http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/global/154000320/4063217.html (an easy, casual read, good with coffee or juice or whatever )
An interesting article about the upcoming lodging trends for next year. We Insiders have already observed how closely aligned Marriott is with many of these trends; one, the growth of international leisure travelers, CEO Sorenson is the go to source. We've certainly seen/lived Marriott's emphasis on millennials, mobile, review management, social media interaction, international focus, and web site enhancement. I am eager to observe the momentum next year of the effect of the trends of foodies, WOW customer service, and genuine guest interaction.
I am also fascinated by the burgeoning, perhaps all encompassing utilization of Big Data; be it Adara http://www.adaramedia.com/ the demographic marketing research firm for hoteliers, or the TrustYou or Flip.to sites below that specifically help companies manage reputations and recommendations (Insiders?) . It gives me a better understanding of why every time I go on a site or write an e-mail, I have a Marriott ad in the right column.
I would greatly enjoy Insiders sharing their thoughts, this may actually help us craft future travel strategies - thank you
Millennials - looking for unique experience, willing to pay, foodies a big subset
Speed and precision - booking, check-in, Wi-Fi, response to customer service
WOW customer service - exceeding expectations helps ensure repeat business
Leadership - execs instilling in associates the value of genuine interaction w/guests
Expectation of more int'l visitors - Sorenson:100 million Chinese travel/10 ml. to US
Social media and mobile will be inseparable - Mobile everything, 1st time exceeds desktop
Content marketing will replace traditional advertising - less ads, more 'publishing'
Renewed focus on property websites - highest ROI thru own site; content, updates, incentives
Review site tactics - actively interact w/Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google Places etc
Mobile grabbed my attention also. Out of three restaurants this week, two of them offered to text us deals, so one of my trends next year is to finally come out of the dark ages and get on the 'app' bandwagon (or at the very least, hang with those that do). I have a partner who has an app that as you walk by the store, informs him of discounts.
The other point that caught my attention was the focus on social media and its importance, which we all knew about, but sometimes feel it doesn't necessarily apply to Insider content. Fearful, that Insiders will only become a Marriott version of TripAdvisor without millennial participation (and we're all working hard together to revive the energy), I agree with madmax above; we Insiders desire similar service as millennials; unique experiences, great food, willingness to pay (in spite of all my barking about deals, but that matches 'incentives on web site' trend), an earlier report about millennials stated they wanted free coffee also, and certainly Insiders, as chronicled in this forum hundreds of times, appreciate WOW customer service where service exceeds expectations.
Since most millennials did not have the rewards benefits that long time loyal Marriott travelers earned and were used to, it appears to me that Marriott is going to finance the millennials' desires with the reduction of former benefits. I stated earlier this week in a post I was going to study millennials and start liking what they like; the truth is often said in jest, I'm jumping on the millennial express before it runs me over.