HOTEL Yearbook FORESIGHT AND INNOVATION IN THE GLOBAL HOTEL INDUSTRY
The CEOs of Six Senses and The BĂźrgenstock Collection discuss the luxury resort of the future Wimberly Interiors present a stunning 7-page portfolio of hotel design trends The 2014 hotel outlook around the world: 45 country reports from Horwath HTL Our trend spotters on asset management, sustainability, digital marketing, tourism and revenue management in 2014 Industry observations from our academic partners Cornell, Lausanne, Hong Kong Polytechnic and ESSEC
This e-publication may be ordered online | â‚Ź 19.50
The next 10 years: Trends and scenarios by Jeroen Oskam i
The role of the European Tourism Futures Institute, located at Stenden University in the Netherlands, is to In the past, there havethe been twoof main ways for meeting attendees bookor their hotel for an event: “paint pictures about future tourism”. These pictures may betopretty they maystays be shocking, but Eitherway, by making their own reservations directly with the hotel (hence by providing theirwe either they should stimulate us to think about scenarios that could“on-own”), realisticallyoremerge – and how information tofor thethem. event’s meeting planner, manager who thenisassembles everyone’s hotel booking information into an might prepare The ETFI’s program Prof. Jeroen Oskam. We asked him for some thoughtexcel spreadsheet and it to the hotel (hence provoking examples of sends how things could change for“rooming us in the list”). hospitality business over the next decade.
Watching trends How will the hospitality business evolve in the next 10 years? Businesses are hungry for information that helps them identify business opportunities and risks in advance. Trendwatchers address this need by watching their crystal balls for the latest updates on consumer likes and behavior. However, these trends are hardly reliable for long-term strategic planning. They are too volatile and often caused by “self-inflicted” innovation.
How do we understand the future Our understanding of the future has evolved through history. Our idea of the future being totally different than the present —rather than a cyclical reappearance of the four seasons— is something of the last few centuries. More recently, we have become more skeptical about our control over the future. Whereas formerly we used to believe that changes occurred because we wanted them to, we now see them as something we have to prepare for.
Somehow, predicting a trend is like deciding what to have for dinner. When such a “trend” is detected, we decide to influence the near future. If a fashion designer states that “next year, red shoes will be hot”, this is not an analysis but a directive statement. In other words, “trends” are commercial propositions rather than insight into the future.
If we are not in control This paradigm shift requires new analytical models. Forecasting meant drawing the lines in our graphs forward into the future, but we are no longer sure that things will happen as they used to happen. We see ourselves as chess players: we control the white pieces, but not the black ones. We know a move will be made, but not which one. We try to anticipate all the options. This is what we do in scenario planning.
This makes trends capricious and unpredictable by nature in the long run. Besides, were trends a trend themselves? In years without growth, more prudent consumers may slow down their trendiness. Yet our businesses still face drastic changes we have to analyze and anticipate.
HOTEL Yearbook 2014 annual edition
Dilemma 1: Running out of water Now let us look, from this perspective, to some of the dilemmas and challenges in hospitality and tourism. We do this by scanning the business environment for uncertainties and so-called “early warning signals”. One good example: recently several Dutch swimming pools announced bankruptcy because of water tax hikes. Increased costs for natural resources will unavoidably also affect our industry in the future. We may one day laugh about those strange times when you would pay for one hour of Wi-Fi connection, but you could take as many showers and as long as you wanted.
Jeroen Oskam (PhD., Universiteit van Amsterdam, 1992) is Program Manager at the European Tourism Futures Institute in the Netherlands. Previously he worked for Maastricht Hotel Management School and was the director of Zaragoza Hotel Management School. He is a visiting professor of Hospitality Management at EADA Business School in Barcelona.
Dilemma 2: The Russians are coming To what extent will we benefit from market growth in emerging countries? The hopes for a Russian-Chinese invasion may be as deceptive as our panic was thirty years ago. According to the UNWTO, a stable 80% of travellers will stay in their own region. The remaining 20% still represent impressive absolute numbers. It may require a solid brand name and concentrated marketing efforts. Though, to attract these to your destination. Dilemma 3: Ageing tourists If not the BRICs, then the elderly may be the future of our business. We may benefit from this development if only we adapt our facilities to senior mobility problems and other health issues. Will we? In fact, the average age of hotel guests is dropping. Besides, we may confuse the elderly of today with those of the future. We should understand that we are talking about ourselves. Our generation will suffer less arthritis and more obesity, diabetes and alcoholism.
Dilemma 5: Big data Many of us are not concerned about our privacy; decent people have nothing to hide. This is good for hotels. Big data may help to get a higher yield per customer. Just as Apple users can already be directed to more expensive hotels, our clientsâ€™ browsing behavior may accurately predict the price they are willing to pay. Conclusion It is not hard to foresee that certain things will change, although it is impossible to predict how they will change. Therefore it is wise not to rely on trendwatching, but to anticipate multiple scenarios. How fast will our world change? The exponential pace of change gives us one certainty: faster than we think.
Dilemma 4: Where to find us I just received an e-mail from Air France-KLM warning me that my Gmail inbox has changed. That is relevant to them. On a totally different note, Google recently announced its laudable initiative to make child abuse sites unfindable by diverting searches to more appropriate content. Both these issues show us what Google can do. Could it buy a hotel chain and make competitors unfindable? That would be an extreme scenario in the power shift from hotel companies to online distributors.
HOTEL Yearbook Foresight and innovation in the global hotel industry
The CEOs of Six Senses and The Bürgenstock Collection discuss the luxury resort of the future ESPA’s Sue Harmsworth on the coming changes in the global hotel spa industry The 2014 hotel outlook around the world: 45 country reports from Horwath HTL Our trend spotters on asset management, sustainability, digital marketing, tourism and revenue management in 2014 Industry observations from our academic partners Cornell, Lausanne, Hong Kong Polytechnic and ESSEC
This e-publication may be ordered online | € 19.50
Click here to Purchase the full edition of The HOTEL Yearbook 2014