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The State of the Hospitality Industry

Hospitality industry trends indicate that travel, tourism and hotel operations are part of a thriving industry that offers exciting professional challenges for people interested in hospitality marketing and management. Travel and tourism create a combined annual economic impact of approximately 6.5 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide; the hotel industry alone accounts for over 400 billion dollars in annual revenue worldwide. To secure a portion of this lucrative market, hospitality companies must stay ahead of the game when it comes to marketing and capitalizing on current industry trends.

The Rise of Mobile Booking

As in most industries, mobile commerce has taken the hospitality industry by storm. Customers are increasingly conducting pre-travel research on mobile devices — many travelers go so far as to book flights and hotels directly from their smartphone. As a result, hotels must develop mobile marketing plans to capture the attention of tech-savvy travelers, and they must continually streamline the booking process. Many travelers will not complete a booking or make a return visit if the mobile booking process is not hassle-free.

The Impact of Online Travel Agencies

A hospitality industry trend that directly affects repeat business for hotels is the popularity of online travel agencies like Travelocity or Hotwire. Hotels must differentiate the experiences they offer beyond the initial online booking to gain repeat customers — for example, providing extras and bonuses for each guest. Hotels should collect guests’ contact information, ideally during check-in, in order to market repeat stays without the interference of online travel agencies.

Increase in International Travel

The continued increase in international travel makes accessibility a key factor for the hospitality industry. In 2012, the global number of international tourist arrivals reached one billion, presenting hospitality managers with the challenge of meeting the linguistic and cultural needs of an increasingly diverse clientele. Travel, tourism and hotel managers must also tailor their marketing efforts to specific international audiences.

The Arrival of Millennial Travelers

The hospitality industry is seeing an increase in the number of Millennials who have the time and money to travel. Hospitality managers must now market to and service this unique generation of travelers who tend to make decisions differently than previous generations. For example, Millennials typically look for tech-friendly bookings, check-ins and checkouts, as well as mobile access to local tourist sites, restaurants and transportation.

The Impact of Social Media and Review Websites

Many of today’s travelers look to social media and review sites when making travel decisions. To maintain a positive online presence, businesses in the hospitality industry must keep up with information about their competitors. While unhappy customers can make an almost instant complaint against a venue for all the internet to see, satisfied customers can leave a glowing review worth far more than any paid copywriting. Savvy managers can capitalize on this information by avoiding others’ mistakes and improving upon others’ successes.

Understanding current hospitality industry trends can give companies a competitive edge in the hospitality marketplace. Hospitality marketing strategies, hotel operations, and travel and tourism development are topics students can expect in an online MBA in Hospitality Management program that offers business professionals the background and skills they need to excel in the hospitality industry.

Learn more about the SOSU online MBA with an emphasis in Hospitality Management program.


Sources:

Hospitality Net: 5 Game-Changing Hotel Industry Trends to Tackle in 2016

Hospitality Net: The Global Hotel Industry and Trends for 2016

Smart Meetings: Top 10 Trends Impacting the Hospitality Industry

Statista: Statistics and Market Data on Travel, Tourism & Hospitality


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