Sabrina is a seasoned digital marketing manager with 10+ years of B2B & B2C experience in the tech and SaaS space. She is focused on building and implementing strategies that innovate, create awareness, and generate demand. Sabrina executes brand/product development through strategic alignment, passion, resolute focus, and inspired teams.
The Top Hotel Trends in 2023 & Beyond
In the past few years, there have been a number of trends that have come and gone in the hotel industry. Hotel trends are generally powered by new guest behaviours, new technologies, and new industry theories which are largely fuelled by the previous two factors.
So what can we anticipate to see in 2023 and beyond? This year will be a transformative year, and here are some of the top hotel trends to look out for:
Becoming 100% Sustainable:
The world is elevating its awareness of the environment, and so is the hotel industry. While sustainability may have initially been slow to embrace, hoteliers are now striving to become 100% sustainable. As an example, Aotearoa New Zealand’s tourism industry is being challenged to lead the fight to reduce carbon emissions, with a major new initiative announced at the Tourism Summit Aotearoa.
The two key targets for the industry are:
- Commence tracking of emissions by 2023.
- Reduce emissions by 2030, to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
These targets are ambitious, but the industry is inspired and motivated to get behind the mission.
Today, Gen Z and Millennials make up approximately 45% of the global travel market. With these younger generations proactively supporting environmental efforts, hoteliers are striving to meet the growing demand for sustainable tourism.
Sustainable tourism is an ongoing trend that will continue to gain momentum and should be an integral part of your business model. To assist you on your journey, we have outlined five of the top trends:
- Reduce plastic waste:
Bulk toiletries will always have less plastic and liquid waste than single-use toiletries, so if you haven’t, make the switch today. When it comes to disposing of your small toiletries or empty soap dispenser bottles having an end-to-end recycling program that stops these items from going to landfills or the sea can have a tremendous impact. Plus, it’s a great story to tell your guests.
- Purchase Hotel-Specific Appliances with Spare Parts:
Purchasing hotel-specific appliances, like JVD, is another way to reduce your plastic waste. Having appliances with spare parts available, be it iron water caps, water cups, or hair dryer nozzles, means you are extending the product's life rather than throwing it away if it’s faulty. This saves you money in the long run and ensures your guests have everything they need.
- Save Water:
If you want to implement a water-saving strategy for your hotel a great place to start is identifying where your high-water consumption areas are (eg. bathrooms, housekeeping, laundry, etc.). By doing this, your hotel can potentially reduce the amount of water consumed per guest per day by up to 50%.
To achieve significant water savings, educate your guests by communicating what your hotel is doing. Here are some ideas to help your guests participate in your hotel’s water-saving efforts:
- Encourage guests to take short showers or if there is a bath, shower instead.
- Place a sign above the bathroom sink suggesting they turn the tap off while shaving or brushing their teeth.
- Ask guests to reuse their linen and towels.
- Update guests on how your hotel is reducing water consumption in other areas.
- Reduce Energy Consumption:
One of the easiest ways to reduce your hotel's energy consumption is switching to hotel-specific electrical appliances, which are extremely energy efficient, long-lasting, and durable. You can even look at installing energy-saving lightbulbs, which can significantly cut costs and offer your guests a better lighting experience. Changing the bulbs is just the start. Smart Technology can automate your entire system, all you need to do is set it, and it will take care of itself.
- Support Local:
Staying aware of, and on top of, socioeconomic trends are necessary as you plan for a resilient and prosperous future. One trend that has become extremely popular since 2020 and will continue to do so in 2023 and beyond is the “Support Local” movement. Hoteliers and guests alike have come to realise the true value of supporting local and how it affects sustainability:
- Cuts down fuel consumption.
- Reduces air pollution.
- Reduces the need for packing & shipping facilities.
- Helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Contributes to improving your carbon footprint.
Buying local also creates positive relationships and strong partnerships with other business owners in your country. Having a distinct character for your hotel and promoting one-of-a-kind products and services will be why guests choose to book with you over the competition.
The old saying, “never mix business with pleasure (or leisure)”, has never been more outdated.
As the name indicates, bleisure combines business and leisure travel. This trend has already become particularly favoured among the younger generations entering the workforce. According to a Hilton Hotel & Resorts Survey, 70% of travellers between the ages of 25-30 were keen to add some vacation time to their corporate trips – many of which bring their friends and family along. This change has created a new type of guest – one that is a combination of business and vacationer. As such, hoteliers can adapt by offering new services, packages and amenities which easily support the guests’ transition from work to fun.
Digitising the Guest Experience:
Over the past few years, Covid has transformed how people interact and travel. There has been a massive increase in the use of digital platforms and online meeting spaces. As such, the hotel industry has started investing in a smorgasbord of new technologies to digitise the guest experience. By staying up to date with the latest technology trends your hotel will continue to bring in bookings even during periods of crisis.
Here are some trends you can expect to see in 2023 and beyond:
- Virtual Reality:
The times have changed, and consumers are ready for virtual reality (VR). They say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, imagine what an immersive virtual environment with an augmented real-world scene can do to promote your hotel. A VR video offers your potential guests the opportunity to visit your property before they make their booking. They can walk through your reception and check out the pool, fitness centre, restaurant, lounge, or any other unique areas you wish to highlight. Experiencing your property 'first hand' will help speed up the decision-making and result in quicker bookings. Ultimately, VR is a competitive advantage.
- Mobile App Check-Ins:
Mobile app check-ins allow your hotel guests to arrive without needing to be greeted. They can easily complete their check-in with just a few clicks. There are so many advantages to this system:
- Allows your guest to choose a room prior to arrival.
- Your guest can receive notifications when the room is ready.
- If their plans change the app enables them to Check-in early.
- Keyless Entry:
Opting to replace your plastic key cards with access codes, smart locks and keyless entry systems will minimise your plastic waste and help you save on costs since you won’t need to deal with lost or stolen cards.
Here are some additional benefits for your hotel:
- Simplifies your property’s operations.
- Provides extra security for your team & guests.
- Reduces the risk of transmitting Covid.
- Offers added convenience & are a user-friendly option for guests.
- Boosts customer loyalty and repeat business.
- Smart Rooms:
Smart Rooms is another catchy trend the hospitality industry is embracing. Hotels are outfitting their rooms with varying types of technology to make them more convenient, efficient, user-friendly, and comfortable. For example, hotels are incorporating voice-activated smart hubs within the rooms to control the lighting systems, automatically lock the door, open and close the curtains and much more.
- Contactless Services:
A phrase recently trending in the hospitality industry is ‘contactless services’, but what is this exactly? To streamline and adapt COVID-19 response plans hoteliers are leveraging technology to unify their operations and departments to ensure risks are minimised without sacrificing service standards for their guests.
If you’re looking to offer high-quality services in a digital age the contactless services trend is said to be the future of hotels. Implementing some of the below examples will help your business succeed in 2023 and beyond:
- Pre-arrival guest messaging communication
- Contactless communication for Housekeeping
- Contactless communication for Hotel Food & Beverage
- COVID-19 Response Text Communication
- Survey guests with text messaging
Travellers are eager to know more about the story of your hotel. They want to be taken on a journey to understand why you are who you are and what your hotel stands for. There are many ways to share your story, even in the guest rooms alone. From bespoke customised guest room accessories to choosing partnerships with amenity brands that share the same values or selecting design pieces that reflect the heritage of your hotel.
Seizing the storytelling gives you the opportunity to make your guests’ stay memorable. So, if you are planning to redesign your property or do a quick refresh, ensure you are telling your story via key touch points in the room. By evolving your designs and including immersive travel experiences your guests will book with optimism and anticipation. You’ll be ‘THE’ hotel they won’t forget!
One of the most impressive aspects of the hotel industry is how quickly it responds to what's happening in the global and local markets, and to the shifting guest expectations that influence them. In the coming year, the industry will continue to drive innovative trends to transform the customer journey through trust and stability.
If you’d like more tips on how to strike this balance check out our recent article: The 2023 Hotel Interior Design Trends.