2017 has exceeded performance expectations and 2018 is currently on track to be even better for independent hoteliers according to new research from Guestline. The optimistic view also sees many planning to increase investments in technology and refurbishment throughout their properties to deliver growth in the year ahead.
This is according to research published today ahead of this week’s Independent Hotel Show taking place at London’s Olympia. Nearly two thirds (60 per cent) of those surveyed confirmed that they think 2018 will be a better year than 2017.
Almost a quarter of those researched (24 per cent) advised that the year to-date has exceeded expectations, whilst nearly half (45 per cent) felt that 2017 has performed in line with their expectations. Likewise looking ahead to the remainder of the year there is a strong excitement and commitment to developing key areas of hotel operations. This includes refurbishment for over a quarter (27 per cent) and technology both for bookings and property management software (PMS) (20 per cent) and guest technology (13 per cent).
Growing direct guests is a key part of hotelier’s plans for 2018 with nearly half of those researched (47 per cent) identifying it as one of their key challenges for the next 12 months. This is followed by planning for challenges around Brexit and technology (13 per cent each). A focus on staff and attracting talent will also be key for one in ten owners and operators.
Investment looks set to be a key trend as in light of this optimistic view many areas can expect to see a commitment to spend and improve. Bedrooms have been identified as a key area for investment by nearly half of respondents (47 per cent), followed by design and décor (20 per cent) and technology (17 per cent). Over a third (37 per cent) also stated they expected to invest more in technology in 2018 compared to this year, with over three quarters (77 per cent) confirming that having a PMS that is easy to integrate to other software services was essential.
Commenting on the findings, Emma Johnstone, VP business development, Guestline said:
“It is exciting for the hospitality sector to see that hoteliers are optimistic about the next 12 months and that the market mood is buoyant. Certainly it is has been an interesting year but the fact that hotel owners and operators are making a firm commitment to investment across all areas of operation, including technology and staff as well as property refurbishments indicates that not only is the sector confident there is also strong potential for growth. The sector continues to evolve apace and we look forward to supporting our existing and potential new clients in navigating their way through this changing landscape so they are equipped with the technology and insight they need to realise this growth.”