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11 November 2016

Five hotel trends for 2017

With just over a month and a half to go before the end of the year and after yesterday' s intense day in Bilbao in which Fernando Gallardo encouraged us to think big about the future of the professions of those of us who work in the tourism sector, we are launching this post in which we intend to bring together the hotel trends of the near future. We don't have a crystal ball, but it is obvious that the consolidation of the technological transformation that the sector has undergone in recent years will further underline the difference between those hotels that are already taking the necessary steps to respond to the needs of today's tourists -mobile, global, social, collaborative- and those that got stuck wondering whether or not it was important to have a presence on social networks.

1. The tourist is and will remain mobile

Online shopping continues to grow globally and reservations for airline tickets, restaurants, shows, museum tickets and hotel rooms are segments where booking from tablets and mobile devices works wonders. This reality will make many hotels with non-responsive websites and without a mobile marketing and merchandising strategy uncompetitive. Putting obstacles in the way of booking from a device that is widely used around the world does not make sense.

Through hotel apps, functionalities will be developed that make life easier for guests, such as the express check in or opening doors using the cell phone. It seems that wearables have not yet taken off and the cell phone is consolidating its position as the all-in-one device and inseparable companion for tourists on their leisure or business trips.

New payment methods

This all-in-one device will allow us to pay the bill at the end of the stay without having to wait in line at reception to swipe the bank card. Payment will be made through solutions such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet and many others to come.

3. More additional services and greater customization of offerings

Understanding and exploiting the enormous amount of data that customers leave on the Internet will allow us to know our guests better than ever before. In this way, we will be able to offer them what they really need at the right time.

Hoteliers will have to rely on professionals who know how to obtain this data, separate the wheat from the chaff and assemble an ultra-customized offer that combines accommodation, services and complementary activities, capable of exceeding the expectations of an increasingly demanding and less "impressionable" client.

4. Authenticity of the destination experience

Satisfying today's customers means offering them the latest technological equipment and a unique experience that leaves a lasting impression. All of this means offering an exquisite service that provides added value and differentiation related to the destination and brings the client closer to the gastronomy, culture and idiosyncrasy of the destination.

In addition, customer loyalty actions will be essential, especially those that encourage comments on opinion portals and social networks.

5. Direct booking will be more expensive and more difficult to obtain.

OTAs will continue to take the lion's share of the global hotel booking pie, especially for hotels that are not part of large international chains. However, the emergence of new players in the market and the commitment to technology on the part of hotel managers, owners and directors will lead to advances in the share of direct bookings. The mix of direct and indirect sales channels will continue to be the formula used by most hotels.

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