As hoteliers emerge from the recent economic downturn and start developing strategies for the next decade, it is critically important to scan ahead and understand the key external drivers of change and emerging opportunities that could be shaping the agenda for the hotel sector, Amadeus saysin its newly released report "Hotel2020: Beyond Segmentation" examines in depth the hotel industry on a global basis.
“ It is clear that the decade ahead will be characterized by megatrends that promise economic uncertainty, a potentially massive shift in wealth from West to East, transformational advances in science and technology and rapidly evolving needs and expectations of the individual consumer,” Amadeus says.
Amadeus’ report is designed to provide a rapid scan of those drivers and offer critical insights on the potential implications and opportunities for the hotel sector. The report draws on a combination of desk research, expert interviews and a global survey on future strategies and business models for the sector.
The survey received a total of 610 respondents from around the world, of whom 42 percent work in the travel industry. The survey posed a range of scenarios relating to hotels in 2020 and asked respondents to rate whether they strongly disagreed, disagreed, agreed or strongly agreed with the statement.
The study evaluated a number of drivers and focused in particular on those shaping the global context and environment for hotels and their guests, the needs of tomorrow’s traveler, business transformation within the hotel sector and emerging developments in technology and
The assessment of opportunities and implications for hotels focused on developing strategy in an uncertain world, management of the brand portfolio, evolution of business and revenue models, location and categorization in the era of personalization.
The growing focus on personalization of the hotel experience has given rise to the concept of moving beyond segmentation models towards the introduction of service spectrums in which the guest is given choice over almost every aspect of their hotel experience, Amadeus notes.
Among the key characteristics of successful players in tomorrow’s world Amadeus offered a number of insights into the global brand of the future. This includes:
1. An organization capable of surviving and thriving in turbulence and uncertainty. The path of the economy and hotel market over the next ten years is uncertain. We have to prepare for a range of possible future scenarios. This implies development of leaders, managers and staff who are curious, tolerant of uncertainty, capable of scenario thinking and willing to make decisions with imperfect information.
2. A portfolio of strategies for an evolving marketplace. In response to differing rates of growth and development, hotel groups will increasingly adopt a portfolio approach to strategy with a range of different goals and approaches being pursued in parallel within different geographies and market tiers. An increased use of co-branding with well known consumer businesses is expected, along with the emergence of unbranded hotel groups providing ‘white label’ services to hotel owners. Greater experimentation with business models is expected – with a proliferation of auction-based models, low cost airline style pricing and a growth of 24-hour rental models replacing the fixed night option.
3. Deep understanding of an increasingly geographically, financially, generationally and attitudinally diverse and rapidly evolving customer base. There is a clear expectation of a growth in tourism from the emerging markets although it’s by no means clear how profitable that business will be. At the same time the fallout from the financial crisis could see an even broader spectrum of customers and diverse needs from established markets. Traditional segmentation models will no longer suffice as we try to capture the needs and nature of tomorrow’s traveler.
4. Delivering a personalized experience through a wide spectrum of service choice. Customers will increasingly demand choice over every aspect of their hotel stay – encompassing check-in and departure, service levels, the size of the room, decor, the furniture in it, the audio-visual facilities, amenities and food and beverage options.
5. Immersive, tactile and multidimensional technology interfaces. Generation Y and those that follow them are coming into the hotel as both guests and employees with a very different relationship to the technology they use. For them the boundaries between the physical and virtual world have blurred and the range of ways in which they’ll interact with their data will be far more visible and tactile than
anything we’ve experienced to date.
6. Open, listening, collaborative and experimental approach to innovation. Hotels will increasingly adopt best practices from other parts of the business world and start to integrate the customer and other business partners into their innovation processes by using techniques such as open innovation and crowd sourcing.
7. Continuous search for ancillary revenue streams. A range of approaches will be considered to increase revenue generation including discount offers to capture a share of pre- and post trip travel spend, introduction to the hotel’s own branded goods catalogue and extension of the range of business services provided.
8. Connected, adaptive and predictive. Tomorrow’s hotel will be far more embedded in the internet, playing an active role in social media and using it to highlight the changes on the horizon. Internally, a greater emphasis will be placed on flexibility to respond rapidly to a changing environment. New advanced analytical techniques and software tools will be adopted to help anticipate future patterns of demand.
9. Asset light, insight rich. With a focus on becoming lean, flexible and responsive, hotel groups will continue to shed their fixed assets and interaction could be viewed as a potential source of feedback for new ideas and competitor insight.
Amadeus free full report can be viewed at www.amadeus.com/hotelit/beyond-segmentation.