India’s hospitality industry is experiencing a period of rapid change. Driven by the rise of middle class income bracket and a deep desire of the young Indian to travel and savour experiences. Millenials and their distinct habits are compelling organizations to review their work place culture, operating models and product offering. Ms. Anshu Sarin, CEO- Berggruen Hotels shares some important trends expected to be seen in 2019:
Make technology work for us:
Travel and Hospitality will change the traditional way we have viewed business. Technology will play a huge role here – to build scale, operational excellence and enhanced consumer experience. In an ever-changing landscape, every organization should know what and how can they make technology work for it over taking moon shots. Incremental approach over a transformative one with focus on augmenting capabilities would be our preference with cognitive based technologies.
Workplace environment to be the key differentiator:
Human capital has an immense impact on the strength of the organization today. It is imperative to define today for the workforce a purpose – Why do we do what we do? Transform purpose into performance. Core values are not about mere words but phrases, rules and boundaries that define a company’s culture and personality. It is critical to codify the core, articulate it and reinforce it on an on-going basis. Creating an environment which blends wisdom from experience with the quest for purpose of the millennial will be the key.
Exponential growth in the number of millennial travellers:
With the advent of disruptive change across sectors like BFSI, e-commerce, IT, FinTech, the organizations realize the importance of talent mix of industry experts with fresh minds. Thus, corporate travel segment has observed an increase in the millennial population over the better part of the last decade. They look for exploration, interaction and experience rather than a place to crash at night. Thus, staying relevant to the customized needs of this segment is of paramount importance for the sustainability of hospitality sector.
Age of the Influencer:
Travellers are on quest for ‘insta-worthy’ locations due to constant social media pressure. These are driven by the influencers on platforms that help the business grow through campaigns and offering certain incentives to their followers. Leveraging social media by supporting likes with relevant content, juxtaposing push and pull marketing will be the way forward.
Changing definition of Corporate Travel:
2019 will observe an increase in travellers that combine business and leisure travel into one trip. According to reports 55% of millennials extend business trips for extra leisure time. Driven by the blurring lines between work and leisure along with the need to have a comprehensive travel experience, corporate and leisure travel is expected to see an uptake. It is compelling to match up to the needs of today’s business traveller whose constantly on-the-go lifestyle requires simple, mobile, local and inclusive experiences.
Rise of Responsible and Sustainable Tourism:
Every industry is undergoing sustainability reforms where organisations have begun taking dedicated initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint. Travellers today prefer staying at hotels that adopt sustainable practices and are committed to fulfilling environmental responsibilities like optimising energy consumption in the hotels.
Speaking further about the Travel and Hospitality trends expected to be seen this year, Ms. Sarin adds, “In 2019 there will be an increase in travelers that combine business and leisure travel into one trip. Companies will need to offer the new age traveler or what we call the Non-liner generation, a purpose which is integrated into the stay experience. Technology will play a crucial role in the coming year and focus on augmenting capabilities would be our preference. Apart from technology, travelers would prefer brands which provides human touch and social commitment to fulfilling environmental responsibilities. Hence a dynamic, integrated but a personalized approach would drive demands in the coming year.”