Two words that define 2018 – Get Lost
Here is what to expect in 2018 as per the latest Virtuoso Lux Report and other industry experts. Plenty of food for thought for fellow hoteliers to turn trends into packages.
Skip The Parents
Multigeneration travel is in full swing including “skip-gen” trips, where grandparents take grandchildren on a special adventure, leaving the parents behind to experience their own time off.
Eat, Play, Love
Whether it’s meeting the locals, wandering neighbourhoods or learning traditional crafts, travellers nowadays want culturally immersive experiences they can’t find in a guidebook. Plenty of opportunities for hoteliers for local partnerships and packages before airbnb steals it all.
Fly Me To The Joon
There are two things millennials love – travel and social media so they can brag about travel. Hoteliers have long ago put those two together and launched chains like Moxy by Marriott, Jen by Shangri-La, Canopy by Hilton and JoandJoe by Accor. These new select service brands target millennials with “just the right room”; packed with digital tech and “surprises”.
Air France, however, is the first to launch the new generation airline. Joon has been entirely designed to meet the tech-savvy requirements and aspirations of the 18-to-35-year-olds. Those include tablet plugs in every seat; organic menu; VR headsets and in-flight entertainment streaming to personal devices. The cabin crew uniforms, inspired by Silicon Valley start-ups, feature white sneakers, electric blue polo shirts and sweaters made of recycled fabrics.
The airline’s partners offer cheap parking at the airport, airbnb experiences and surprise trips (you pay a bulk sum online for a trip including flights and hotel and find out the destination 48 hours to departure). Like everything millennial, Joon is a lifestyle brand before anything else i.e. “Rooftop bar with tapas and smoothies but also an airline”.
Try Me A River
There’s been talk for some time about younger travellers’ love of cruising, with festival-cruises and boutique river cruises like Aqua Expeditions along the Mekong appealing to millennials.
This year, Uniworld River Cruises debuts its U by Uniworld brand targeting youngsters with sleek all-black vessels; international DJs sets, mixology classes; rooftop yoga and adventurous excursions including rock climbing and white-water rafting.
Gone With The WiFi
Thought millennials were the only digital nomads around? Think again. On the rise are longer getaways for baby boomers travelling abroad for several months while working. In response to this, Brownell Travel have launched “sojourns”; three-month trips which include stays at short-term-let apartments, and access to co-working spaces such as WeWork.
Very quickly, before you dash off to the beach:
Frosé aka frozen rosé is the ultimate global warming weapon this summer. Served slushy style and made from full-bodied rosé, sugar, lemon and, of course, ice ice baby, it’s the coolest refreshment at the beach bar near you. It is also very easy to blend at home and makes an excellent Instagram shot.
Hugo is a clever spin on the Spritz, made of prosecco and elderflower syrup. Served on the rocks with a sprig of mint and a wedge of lemon, it’s an impressive party starter. Equally easy to make and Instagram-worthy.
As you know, it’s all about healthy by-products and friendly bacteria this summer and all dairy queens would con-curdle😊
Which brings us to Whey – the foggy liquid that gets strained off in cheese production. It is a little sour, a little salty and a little sweet all at the same time. It’s packed full of protein, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, which is why bodybuilders and athletes have been using it for ages as the primary ingredient of the daily protein supplements.
Its depth of flavour brings out the best in meats and vegetables, which is why whey is great for marinades, stocks or a substitute in any baking recipe that calls for water.
First came healthy juices with carrot and kale, then vegan menus of avocado, seaweed and coconut waters.
The latest and greatest are veggie yogurts. Most popular seem to be avocado, beetroot and butternut squash, if you go by the newly-introduced flavors by Waitrose this year.
Veggie yogurts are already popular in US, thanks to Blue Hill, who claim to have invented the world’s first savory yogurts with carrot, beet and parsnip flavors.
So “beet” it, Blue Hill:)
Dinner Party DIY – Conde Nast Traveller suggests adding grated cucumber, shredded mint and a pinch of salt to beetroot yogurt for an impressive instant dip.
Here are the top 5 key hospitality and digital trends you need to know for 2017 as per Ignite Hospitality. They scoured through all the articles on the web to find them and I scoured through theirs to give you the gist of it:)
Veggie, vegan, low-fat, low-cal, gluten-free – these trends aren’t going anywhere, in fact people are becoming more and more conscious about what they’re putting in their bodies. Hotels need to offer quality alternatives with wholesome ingredients such as plant proteins and superfoods. How about a bowl of edamame upon arrival? Or as a snack in the bar? Or even as a turndown service…
2016 saw the launch of Uber Eats in the UK, the rebrands of JustEat, Hungry House and Deliveroo and the growth of Jinn, Bevy and Feast. With Amazon now testing food delivery by drone, we cannot deny that the delivery revolution has only just begun and the industry needs to prepare. You need to think about everything from packaging (does it arrive to the customer with ‘in-house’ quality) to delivery times. It is not very cost effective for hotels, I know, but perhaps you should be more open to the idea of allowing outsourced in-room delivery? How about taking the orders in-house even? You give your guests a lot bigger choice and can still make money in the process. Similar to British Airways, who have recently replaced their in-flight meals with M&S sandwiches and salads to keep up with the Times.
The chatbot revolution is fast approaching from the East and will have a massive impact in the hospitality industry across many areas from finding somewhere to eat or stay, booking, getting customer feedback and even ordering. Whether you like it or not, the bots are here. They have been for a while now at the progressive chains near you as HotelSpeak points out.
4. Keeping It Real
In the over stimulated, over crowded digital space we are constantly craving for something that is real. We are more and more aware of curated content and crave information that is captured in the moment. This has led to the stratospheric rise of Snapchat throughout 2016 as well as the introduction of Instagram Stories and Facebook Live, which Zuckers is ploughing an obscene amount of cash into to get it off the ground. So instead of re-hashing 10 years old over-staged F&B promotion photos, give your younger staff a smart phone and let them rule the day. Or better even, upon arrival, give your guests an incentive to tell stories about you (see trend No1:)
5. Virtual / Augmented Reality
Virtual and/or Augmented reality are breaking into the mainstream as they are both highly engaging and highly shareable – two of the most valuable metrics we are bidding for in this noisy digital space. Augmented reality can work wonders for pre-opening hotels. Or how about layering your signature cocktails on top of your bar/pool frame?