Hospitality Trends of 2012


Around the office, the beginning of Q4 has been permeated with a look ahead at 2013. We are excited for what the new year will bring to the industry, and want to get a head start on preparations. As is natural, looking ahead brings with it a sense of nostalgia for what has passed. 2012 has been an year of positive outlook and growth in the hospitality industry, and we’ve seen some of the biggest game-changers in history disrupt the way we do business and even our day to day lives.

  • Reorganizing public spaces – Many hotels are rethinking their public spaces. Lobbies have become more social, meeting rooms are getting a makeover, and property-specific areas such a libraries or spas are focusing on the personalized guest experience.
  • Growth of online and mobile bookings – So far in 2012, online bookings seem to grow daily, and smartphone penetration hit the 50% mark mid-year. We fully expect to see these numbers continue to rise through 2013 with consumer trust in online purchases on the rise.
  • Connection through social media- There was no question here. As much as social networking has changed the way we interact with friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers, it was bound to touch our relationships with brands eventually. This year has seen some amazing changes in the way guests are engaging with hotels before and after their stay, as well as new and interesting ways hotels can tell their brand story.
  • Focus on sustainability – The green initiative has been around for awhile now, but it’s definitely had a boost this year with hotels that have a focus on sustainability. We all know this is a boost for both the hotel and the environment, so expect this trend to see more growth over the years to come.
  • Health conscious – Lots of hotels and restaurants are revamping menus to include healthy choices, ranging from the traditional low-fat and low-cal, to keeping up with the latest diets and even food allergies and sensitivities. Some have extended this option to the kids, while others have brought the concept across their entire menu. Recently, the term “healthy” has claimed real estate beyond the menu in the form of vitamin infused showers, anti-microbial sheets, aromatherapy and more.
  • Technology – I remember in fourth grade, I had to draw a picture of what the “future” would look like in 2000. Most of the pictures my classmates and I drew contained little personal flying machines, lots of “moving sidewalks”, and perhaps more creepy for the fourth grade, implanted devices for information and communication. Looking back, it’s kind of funny how our thoughts of the future seemed to exclude anybody actually walking anywhere. Hotels have a unique opportunity to use technology to enhance an experience rather than replace it. With smartphones and tablets, guests have access to augmented reality to enhance their local tours, information at their fingertips for the perfect local experience, and a direct connection with hotel staff to ensure every need is met.

These hospitality trends are not exhaustive, and are in no particular order. What trends have you looking back over the year, and what do you see for 2013?