Hoteliers share with Hotel News Now what changes they expect to see in the industry in the next five years, with predictions ranging from a mix of physical and digital touchpoints to the continued evolution of revenue management.
GLOBAL REPORT—Disciplines across the hotel industry from revenue management to technology will evolve in a multitude of ways over the next five years, sources at hotel companies said.
Matthew Von Ertfelda, SVP of food & beverage, global operations, Marriott International
“Food and beverage will continue to be an integral part of the travel experience in 2025. People are increasingly choosing their travel destinations based on local dining and drinking experiences, looking for authentic, bespoke experiences that they can talk about. This aligns with the preferences of Generation Z, the connected, mobile-forward generation who now accounts for 25% of all food service traffic. We expect to see hotel dining and drinking trends change with their preferences: a focus on sustainable concepts with locally sourced, plant-forward ingredients, artisan-led experiences to fuel their sense of community, and more mobile-forward in-room dining options.”
Danny Hughes, EVP and president of the Americas, Hilton
“We have a phrase we use internally called ‘phygital.’ We truly believe the hotel experience of the future will be in a ‘phygital’ environment, which is a combination of physical and digital. You can’t—and we hope you never will be able to—replace the incredible emotional feeling of travel, and a hotel is part of that. But we also understand that consumers need a robust digital platform that allows that. Our vision of ‘phygital’ is that you should be able to see everything a hotel has to offer and customize it from the palm of your hand. You can decide on your room, decide what time you want to arrive, decide if you want breakfast included in your rate on Wednesday but not on Thursday. If you want to open the room with your phone, you can. Set the temperature of the room from your taxi? You can. And if you want to have a cocktail in the bar and have a chat with real people, you can do that, too. This merging is something we’re focused on, and five years into the future, this connectivity will be even more important.”
Anna Scozzafava, VP of extended stay brand strategy and operations, Choice Hotels International
“We continue to invest in future-state technology that will provide long-lasting value for guests and owners. As we look ahead at 2020 and the changes and challenges the hospitality industry may face, finding and driving property-level profitability opportunities will be critical to long-term success.
“Over the next five years, we will continue to leverage our data, new advances with 5G networks and our expertise in the digital space to identify where opportunities exist to drive a higher operating profit. Particularly within the extended-stay space, we know there are ways to consolidate day-to-day tasks and create greater efficiencies.
“The ability to use machine learning to evaluate hotel profit indexing data with on-property staffing allocations and other operational metrics, combined with on-property or mobile-based resources, is where our future capabilities are headed.”
Sloan Dean, president and CEO, Remington Hotels
“Sales, revenue management and marketing will continue to be folded into ‘commercial services’ in which all top-line strategy is aligned across multiple tactical disciplines. For example, we are already seeing a chief commercial officer role at key organizations. Similarly, Remington Hotels has just created this role. I think instead of VPs of revenue management, VPs of marketing or VPs of sales, we will begin to see VPs of commercial services that are responsible for all three disciplines. This position will provide broader career pathing and higher compensation for a more strategic and broader role. I also envision large organizations having commercial leader development plans—six months in sales, six months in revenue management, six months in marketing and six months in distribution. Remington Hotels plans to launch a similar development plan in the near- to mid-term.”