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3 hotel trends for 2014 small business owners need to know

Posted on February 03, 2014 by Breanna Wilson & filed under Travel

Hospitality companies are constantly trying to implement eye-catching programs and procedures to provide better service to their customers. However, few sectors are as aggressive in this regard as the hotel industry.

With so many outlets to choose from across the world, hotel companies take a proactive approach to tailoring better services to clients, particularly frequent business travelers who make up a significant portion of their business.

In 2014, the embrace of service innovation will only continue, with a number of exciting new trends set to change the global hotel landscape for small business travelers.

Big data means big comfort 

You may have heard the term big data thrown around, but you may associate the phrase more with tech startups or financial firms. However, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, hotels will start to leverage big data this year in an effort to deliver more personalized service.

The source noted that hotel chains are starting to build profiles of their customers in order to better predict what type of service they want.

"Every time you take a trip, chat to a hotel staff member, fill in a survey or even post on Facebook, someone could be collecting that information to build a profile of your travel habits," the source stated.

For example, if you're a person who likes firm pillows, expect room service to provide you one before you even request it. It could bring in a new era of comfort and personalized service, which bodes well for small business road warriors.

Room service revamp 

Meeting Focus recently reported that room service use has been on a steady decline in recent years, but suggested a new era for in-room convenience may be on the horizon as hotels look to increase revenues from this traditional offering.

The source indicated that while a focus on more convenience is a part of this attempt to make room service more attractive, better quality and a more engaging experience are also in the cards. More hotels will offer meals from top-grade chefs and some will include digital menus in rooms that allow customers to see videos and visuals relating to food or other products.

In Dallas, Meeting Focus indicated that Hotel Belmont has embraced this approach. It hired well-known Chef Tim Byers to open a barbecue restaurant in the hotel that will provide sit-down grade meals via room service.

While it's often nice to get out of the hotel, sometimes travelers simply need to relax after a long flight or day of meetings. With a new focus on creating a better room service experience, hotels are showing that they want their customers to have access to comfort, convenience and relaxation.

Going local 

Reuters highlighted several trends that will emerge in the hotel sector this year, but placed "Local Life" at the top of its list. More hotels across the world will take steps to make sure travelers are able to get a glimpse of life in the local area through a number of ways.

Some will tailor their rooms to reflect regional artists, such as the Brodu House in Budapest, Hungary. The hotel is also planning to hold exhibitions, readings and other events that showcase the local culture to foreigners.

Also, service companies including Eat With, will enable travelers to connect with locals willing to cook a meal for a visitor.

For small business owners who need to unwind on after a long meeting or conference, sitting in the hotel room isn't always ideal. Hopefully, the trend of promoting local life will allow frequent travelers to get a bit of authentic culture while on the road.

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