The atmosphere at the yearly International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin is always quite a good indicator for the state of the hotel Industry.
So how was the atmosphere this year? Just one word: Fantastic. CEOs looked back on 2014 as one of the strongest years in recent memory and claimed that, barring unforeseen events, 2015 has the potential to be even stronger. Or as Marriotts CEO Arne Sorenson put it: „2014 was one of the best years of all time; a year that I’d love to bottle and sort of open on New Year’s morning every year and simply repeat.“
The Hotel Industry seems already to be in great shape. Lets add a little bit more for the next years. IHG just published a new report about the future of Chinese travel this week. China will overtake the US, UK and Germany to become the largest source market for long-haul travelers by 2020. So „the little bit“ we add during the next decade will be almost 90 million chinese middleclass households. Executive Summary: huge growth ahead.
Also at IHIF Dr. Graeme R. Codrington, International Director, TomorrowTodayGlobal in his talk about Megatrends made clear (again) that we are still entering a “golden age of technology” and – as every industry – also hotels need to consider how to respond. He also pointed to the fact that approximately 70 % of senior executives don’t have personal social media accounts … Well, I’m not sure if his conclusion that executives are too less involved into technology just based on this fact is right but on the other hand it is certainly also no prove for the contrary 😉
In the growing hotel industry, technology plays an even stronger growing role: OTAs, Metasearch, Airbnb, Tripadvisor, Check-in online, Social Media, keyless Doorlocks to be opened with smartphones, Roomcontrol, mobile Apps, location based services and the list goes on.
Just one small example how technology changes will also affect Hotels is Netflix. TV consumption over so called OTT services was a niche for Techies. Nowadays in the US Netflix accounts for 30% of Internet Traffic at peak times. One company. 30% of all traffic. And if this company decides to launch a new season of a popular serial this goes up to 45%.
So streaming is obviously really popular by consumers – and therefore of course for guests. Do you think hotels might need enough Internet bandwidth? Strong Wifi Infrastructure? A way to stream from mobile devices to the in-room TV? Yes, Yes and Yes.
Do international hotel companies take care for this changes in its next generation room concepts already? At least for some of them this is another Yes. Also just last week IHG presented its new design for Holiday Inn Express. Quote: “The new rooms are all fitted with smart TVs, allowing travelers to stream their own media from their own devices using the in-room wifi.”
And somehow I understand where the curiosity of Marco Nussbaum, CEO of prizeotel, comes from: