The report includes 13 trends in the areas of technology, marketing and sales, which will have a direct impact on the functioning of European hotel facilities in 2017. These include: booking hotel rooms via a mobile device, augmented and virtual reality technology, and in-room technology. Taking advantage of these trends and the other ten mentioned in the report could help European hoteliers attract more guests throughout the year. Similarly, American hoteliers might want to review these trends as a way of better understanding European tourists and how American travelers compare.
Profitroom found that in 2016, more than half of all reservations in the tourist industry were made online. Online hotel reservations among European hotels amounted to 36.4% and these figures are expected to dynamically increase. Apptha forecasts that the number of online reservations may rise by 6% in 2017 alone. In 2017, agents and metasearchers are expected to become the leading suppliers of online booking. For the moment, their overall share amounts to 60% of all reservations made electronically. In the upcoming year, customers are expected to purchase complementary services and enrich their orders at subsequent stages of the booking process. In 2017, effective upselling could contribute to a 20% increase in sales of new products/services offered by a given hotel facility.
The report also emphasizes that when planning marketing activities for 2017, European hoteliers should ensure their websites are mobile-friendly. Profitroom states that 51% of hotel websites were displayed on smartphones and tablets in 2016, which is 5% more than in 2015. If a website is not optimized for mobile viewing – easy to read and operate on small screens – 40% of consumers will stop browsing and leave the website. Additionally, prospective hotel guests are more trustful of booking their stays via smartphone or tablet.
After nearly 20 years of stagnation, virtual and augmented reality technology has started to flourish with lightning speed. Both VR and AR allows prospective hotel guests to tour hotels and the surrounding areas of activity prior to booking a room. Guests who are able to view a hotel room, hotel restaurant or other amenities beforehand could be motivated to book a room. Additionally, hotels could offer AR or VR technologies in-room as an amenity for guests such as VR PlayStation.
Today, guests are reluctant to queue up or leave their rooms. More and more frequently, they do not even wish to interact with the hotel staff. For hoteliers, this could mean offering mobile check-in and check-out technology or mobile keys. It could also mean offering mobile apps that will allow consumers to control the lights or room temperature through mobile applications without leaving their bed. Hotels that fail to make technology improvements quickly, could be perceived as less attractive and could lose their appeal.
The report is available at www.profitroom.com/trends.