The ALMR, the national trade body of licensed hospitality operators, with an increasing membership in the hotel arena, has welcomed new research by HOTREC outlining key priorities for hotels and restaurants of the future.
A study commissioned by HOTREC, the umbrella association of hotels, restaurants and cafes in Europe, that combines data from the TRAVELSAT© Competitive Index Survey and the TRAVELSAT© Competitive Index Interviewing Platform, has revealed that travellers of the future will place a high importance on friendly staff and food safety in restaurants.
They will want new enjoyable flavours, local ingredients and an experience that has cultural authenticity. They will also enjoy feeling like a special guest and have the option to personalise dishes to their preference.
With regards to hotels, consumers expect the number one most important factor for a positive hotel experience in the future to be feeling safe, followed by having their privacy respected and being served by genuinely friendly staff.
Authenticity will also be important in both restaurants and hotels, and younger consumers will have much higher expectations than older visitors.
In restaurants, while a genuine, local immersive food experience is expected by guests of all ages, younger generations are expecting much more compared to their elders. Some want unique design and atmosphere, while others expect entertainment, flexible opening times and greater personalisation.
In hotels, some younger visitors will want more amenities and flexibility for hosting friends or families, while more digital and high-tech entertainment or unique design are also important.
With regards to global variations on future hotel experiences, safety, privacy and staff hospitality are the main British expectations while the French would expect more flexibilities around time constraints or families-friendly hosting amenities. Their appetite for discovering local authentic places is also stronger than average.
US guests will expect outstanding, genuine staff hospitality and better reward programs, while Chinese guests express the highest level of expectations around safety and would enjoy in the future “all-in-one place” experiences that can reflect the local cultural authenticity.
In restaurants both British and US guests of the future will insist on food safety and genuine hospitable service.
The study also looked at levels of satisfaction among consumers in today’s market and found that luxury hotels across Europe are scoring significantly higher than their budget and intermediate counterparts in terms of overall quality, hospitality of personnel and value for money.
It found that visitor experience is the first driver of destination attractiveness influencing one in three destination choices in Europe. Recommendations from friends and relatives have the biggest influence over where consumers will book at 34%, followed by the destination’s perceived status as “must-see” at 33% and information on the internet at 24%.
Kate Nicholls, CEO of the ALMR said: “The HOTREC report contains highly valuable research to the growing number of our members that offer accommodation, and as partners of HOTREC, we are delighted to be able to share it with them. The report will help them in their business planning for the future, as well as assessing what works well in today’s market.”