HotelsAn Amadeus-IHG study reveals that travellers are expecting to access customised options when booking hotel accommodation.

Are we seeing the death of standard room types?

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Amadeus 190522
Standardised room types may soon be phased out, according to an Amadeus-IHG study, which show that 61% of guests prefer hotels to be priced in a way that enables them to add on customised options.
Amadeus 190522

The findings suggest a departure from standardised room pricing according to fixed overnight room categories like single, double, twin, suite or family room. In its place, new selling models are expected to emerge that enable guests to control and select the components of their room.

Imagine you could “pick and choose” components of your hotel room, like swapping out a desk for a yoga mat. Increasingly, requests like these are changing the standardised room types that most hotels and guests are familiar with, a new study has revealed.

According to the joint study by Amadeus and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), more than half of travellers worldwide (61%) have indicated they preferred hotels to be priced in a way that enabled them to add on customised options.

The findings were gathered from an online survey of 7,516 respondents who had stayed in travel accommodation in the last two months. The survey was conducted with participants across three regions: Europe (2,002), the Americas (2,500) and Asia (3,014).

The findings suggest a departure from standardised room pricing according to fixed overnight room categories like single, double, twin, suite or family room. In its place, new selling models are expected to emerge that enable guests to control and select the components of their room.

Technology is expected to provide the capabilities to deliver these personalised requests at scale. The study revealed that technology is expected “to be used to empower staff to deliver unprecedented levels of service at scale”.

Survey respondents indicated that they “prefer to interact with a person for the emotional interaction”, suggesting that technology will still play a supporting role rather than replacing human interaction.

For example, this could mean providing real-time translation earphones and smart glasses to ensure that concierges are able to interact with guests in their native tongue.

Another trend the report identified was the expectation for hotels to deliver “cult status at scale” that is usually expected of luxury or boutique hotels.

Personalised and unexpected surprises that convey a hotel’s unique personality are becoming commonly expected at hotels.

A majority of travellers (70%) would like hotels to provide more advice and tips on unique things to do, compared to the 20% presently who say they get ideas from the hotel.

“The hospitality industry is on the cusp of a new chapter. Guests are seeking richer individual relationships and seamless experiences with their hospitality providers, and are willing to share more data and insights than ever before”, Chris K Anderson, director of Center for Hospitality Research, Cornell University.

The move towards personalisation comes at a time as advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence emerge to enable hospitality providers to crunch through multiple datasets, deliver information to where it is needed and simplify the implementation of new models.

“Modern expectations around travel continue to become more complex and sophisticated, with shifting consumer dynamics and increasingly intelligent technology pushing the boundaries of what is possible. IHG has proven itself to be pioneering and ambitious over many decades and this paper offers perspective on how the hotel experience could further evolve in the not too distant future”, said George Turner, chief commercial and technology officer, IHG.

“This demonstrates the significant opportunity that technology offers hospitality providers to enhance the guest experience, as well as their business”, said Francisco Pérez-Lozao Rüter, president, hospitality, Amadeus.

“At the same time, it highlights the importance of people. Equipping hotel staff with the insight to deliver richer, more informed interactions with guests is what makes for truly special hotel experiences”, Rüter added.

The full study can be accessed here.


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