The hospitality industry may look like a simple business of welcoming the guests and taking care of them during their stay, but it is actually a very complex business that involves constant thinking on how to keep the business coming.
Speaking at this year’s MarketHub 2019, Larry Yu, a professor at Georgetown University, revealed how hotels can single themselves out of the pack and attract more consumers.
Many of us equate innovation with technology thinking that it is important that our guests will be immensely satisfied if they will not lift a finger during their stay. Stereotypical hotel complaints have inspired IoT or Internet of Things. In the recent past, we thought that machines will take over and we saw how hotels enabled robots to man the reception and chatbots answering our customers’ queries.
However, innovation does not always lay with groundbreaking tech. Innovation ultimately means to elevate the guests’ experience. For example, we see how Stay KooooK uses movable furniture and recreate living space and won an innovation award for it. Hoxton and Eaton Hotels are capitalising on co-working space in hotels. Meanwhile, Equinox Hotel is positioning itself as a fitness and wellness destination, which is currently a worldwide trend.
Talent as a prime commodity
Excellent service still wins in the hospitality business and at the core of this is talent. The future brings forth a good mix of human touch and technological advancement. Therefore, we must know how to find, develop and retain that talent in this labour-intensive industry.
Hospitality is an emotional labour that requires a high level of emotional intelligence. As we travel more, it is a top priority for hotels to embrace cultural diversity and to serve guests of different cultures while maintaining an enduring competitive advantage.
Ultimate experience: Using the five senses
One must not forget that the travel experience changes traveller’s lives. Yu divulge parts of his research saying that the Millennials are the intense experience seekers as they seek personalized, interactive, authentic, and tech-driven experience.
He added that in order to come up with ultimate experiences. Yu said that it is important to create emotion and build a relationship using five senses plus mobility. Stimuli that trigger haptic, olfactory, gustatory, auditory, visual, mobility, visceral senses will create emotion, understanding and imagination that will influence attitude and behaviours that will determine whether the customer will be loyal to the brand.