The travel and hospitality sector is big business. Every year 1.4 billion tourists travel the globe – 45% of these travel for pleasure 2-3 times a year and 36% for business. While here in the UK, on average, we eat out 3 times a month and spend £700 per year for the pleasure.

But it’s not just about a bed for the night or the food in our bellies – we pay for the experience.

There’s probably no other industry where experience is so crucial to success than with the hospitality sector. It’s why hoteliers and maître d’s focus their efforts so heavily on delivering exceptional customer service and bending over backwards to please their customers.

But we’ve moved into the digital age. A world where the helpful concierge, finest Egyptian cotton and Michelin star food are all welcomed and very much appreciated, but no longer enough. In the digital age, technology drives the customer experience.

The rise of the tech-engaged guest

The majority of your guests today are self-sufficient and tech-savvy. The world really does sit in the palm of their hand because they have an app for everything, so if you want to stay ahead of the game, you need to ensure the experience you offer is up-to-date and user-friendly.

This trend for being always connected is largely driven by a shift in demographics. The so called ‘millennial’ generation is expected to represent 50% of all travellers by 2025. They’re travelling more frequently, love new technology and want more than ever before. Fail to innovate and meet their demands and it could mean curtains for your business.

The threat of standing still

Here in the UK, 74% of businesses operate in the services industry, and therefore fully reliant on meeting consumer demands in order to succeed. But there’s one segment within this industry that appears to be most susceptible to failure: hospitality. Businesses operating in this segment are around three times more likely to fail than any other business – in the last 12 months, restaurants businesses have gone bust at record levels, largely attributed to changing consumer fads and the challenge of how to build a loyal client base.

But…

Please your tech-engaged guest and reap the rewards

Yes, succeeding in hospitality is tough, but please this modern consumer and deliver the digital, always connected experience they desire, and you’re onto a winner.

Hotel technology plays a pivotal role in how you can enhance the guest experience, and the great news is that when you do this, these happy tech-savvy guests are going to shout loud and wide online and through social media about their fabulous experience. Satisfy their hunger and you can enjoy increased revenue by attracting, engaging and retaining guests.

So how can you prepare to take advantage of this lucrative opportunity?

In this 3-part series, we will continue to explore some of the key trends that are driving the market and the practical things you can do to adapt and thrive – starting with why you can’t ignore smart digital tech and how to meet your guests’ expectations for a digitally enriched stay.

Part 2 will be published next week. To make sure you don’t miss it, click here and request a reminder from a member of our team…

Alternatively, you can download our white paper – “6 Key Trends Shaping Your Hospitality Business” -now…