Take many years of hotel experience as operator, manager and consultant. The same amount of time experience as a frequent traveller and the realisation that many hotel concepts urgently need to be changed to allow the necessary profitability as a business. This is how this blog is born.
The general conditions are not exactly rosy. In many locations, demand is weak or at least very difficult to forecast. Yet, rather unnoticed by the public, many hotels have ceased operations for good, especially in the big cities. And when there is a good booking situation, there is a lack of staff in many places to prepare breakfast or clean the rooms. And despite all the enthusiasm for digitalisation, people still make beds and make coffee. In more and more “hotels”, it is the guests themselves who do these tasks.
Nevertheless, this difficult phase will probably pass. At least for those hotels that open up to new possibilities and cut out old habits.
Although some experts are already claiming that the hotelier can be addressed as a hologram or that the first space hotel will be a reality in the near future, we would like to go into the obvious and already field-tested possibilities:
Booking rooms, checking in and out, reserving tables and booking conferences are already widely used as digital self-service. Perhaps the food delivery industry will create the next gastronomic concepts for hotels as well. In many long-stay concepts, facility management apps and service staff already work together “on demand”.
Too many empty hotel beds and too few affordable flats? It is unlikely that these trends will not collide and create solutions.
At least in smart co-working concepts, the city hotel industry (even in medium-sized cities) could play a significant role. Event spaces are even more multifunctional in design. Today a workshop room, tomorrow a co-working office.
You can’t manage to open the entrance or room door with your mobile phone? One of the items on the bill was wrong? The coffee machine doesn’t foam the milk. Now help is needed quickly. It has to be separated which help can be provided decentrally (e.g. opening the door), for what do the helping hands have to be on site (filling the coffee machine?). Whereby the coffee machine belongs to the world of the “Internet of Things” and has already ordered the service before the guest has a disappointing experience.
And, of course, there are the perennials to be provided:
The guest has his entertainment with him, it would be nice if the hotel TV also knew this and supported the use of the private streaming service from the hotel room. Or the video camera with streaming function is standard in the hotel. By the way, not only in business hotels. Many guests already live the combination of business & leisure. A few hours of work in the morning and then off to the beach have not only become reality since Corona.
A hotel invites its guests to help with the grape harvest or to look after the horses at the nearby equestrian farm. CO² neutrality is just as important as the protection of nature, because guests want to enjoy it. Guests and chef go shopping together at the nearby regional farmers’ market. The list of new holiday activities is long and, above all, different. Over-tourism is being fought and mass events have to be cheap.
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