Whether for business or for pleasure, guest houses and hotels will always be needed. Yet with growing uncertainty over Brexit and the UK economy, PwC predicts marginal revenue growth, a much slower growth than of previous years.
With that, you’ll need to be tactical, creative and diligent if you want to stay ahead of the game. Let’s take a look at some of the trends industry experts expect to see and how you can capitalise on them.
The millennial trend
Whilst many of us look to hold back on travel for now, many millennials are more than willing to take the gamble and book away. What’s more, they’re not always looking for the conventional. According to bookassist, millennials spend around 70% on experience over physical things. In essence, they seek memories so it’s crucial you maximise their experience by making it original, innovative and truly memorable in any and every way you can.
The same generation, it’s said, has a short attention span, gets bored easily, and yawn at things that have been done before. They were many of them born connected to the Internet, so the faster the Wi-Fi in your hotel, the more brownie points you receive. One quick search of your reviews and Wi-Fi is something that is rated and mentioned time and time again.
So, whether you want to offer unique rooms with implausibly decorated rooms, quirky foyers or down to earth customer service with a twist, just remember to find that right balance of intrigue and longevity.
The tech trend
Fuelling this trend is the previous trend. Millennials not only want the best technology and innovation on offer, they expect it. As cruel as this can be, not sticking with the right tech could leave you in tricky water with all of your guests, not just your younger ones. Probably, insiders suggest, this mentality of expectation has rubbed off on all types of guests, and they’re hungrier than ever before.
Top of the tech list starts well before guests have booked their stay. AI chatbots can be found on many websites now since they take so much stress away for visitors of your site, can be used on the move, on mobile and they can reply to the automated messages when they’re ready, putting the power in their hands.
With the launch of 5G, expect the industry to explore Augmented and Virtual Reality, so guests can view rooms virtually before booking, digital voice assist to help improve the experience of guests when checked in, and much, much more. Remember, do your research to ensure you’re never off the mark.
Visitors from where?
With Brexit and EU uncertainty may come a fall in guests from EU countries. However, you can probably expect another rise in tourists from China hitting the UK, and not just in London, but the rest of the country, too.
Statistics show that there were 1.2 million visas issued for Chinese travel in European countries 5 years ago. The most recent statistics put that figure at 2.5 million. Where available, hospitality can be extended to improve bookings from Chinese travellers simply by having booking information in Chinese or having Chinese dishes available on the menu.
Whilst one might suggest guest houses and hotels are about to enter a period of uncertainty, it’s far from doom and gloom. With the right marketing, impressive innovations and creative flair for décor and features, you should expect steady but continual growth throughout the period whilst having everything in place to sustain it.
Of course, hotels can be dangerous places with guests coming and going at all hours amidst the hustle and bustle of an operating business. Without the right level of insurance, you could be jeopardising your whole business venture. Whether you already have a policy in place or are looking to start afresh, contact our specialised hospitality team at Hodgson Insurance Services to find out more. Call us now on 01288 353999 or visit our guest house site at www.guesthouseinsurance.co.uk.