From finding new ways to unlock branded consumer opportunities, to enriching consumer travel with innovative digital experiences or powerful cloud-based technological solutions, our industry must constantly evolve to meet shifting guest and owner dynamics and expectations.
Growing consumer demand for branded experiences requires hotel companies to continue to find new ways to work with owners and partners to meet expectations.
Owners recognise the strength of a branded offer, and in addition to traditional opportunities, are looking for ways to affiliate with a brand through light-touch conversions or low-cost construction techniques, combined with features that reduce operating costs. The recent addition of multiple new brands by big-branded players illustrates the level of capacity in the market and industry appetite.
Over the last decade, IHG has added our wellness focus brand, EVEN Hotels, a brand tailored to the Chinese consumer, HUALUXE, and following acquisition, expanded Kimpton in the global luxury space. We have also launched avid hotels in the mainstream segment, upscale brand voco, which is principally focused on conversions, and acquired both Regent and Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas in the top tier of the luxury segment. This reflects a continued strategic focus on offering more tailored experiences to a diverse guest base in the highest opportunity segments and markets.
New brands launched in the the last decade by the top five hotel groupsa Source: STR, Inc
The consumer landscape continues to evolve – from millennials seeking increasingly unique and authentic experiences, to baby boomers with money and time to travel, both of whom increasingly expect technology to aid, inform and enrich their stays.
From intuitive booking apps, chatbots, and mobile check-in/check-out, to smart artificial intelligence assistants and seamless wifi, today’s guests expect technology to be integrated into many areas of the travel experience. To meet this trend, the ability of hotel companies to work in partnership with the right technology providers has become increasingly important.
IHG has made good progress in this area: from bespoke online payment solutions to Artifical Intelligence Smart Rooms in some of our InterContinental hotels, which allows guests to use voice commands to control opening the curtains through to ordering room service; and the development of IHG Studio with our avid brand, which allows seamless direct casting of entertainment from guest smart devices to in-room TVs.
Of predicted US business trip spending will be by millennials, by 2020b Source: Boston Consulting Group, Inc
Data generation, storage and use has never been as prevalent and important as it is today. Cloud storage has further changed the game, giving accommodation providers easy access to real-time diverse data, that enables a more personalised and efficient service.
Operationally it allows providers to use data to tailor guest experiences faster, and drive a more personalised relationship with them. With this trend comes a growing responsibility to handle data responsibly, respecting consumer preferences and rights.
IHG is a pioneer in data-centric technology innovation, from loyalty to reservations and hotel solutions.
Data in the world was generated in last two yearsc Source: Forbes Media LLC