Technology and an emphasis on local experiences will define travel in 2018.
The hotel industry is changing in more ways than one. Thanks to a new generation of passionate, millennial travelers and growing competition brought on by the ever-evolving sharing economy, the industry is upping its game to cater to a rapidly changing customer base. To better understand these trends, U.S. News consulted hospitality experts to see if these innovations will last or if they’re just fleeting fads. From intuitive in-room technology to a more interactive customer service experience, these are the top hospitality trends to look out for in 2018
Gone are the days of needing to call the front desk or concierge for requests. Today’s hotel guests can text hotel staff members on corresponding smartphone apps. On the Marriott International and Hilton Honors apps, for instance, you can complete the check-in process before you arrive, unlock your room with a mobile key and even text the hotel staff for requests. Other brands, such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Loews Hotels, are following suit. According to John Lubanski, a AAA Diamond inspection manager, a hotel’s quality of connective technology will become an industry standard that will factor into how AAA rates properties in the future.
In 2018, keep a look out for high-tech amenities that go beyond in-room iPads and Wi-Fi access. Deanna Ting, hospitality editor at Skift, says that smart rooms are the next big thing. “All of the major hotel companies are testing this out in various stages,” Ting says. For example, the Hilton Honors app will soon allow guests to adjust their room lighting, temperature and TV all from their smartphone, while Marriott International is dabbling in voice-activated technology, among other features. “All of this is just an effort for hotel companies to fulfill the desire they have to customize and personalize your stay,” Ting says. “It helps them as much as it helps guests.”