It's no secret that the hotel industry is constantly changing - evolving to stay ahead of the curve within a competitive market and to appeal to a new generation of travellers. So it makes sense that you, as a travel advisor, should stay in the know in order to recommend the most innovative accommodations for your client's next trip.
CT sat in on Best Western's annual Travel Summit and we're here to share a few of the top takeaways:
Technological innovations continue
Hotels are doing cool things with technology to provide clients with unique customer service experiences. Best Western Hotels across the U.S. have used augmented reality to create life-size cutouts of Disney stars so young guests can interact with characters from their favourite movie or TV show right in the lobby. The industry is also leaning more on artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide better information and results for travel agents in search of accommodations for their clients, and consumers direct. Further, new technologies mean more personalization in the online search process; as it picks up on clues in order to provide the most relevant options, making finding accommodations for your client easier than ever.
Local experiences are a top priority
Providing immersive experiences is a priority for the hotel industry, as today’s travellers want to adapt to destinations like a local – a trend that influences decisions when searching for accommodations. Authentic experience through artisans on sight, serving the region’s cuisine at the hotel’s restaurants and activity packages included in room rates is what separates a hotel from other options and makes it a top pick for your client.
Mobile apps to keep customers connected
Most hotels now have a customized mobile app, which alleviates those friction points that can take away from the relaxation of a trip. If your client doesn’t want to see anyone at check in or check out, they can now simply check-in from their smart phone. Ordering room service or messaging hotel staff for requests has never been easier.
Keeping customer service at the forefront
Although all the new digital innovations may suggest the human touch within the industry is soon to be obsolete, this is certainly not the case. Customer service remains an important factor in providing the ultimate stay. Hotels continue to focus on providing human interaction, while eliminating major friction points, so personnel are available when guests want them to be. Human interaction and customer service remains one of the main reasons clients choose a hotel over other emerging accommodation options.