Hospitality trends 2017: technology, customer experience & education

By Glion Institute of Higher Education

With all the new technology transforming the hospitality and tourism industry, Glion Institute of Higher Education is training students to choose which tools they will use to improve the customer experience and use them wisely. The key is to find a balance where technology offers an enhanced experience, without effacing the authentic, face-to-face interactions that are the essence of the hospitality industry.

Here’s our advice on what hospitality companies and professionals will have to do to keep up with these trends in 2017 and beyond.

Engaging and attracting customers with technology

Here are four main areas where technological advances will influence hospitality industry trends this year, and for years to come: geo-targeting and beacons, the next generation of CRMs, digital/physical interfaces and smartphone pairings, new social media tools, and last but not least, the latest in virtual reality and augmented reality.

In 2017, hospitality businesses will have to focus on making the most of these and other emerging trends in hospitality technology to not be left behind. The potential and scope and application of these new tools are quite remarkable, and they will definitely drive hospitality trends catering to the millennial consumer.

Keeping a human touch

The real challenge for hospitality companies is not going to be acquiring or implementing technology, it will be to use technology wisely so as not to distract from the authentic, personalized, face-to-face experiences that today’s travelers crave.

Marina Franolic, a Glion alumna of 2002, founded the Adria Hotel Forum to raise Croatia’s hospitality industry standards, development and collaboration to an international level. In a recent interview for our blog, she commented on this issue:

“At a global level, technology is developing, but it should not overshadow the human aspect. We are all focused on the tech tools that are developing, but millennials are looking for an authentic, traditional experience. We need to go back to the roots of hospitality and provide a connection with the people and culture in an area. That is what all the comments on AirBnB are about, how the owners really welcome people or put them in touch with local activities and guides. That is the future of hospitality, using technology to free up the time and resources to connect with people. Not using more technology to replace interactions,” she said.

Hannah Béraud-Hindi*, a Glion alumna of 2013, shared her expertise on the topic in the article “Humanising the Digital Experience” that was published in the online journal Boutique Hotel News. Hannah is the founder and director of HANNAH BERAUD DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS, a consultancy/agency for the hospitality industry based in London, UK and operating since 2015. Her agency helps hotels, restaurants and travel companies develop more human digital relationships and accompanies them in their digital transformation.

Education for Hospitality Professionals

Undoubtedly, hospitality managers will also need “upgrading” to have the right tools and aptitudes to deal with these challenging trends. That’s why Glion Institute of Higher Education offers corporate training and continuing education solutions for working hospitality professionals.

Leading hospitality companies, such as AccorHotels, have partnered with Glion to cultivate managerial talent and offer the Glion Online MBA in Hospitality to managers worldwide, partially sponsoring their education. The flexible format of online courses lets companies retain top talent while managers enhance their academic and professional qualifications.

To learn more about the technology and education that will shape the future of hospitality industry, visit the Glion blog or sign-up for our newsletter.

*Hannah Béraud-Hindi, a Glion alumna of 2013, shared her expertise on the topic in the article “Humanising the Digital Experience” that was published in the online journal Boutique Hotel News. Hannah is the founder and director of HANNAH BERAUD DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS, a consultancy/agency for the hospitality industry based in London, UK and operating since 2015. Her agency helps hotels, restaurants and travel companies develop more human digital relationships and accompanies them in their digital transformation.

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