Top challenges faced in the hotel industry
1. Change in technology
Challenge: The advancements in technology are altering every aspect of our daily
lives. Gone are the days when guests used to wait for hours or a day to receive
answers to any query. Today, customers are expecting a fast response and services from hotels. Such constant changes are extremely arduous to adapt to, which poses a challenge.
Solution: Hotels have begun tailoring guest experiences with chatbots. Chatbots allow hotels to respond to visitors at once, answer every query instantly, and more. This further increases hotel bookings, and revenue. Technology is an integral part of everyday life. Whilst we might use our holiday to take a break from certain aspects of our lives, it seems we never want a break from technology. Hotel guests demand a basic right to be connected in any hotel, in any location, around the world. Technology is a constant travel companion, wherever we go. Innovative use of technology that benefits customers and not just hotel operations, helps hotel chains to stand out from the competition and attract new customers. It started with the demand for free WiFi connection but this is very much a basic need
now. Hotels have since turned to robotics and voice control technology, amongst other technological installations, like smart minibars and golf simulators. If you are excited about high-tech hotels, read the Business Insider article on the 12 most high-tech hotels in the world.
2. Excellent service
Every hotel guest expects good customer service but today’s hoteliers must exceed expectations by being more than just good – they need to be excellent. A hotel is judged by the quality of the service delivered. Highly skilled and attentive staff, a personal touch, respect, and the ability to make a guest’s stay as comfortable and as relaxing as
possible are all equally important to succeed. To win repeat business and ensure long-term growth, hotels must develop a deep understanding of the types of customers they want to attract and provide services and
facilities that cater to the needs of their target customer base. There is now a growing demand to employ data scientists in the hospitality sector, to provide insights into hotel guests — their likes, dislikes and interests — to ensure unexpected and highly appreciated personal touches during a guest’s stay.
3. Maintaining online reputation
Challenge: Today, internet-savvy visitors look for the brand reputation first before booking a hotel room. But, maintaining an online reputation is another big challenge that hotels often face. However, this has not been a current issue in the hospitality industry. Reviews and reputation have been neglected across all industries since the beginning. Little do they know, that unmanaged reputation leads to poor brand image.
Solution: According to a survey, 93% of travelers check hotel reviews before booking a room and 33% of guests do not prefer to book a hotel with no reviews. Moreover, it is always crucial to track what guests are saying about your brand and the services you provide. Review management systems help you monitor, manage and respond to your
online reviews – regardless of the platform and language.
Sustainability is rapidly climbing the agenda of every organization, driven by people’s growing interest in and concern for the environment. In fact, the World Tourism Organization is deeply committed to sustainable tourism. Smart hoteliers understand that corporate responsibility programmes can help to win customers and trust, whilst
benefiting employees, the environment and earnings. Hotels spend a large part of their running costs on energy and utility bills. Luckily there are many ways, thanks to intelligent technologies, that hotel operators can go green,
review energy consumption and implement ways to deliver financial savings. There are many opportunities for hoteliers to raise their brand profile in terms of environmental impacts by focusing on reduction of food waste, general waste, water consumption, and energy (lighting, heating and cooling). Thanks to technological innovations, such as daylight harvesting sensors and motion sensors, hotels are already finding ways to reduce lighting and heating bills. f hotels can meet the challenges and expectations of their guests, they can ensure long-term business growth in a sustainable way and exceed customer expectations.
5. The growth of local hospitality hosts and rising competition
Challenge: These days, more and more number of property owners are renting out their room or property occasionally. Homestays and vacation rentals promise an authentic local experience besides being convenient. Owing to which, travellers prefer to choose those homestays over hotels and resorts. Other than that, new hotels are entering the market every day. This growing number of homestays and competition is one of the challenges in hospitality industry of 2020.
Solution: First and foremost, a solid competition analysis is needed. You need to know how your competitors are doing, monitor their strategies and then devise better plans for your property. On top of that, you need to offer something significant to attract your guests. Constant innovations and personalized services are eventually the only way to beat the competition.
6. Losing loyal customers
Challenge: Since various hotels are constantly pouring in attractive offers, guests tend not to be limited to a single brand. Rather, they’re open to options; especially if you fail to connect and engage with them personally, and deliver a memorable guest experience.
Solution: Running loyalty programs are the MOST practical way to increase your loyal customer base. These include offering amenities, discounts and reward points to guests against their membership. So, even if they’ve stopped using the services, you can approach your guests and offer them deals or package. At the same time, do not forget to consider implementing ways to increase repeat guests at your hotel.
7. Change in guest expectations
Challenge: Change in guest expectations is one of the biggest problems in the hotel industry. You’ve witnessed that nowadays guests demand a lot more from the hotel. Free WiFi, entertainment system, unique stay experience, and swift check-in check-out services. Owing to the COVID19 pandemic, they’ll also be expecting contactless hotel
services to ensure a safe stay. Certainly, it’s quite difficult to abide by these demands because of resource or capital bandwidth, but it’s going to be imperative to do it.
Solution: So, contactless hotel services can be provided with the right technology. Consider deploying a self-service guest portal which will facilitate quick check-in check-out services, share location to your property, and even let guests request for pick-up and drop-off services. Keep yourself updated with the latest hotel industry trends. Doing
that will help you meet the changing guest expectations in a better way.
9. Restoring business post-natural calamities and crisis
Challenge: So, I think this is a recently faced challenge (or rather, ISSUE) in the hospitality industry. The whole world shut down travelling during the COVID19 outbreak, because of which the hotel industry also had to shut down its operations. Cancelled reservations, indefinite lockdowns, shut down hotels; this was probably the worst hit times for the tourism and hospitality industry. While it is a challenge to survive these times, it is even a bigger challenge to come out of these times as a winner and the hardest to restore the business in these uncertain times.
Solution: To be honest, none of us would have imagined a situation like this, where we would be fighting for our survival. But it is entirely up to us on how we see these challenges, learn from them and come out even stronger than we were. Businesses took this opportunity to evolve and innovate and prepare themselves for the future. While these are all natural calamities and not in our control, we can surely work on optimizing our operations and ensuring that our business stays alive amid the chaos. In the current times, you can use and implement strategies mentioned in our
COVID19 survival kit for hotels.
Having gone through the above points you can now have a clear idea as to which of the challenges in the hotel industry do YOU face. Determining those, you can work on tackling them.