7 Hospitality Industry Trends for 2014

As 2014 approaches, many timeshare resorts will alter their programs to adapt to new hospitality industry trends. Keeping up with the current trends and customer demands will allow resorts to maintain (or gain) popularity amongst the millions of timeshare owners traveling each year.

Here are 7 Hospitality Trends for 2014:

  1. A New Generation of Travelers: As Millennials begin to travel on their own, the industry will need to recognize how this affects business. Over the next ten years, this group will most likely become the industry’s target market. Milliennials are looking for unique experiences that they can share with their friends through social media. Those who serve food and beverages should also consider the emergence of foodies, craft beer drinkers, and wine enthusiasts through this segment.
  2. Precision & Speed: Travelers now expect more when they vacation, and that includes increased accuracy in hospitality services. When booking online, a timeshare owner prefers instant gratification that they will receive their desired week and renters want a guaranteed timeshare rental. When they arrive, they expect to receive their exact reservation and a speedy check-in. They will also want a fast response to any customer service concerns.
  3. Leadership Techniques: Hospitality leaders now find that effective management involves setting an example for their guests and employees. Many supervisors are now going the extra mile to connect with guests and team members. More personalized services may include a manager’s reception to bond with the guests or a morning workout session. As employees see their managers working to establish these connections, they will make the effort to form their own bonds.
  4. More International Travelers: Over the next few years, average occupancy and rates will increase in the U.S. due to international travelers. President and CEO of Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Arne Sorenson said, “Leisure demand from abroad, fueled in part by the new Discover America campaign, will stimulate a new demand.” Resorts must also consider the length of time that a traveler will visit the U.S. For example, if 10 million timeshare visitors stay in the U.S. for a week, that’s an additional 10 million timeshare weeks.
  5. Social Media: Most resorts have had Facebook and Twitter for a few years now, but they may want to update how they are using them. Now more than ever, travelers use social media to voice their opinions – and resorts need to be aware of this. Whether it’s a positive or negative comment, resorts should respond to as many posts as possible to engage their guests. Trends are also indicating that consumers enjoy marketing that is not focused on a financial transaction. Resorts can engage consumers by asking questions or sharing resort information to help build the customer’s interest in the brand.
  6. Content Marketing: Consumers are less interested in traditional advertising and more interested in valuable online content. Resorts will now see more interest in online articles and blogs than traditional ads. Photo and video sharing can also be a great opportunity for timeshare resorts. Many can learn from Starwood’s Instagram Guest Galleries, a new interactive way for guest to share their experiences through Instagram uploads.
  7. Advanced Company Websites: More consumers, including timeshare owners, are turning to the internet to plan their upcoming vacations. Moving into 2014, it is likely that the online booking process will bring in the highest amount of bookings and revenue. This means resorts need to have an attractive and user- friendly website for guests. Be sure that you also have a user- friendly mobile experience to allow booking and customer service on smartphones and tablets. According to PC Mag.com 55% of Americans own a smartphone and 35% own a tablet.

These are just a few of the many changes timeshare resorts will see in 2014. As with all businesses, the ability to adapt to the changes in the hospitality industry