It’s been an interesting year for the hotel industry in 2015, with mergers and acquisitions reaching new levels and big hotel chains getting even bigger. Just think of Marriott International acquiring Starwood Hotels and Resorts, giving this new entity a portfolio of more than 30 hotel brands. Or AccorHotels gobbling Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel. And there are rumors for more consolidation in 2016, with Intercontinental Hotels apparently up for grabs for a sale or merger, so the new year promises a few more surprises…
Not to mention the movements being observed within online distribution, as Expedia acquired HomeAway after snapping up Travelocity and Orbitz earlier in 2015. Priceline was relatively calm on the M&A front in the past year, so perhaps we can expect more action in 2016? More on this: Priceline, Expedia and the future of OTA
Hotel Trends for 2016
But how are travelers behaving and what can we expect for the next year? The folks at Killarney Hotels created this cool infographic that summarizes many findings and observations about the global hotel industry, in particular as we head into 2016. Personally, I would underline the following trends:
- Mobile devices & apps will enable personalized guest services. Mobile transcends all aspects of the customer experience in travel, with 75% of search and 51% of revenues expected to come from mobile devices in 2016, according to a recent PhoCusWright report. Thus, hotels targeting business travelers, Millenials and connected travelers ought to have a proper mobile strategy in place.
- Dynamic rate marketing in real time will be stronger than ever. This is still a challenge for many in the travel & hospitality industry, in particular for smaller, independent hotels. Nevertheless, there are various solutions provider that now allow for channel management, rate management and sophisticated yield management for a fraction of the cost from a few years ago.
- Social media engagement continues to drive consumer purchasing power. Online management reputation is now common place, but we can expect to see more and more social media advertising as well, in order to reach the right audience at the right time, in particular with Facebook and Instagram ads. Read also: 5 online marketing trends in travel for 2016