Hotels & the Hospitality Industry Need Innovative Tech Strategies to Grow in 2024
The hospitality industry is on the brink of transformation as it faces 2024 and technology is going to be a major factor in that change. Last year’s challenges, including the muted growth in the U.S. hotel market, have paved the way for innovative strategies to enhance hotel performance. Where did 2023 leave the hospitality industry, and more specific the U.S. hotel market, and what’s in store for 2024?
Even with significant dips in domestic travel and a rise in group room nights, the global hotel industry showed steady performance with a 63 percent occupancy rate in 2023, according to Hospitality Net. The hotel transaction market, however, still experienced lows due to high federal funds rates and banking sector instability. Globally though, different regions saw substantial growth and improvement even with economic challenges playing a role in the performance of these markets. The outlook for 2024 is mixed.
This mixed reception is also echoed by experts in the hospitality industry. Per a Hospitality Industry Sentiment (HIS) survey, conducted by STR, over 51 percent of industry experts demonstrated their confidence in high long-term business confidence was at an eight or above. Most also responded to growth in room rates. However, their confidence varied when it came to concerns about a potential recession and other costs the hospitality industry faces. Experts in the industry are saying the answer to solving these issues, or at least insulating against major macro factors, is technology and how it impacts the guest experience.
On this episode of “Experts Talk,” industry experts Stephanie Leger, Chief Excellence Officer at First Rate Hospitality, AJ Krow, Former Travel Advisor at Peak Luxury Travel, and Glenn Haussman, Host of the “No Vacancy” podcast, sat down with host Gabrielle Bejarano to explore strategies for hotels to balance cost, technology, and customer service to stay competitive.
They particularly stressed how staying current to what guests are seeking is key to hotel growth, as the rise of digital nomads and the blend of business and leisure travel (‘bleisure’) are reshaping guest expectations. Hotels that adapt to these trends, investing in both their workforce and technology, are likely to thrive, further highlighting the significant role of training and employee engagement in creating a sustainable hospitality model.
However, the industry’s relationship with technology remains complex. While investment in digital solutions are crucial, making those investments tactical and focused remains a top priority. The success of the hotel industry in 2024 will hinge on its ability to integrate these elements with both caution and vigor.
Article written by Alexandra Simon.
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