Trends & Insight
June 2018

Trend Watch: The hotel trends to watch right now

As technologies in the hotel industry progress and sustainability drives the market’s trends, we can expect to see several of these transform into PR opportunities. From trendy pop ups to carbon free campaigns, AM+A gives a run down of the hotel industry’s most noteworthy trends for 2018 and how PRs should react to achieve the best results.

The hotel pop-up

The pressure is on for hotels to welcome industry changes in order to remain on trend throughout 2018. The notion of the pop up hotel could drive such change, with hotel brand 700,000 heures set to create a different pop up hotel in a new country every six months. While we wouldn’t recommend hotels shut up shop simply to re-open again and again, it’s important to recognise the value in providing customers with the change they expect.

Tip - The larger the pop up, the more attention it will grab. For a truly successful pop up campaign, organisations should consider how such temporary trends can create long term success.

Ethical hotels

The hotel industry has been asked to dramatically reduce its carbon footprint in 2018. According to figures released by the International Tourism Partnership, it will need to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 66% by 2030 in order to meet targets outlined by the Paris Agreement. With a rise in successful ecotourism initiatives, those who approach this challenge with creativity are likely to benefit the most. Our advice to PRs? Take a leaf out of The Good Hotel, London’s book, the hotel which offers premium hospitality with a cause, helping the local community by providing jobs, training and education.

Tip - With waste reduction set to become increasingly fashionable, campaigns which reduce plastic and promote sustainable living will succeed in generating media coverage.

Smart hotels

It’s unlikely many hotels will be as advanced as the Wynn Las Vegas,  decking every room with the latest Amazon Echo device, but there’s no doubt hotels will take a shift towards technology in 2018. With an increased number of hotels adopting tech savvy gizmos to please their guests, we’ll see a rise in tech controlled room functions - think in-room streaming services and controlling the doors, lights, TVs and heating appliances in our rooms with our smartphones.

Tip - Become a leader in personalised content with voice activated campaigns. Those who break this kind of ground will generate huge attention.  

Conversational marketing

The rise of conversational marketing is expected to drive customer communication this year with an expected 1.1 billion new users set to adopt messaging platforms to engage with their guests by the end of 2018. The best way for hotels to get on board? Adopting a chatbot service could see sales soar, providing customers with the instant help they need at very little cost. One such example is the Japanese chatbot, Bebot, helping customers find immediate answers, direction and bookings. The downside? While this could be the simple solution to cutting margins in head office, it’s likely employment levels on the ground will suffer.

Tip - For the killer chatbot campaign, organisations should provide bots with personality, giving guests and journalists something to talk about.

The rise of the review

The hospitality industry’s greatest fear, TripAdvisor, is likely to no longer be the only platform hotels dread in 2018. An increase in review sites, mobile bookings and our penchant to rely on the opinions of reviewers more and more, is likely to see hotels respond accordingly. Yelp, Google and Facebook are all in the running for pole position as they increasingly focus their attention on creating successful reviewing platforms. The result? More customer driven experiences and on demand results.

Tip - Successful PRs will be those which break the force - accepting negative reviews and responding with good humour are likely to come as a refreshing surprise to keyboard warriors and are sure to attract attention to the brand.

Nature-inspired designs

The world’s increasing love of ethical, natural living will continue to rise in 208 and according to environmental consultancy group, Terrapin Bright Green, the hotels which adopt these values in their designs are likely to be more successful for it. The group found that hotels which adopted a biophilic design - that’s large plants, wood, stone and open spaces to you and me - attracted a greater use of the space and positive response from their guests.

Tip - The simple solution? Deck your campaign with fresh greenery and all things natural for the best response from onlookers!  

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