Personalisation and technology key to future of hotels, finds report

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel, The guest

Rohit Talwar, chief executive of Fast Future Research
Rohit Talwar, chief executive of Fast Future Research
The hotel environment is likely to change drastically over the next ten years and innovation based around each individual customer needs to be at the top of the agenda, according to a new report.

Conducted by Fast Future Research, Hotels 2020 – Beyond Segmentation​ revealed three main findings: the hotel guest of the future will want intense personalisation; hotels will need to become customisable in order to respond to this need; and branding partnerships are likely to come into play as part of the customised hotel environment.

“What’s becoming very clear is that guests want far more say over the delivery of the hotel experience. In response, what we see is a shift from neatly defined customer segments to a more fragmented set of service spectrums that will demand hotels act in a way that is guest-focused, personal, connected and informed,” said Rohit Talwar, chief executive of Fast Future Research and co-author of the report.

Personalisation and customisation

Based on a global survey of 610 people as well as desk research, expert interviews and international workshops, the report found that the vast majority (92 per cent) of global respondents believe hotel guests will expect their stay to be personalized around a set of choices they make at the time of booking or prior to arrival.

This means that the hotels of tomorrow will need to be extremely flexible in their design and offerings in order to cater to the needs of each guest.

For example, two bedrooms next to each other may have a different layout, different artwork, furniture and technology to respond to both the minimalist and sophisticated requirements of two guests.

Technology

In addition, 95 per cent of survey respondents think hotels will increasingly look to new technologies to personalise the customer experience, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve service.

Intelligent and responsive technology systems that can help anticipate changing customer requirements will be critical to meeting the needs of future guests, according to the technology solutions provider Amadeus, which commissioned the report.

“Four and five star hotels will be a technology rich environment so that rooms can configure themselves to a customer’s choices, be this through heating, air conditioning, air quality, or personal service robots.”

The check-in process is also likely to change, he said. The check-in desk of 2020 could be a personal assistant who greets the guest with a tablet PC and asks a series of questions to ensure the hotel delivers the right kind of experience for each guest.

Branding

Hotels of the future may also bring in more high street and luxury brands as a way to deliver a customised hotel environment and differentiate their offering, found the report.

This could mean branding amenities, bedding or furniture, or even branding the hotel itself, explained Talwar, citing examples of the Hyatt Beckham or Marriott Madonna.

Hotels 2020 – Beyond Segmentation can be downloaded here.

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