Picture this: Are you ready to take your hospitality game to the next level in 2024? As time passes and technology keeps evolving, we enter into a new era of guest expectations. As we’ve said before, it’s no longer enough to simply meet their needs, the challenge now lies in exceeding them.
In this dynamic landscape, where every guest is an insightful traveler armed with high expectations, how can you ensure your property not only fulfills those expectations but also stands out?
In the rapid world of hospitality, the only constant is change. As we turn our gaze toward 2024, hoteliers, marketers find themselves at the intersection of innovation and guest expectations.
The burning questions on everyone’s minds are: What do guests expect in 2024, and how can we engage them effectively?
Join us, as we analyse the different trends and provide you with insights on how to fulfill these expectations and create happier guests.
How can the hospitality industry meet and exceed guest expectations in 2024?
As the hospitality industry continues to evolve, guest expectations are ever-changing. In 2024, guests will likely have higher standards and unique preferences, especially shaped by technological advancements, cultural shifts and the lessons learned from recent global challenges.
To remain competitive and thrive in the industry, it’s crucial for hotels and accommodations to understand what guests may expect and how to engage them effectively.
Technology will play a pivotal role in enhancing convenience, personalization, and efficiency, with guests expecting seamless digital experiences and smart room features.
Here are some of the key aspects of the expectations guests are bringing into 2024:
Flawless Integration of Technology
Guests will anticipate a seamless blend of technology into their stays. This includes streamlined mobile check-in and keyless entry, in-room automation, and high-speed Wi-Fi. None of this will be considered as an “extra” but as a must-have.
However, it’s important to remember that technology should enhance the guest experience, not overshadow it. Hospitality in 2024 will be about striking the right balance between the convenience of technology and the warmth of personal service.
A Strong Online Presence
In 2024, having an online presence will be more important than ever. Guests will continue to use Google and other search engines to look for information when planning a trip, and accommodations with no websites or with a poor online experience will suffer.
A good website experience will continue to be key when fighting with OTAs for direct bookings, as a bad experience can cause that travellers abandon their booking process.
On the other hand, social media content will continue to be important to influence the decision of the Gen-Z travellers; therefore, using the right channels and formats will put accommodations in the right path. To know more about how to turn your website into a direct bookings machine, read this article.
Personalisation Beyond the Ordinary
Guests will expect a level of personalisation as it’s a popular word in the travel industry that goes beyond their names on welcome screens. With the aid of advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence, accommodations can anticipate guest preferences and provide tailored experiences.
This includes personalized recommendations for dining, activities, and amenities, ensuring that each guest feels truly valued. Again, although before this was seen as an extra or added value, now guests will expect it as part of good service.
How can you provide personalisation to the level of a pina colada? Using your guest data. This will be your most effective tool to reach guests using the right message and on the right channels. And a hotel CRM is key to make this happen.
Looking for comfort despite the budget
Rising costs and inflation will cause people to reconsider their options, however, they won’t stop traveling. Mental health has become a priority more than ever, and traveling is seen as a way of escaping and recovering from work.
In this sense, travelers are prioritising their trips. According to SiteMinder’s Traveller Report 2023, 87% of travellers around the world will spend additional money on more than accommodation.
Adjustments will be done, but people will still pay more to have comfort and overall, a good experience.
Flexible Booking and Online Safety
In recent years, experiences have underscored the importance of flexibility and safety in travel. Accommodations should offer flexible booking and cancellation policies, transparent communication of health and safety protocols, and robust security measures to ensure guest peace of mind.
However, safety takes a turn as now being safe while surfing online is also a priority. As travellers spend more time on the internet, they expect the right protocols and policies to ensure their data is protected. In this case, accommodations must prioritize safeguarding guest information. Transparency regarding data usage, as well as robust cybersecurity measures, are essential in winning the guests’ trust.
The Power of Feedback
Guest feedback will continue to be of great worth in 2024. Reviews continue to be the driving force when convincing a traveler to make a booking. Therefore, developing a feedback and review strategy should be between each property’s priorities, since it has great power to generate (or cancel) bookings.
According to SiteMinder’s Traveller Report 2023, 49% of travellers expect to even find the reviews within the property’s website, making it easier for them to get all the information in one place.
Customer service is the new luxury
According to travel and hospitality analyst Lindsey Roeschke, the term “luxury” garners a more favorable response from people than not, although it falls behind other popular words associated with travel experiences like “authentic,” “unique,” “personalized,” and “relaxing.”
The report found that travelers and guests are now putting customer service above classic “luxury standards”. They prefer to have a better experience and service instead of the classic benefits. In fact, 55% of U.S. adults firmly believe that top-tier customer service is an absolute necessity for them to categorize their travel experiences as “luxury.”
Crafting Memorable Experiences
The future of hospitality in 2024 is not just about efficiency but about creating memorable experiences. Technology plays a role in facilitating these experiences by allowing you to offer tailored activities for your guests based on their preferences or even offer an unexpected surprise that will elevate their satisfaction. What can you add to your guest journey to surprise your guests in a positive way?
The Winning Formula for 2024:High-Tech Stays with High-Touch Hospitality
In 2024, the hospitality industry stands at the intersection of innovation and tradition. Guests expect accommodations to be more tech-savy, while still providing comfort and friendly service.
In this sense, the winning formula for accommodations in 2024 is using technology to augment, not replace, friendly service.
In 2024, seamless technology integration will be the norm as well as basic online presence and optimisation. Being a guest must be easy even before the booking moment. Already in the research phase your accommodation should be easy to find and have outstanding content to convince travelers to make a direct booking.