Attracting new guests to your hotel can sometimes appear daunting. There is fierce competition from both large hotel chains with unlimited funds and inexpensive, unregulated accommodation that is freely available through online listings.
However, by identifying the latest hospitality trends you'll have a clearer idea of how to invest your time and money.
One trend that will instantly improve a smaller boutique hotel is in offering personalised services that will make your guests feel welcome. Enquire if your guests are partial to a particular tea or coffee. Include it at breakfast and to accompany appliances in their rooms for convenient refreshments at any time. Ordering favourite morning newspapers is usually appreciated.
It's often difficult for smaller businesses to have extensive menus but always try to include nutritious meat-free alternatives for vegetarians.
Ensure your kitchen staff are aware of any food allergies your guests might have. Providing uniforms for your staff and encouraging polished manners with excellent customer services will treat your guests to the same level of personalisation they'd receive at a luxury hotel.
There is general concern over environmental issues and many of your guests will be keen to observe whether you are implementing measures to reduce your carbon footprint. If you implement sustainable practices in your hotel, you can advertise this fact to attract new guests.
For immediate impact provide a few well-maintained recycling facilities in your lobby for batteries and plastic bottles.
There is a wide range of stylish rugs available in ecologically-friendly materials such as sisal and hemp. You can include items like these in your rooms. When replacing bathroom or en-suite facilities select features that economise on water and energy.
When upgrading furniture opt for sustainable materials such as wood from an approved source. For a finishing touch make displays of plants and flowers particularly in your entrance hall.
More people than ever are turning to the convenience of using smartphones when making hotel bookings. It's a trend that's sure to continue so it might be cost-effective to adapt your existing computer system to include mobile technology.
It's relatively inexpensive to install a self-service, touch screen monitoring unit that tracks whether your guests are in or out. It will not only look impressive but provides valuable information in emergencies.
Installing Wi-Fi and mobile phone chargers is almost a standard requirement, but an increasing trend is to include smart technology throughout your hotel.
Chatbots are convenient for guests to find instant answers to a variety of questions. Customisable apps are being used for streamlined hotel management. The bio-metric identification of guests through fingerprints or face recognition is gradually
increasing and may eventually become a standardised format.
Not too many decades ago a holiday was regarded as a rare luxury but in today's affluent society your guests probably enjoy several breaks each year. Consequently, they are hoping to find your hotel provides them with unique memories.
Investigate the attractions in your area and discover whether they'll collaborate with daily excursions. Ideas could include all-inclusive packages for rock climbing and water sports
Hiking or pony trekking clubs might be eager for you to provide exclusive accommodation for their clients. To boost out of season bookings consider themed events. Murder mystery weekends that echo an Agatha Christie novel provide opportunities for costumes and intellectual fun.
Try establishing your own annual festival such as a poetry reading celebration of traditional and new compositions.
Generations Y and Z
Analysing what different generations of guests might expect is a useful guide when adapting your hotel. Generation Y and Z guests generally have a much higher level of expectation than previous generations. Those of Generation Y are now in their forties.
They'll no doubt look for labour-saving devices in their rooms such as motorised window blinds. Provide information about car hire companies and public transport. Generation Z are only just entering adulthood and want to make the most of their unrestricted freedom.
Try to allocate a couple of rooms specifically for impromptu bookings that might only be for a night or two. Collaborate with hotels in other counties to exchange details of flexible arrangements.
By Jo Thornley, Head of Brand and Partnerships at BusinessesForSale.com