and business partners.
The World Travel Market (WTM) Industry Report published in November 2013, states that once on holiday, approaching half (43%) of holidaymakers use social media ? to varying degrees.
At InterContinental Hotels Group, chief operating officer Pascal Gauvin says that the number one stress factor when travelling is not being able to contact home, commenting: ?Over 53% of travellers globally told us that connecting with family is the top way to de-stress when they are away?.
In addition to the increasing prevalence of social media platforms for communicating while away, the use of mobile continues to grow. In fact, more than 65% of people who book their hotel room within 24 hours of checking in do so from a mobile device, according to Expedia.
Marriott International president and managing director, Middle East & Africa, Alex Kyriakidis?cites research from GroupM Next, reporting 57% of business travellers aged 21-39 use their smartphone to book a hotel.
This, according to Jumeirah Group chief operating officer Nicholas Clayton, is due to a modern need for instant gratification.
He comments: ?People want what they want?now! Of course the booking trends of our leisure customers reflect a greater number of holiday experiences executed with a more spontaneous mindset.?
Not surprisingly then, all of the senior executives that Hotelier spoke with at the end of 2013 cited the use of social media and mobile technology as trends that are growing across the board.
However, what also emerged is that it is equally as crucial to provide a personalised guest experience across these platforms, as is having enough well-trained talent on the ground to make the most of the opportunities for interactive customer service that digital technologies present.
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