For decades the hospitality sector in India has been conducting business in a tried and tested manner. There was not much need for innovations or trends towards taking risks. However, with the advent of the digital era, the hotel industry in India is in for some major changes. According to the study conducted by UNWTO, the number of international travelers increased by 6% from 2017 to 2018. With the number of travelers increasing exponentially the hospitality industry is witnessing a diverse range of clients. For the hospitality industry in India to meet expectations of a wide range of customers, offering different experiences becomes imperative.
Trends in the hotel industry in India
For the hospitality industry to remain as dynamic as it has always been it is important that it creates personalized experiences for its guests.
Millennial profile: the guest profiles in the hotel industry is changing with each passing day, with more millennials opting for hotel services. The demands of the millennials are different from their older counterparts. The youth of today want technology enabled services at every touch point. This has been a major change that is shaping up the hotel industry in India recently. As guests nowadays are more empowered with social media, the need to engage with them on social media is becoming a prerogative for the smart hoteliers.
Quest for experience: a study conducted by Harris Poll and Eventbrite has shown that 78% of the millennials prefer to spend money on experiences rather than things. This shift towards experiences have led to disruptive changes in the hotel industry with travelers seeking the authenticity of local experiences rather than luxury of accommodation. The business models in the hospitality sector are designed accordingly.
Smart design of hotels: to adapt to the taste of younger travelers, hotels are nowadays giving more importance to social spaces. Urban hotels are creating social spaces that would cater to both tourists and locals. Rooftop bars, restaurants that serve local cuisines, working hubs, spas, dance parties, film screenings are now some of the activities that travelers may find in hotels of today. Also, in order to attract the Gen Z crowd hotels are adopting smart designs where social spaces are made more vibrant as compared to personal spaces.
Socially-responsible travelers: the younger generation believes that companies should engage more in sustainable and environmental friendly business models. Hence big brands in the hotel industry in India are making sustainability their core value.
With tech-savvy millennials being the major part of the tourist population, technology will continue to shape and innovate the hotel industry in India. Technology will be used by brands to flex their creativity, bridge online and offline channels and deliver better consumer experience. Despite technological interventions, the hospitality sector will never to cease to be influenced by the human touch. In the hotel industry, human service plays a vital part and for the next few decades this will not fade away from importance.