Top Hospitality Industry Trends in 2014

We’re getting ready for some of 2014’s peak travel times. How can your business stay ahead of the competition during this year of economic recovery?

Customer Service

What does customer service look like this year? If you want to be an industry leader, it has to go well beyond basic expectations. Look for a positive reaction that screams “Wow!”

  • Exceptional service is key to repeat business. Industry experts define four levels of customer service: basic, expected, desired and WOW. You want to be in that last category – the one where you consistently create impressive, unique guest experiences that keep them coming back.
  • Speed and precision are requirements. More than ever before, you need to accommodate customers when it comes to speed and accuracy in booking, check-ins, Wi-Fi access, and overall response to their demands.
  • Be a leader in providing excellence. It’s up to you and your senior management team to set the stage when it comes to achieving consistent WOW status. Teach everyone who works for you to “walk the talk” in connecting with guests through genuine, individual interaction.

Say Hello to Gen Y

For the hospitality industry, a major customer segment emerging in 2014 is Gen Y, also known as the millennial generation. Millennials were born in the early 1980’s to early 2000’s. You’ll recognize them as being:

  • Tech savvy: They grew up with technology. They’re plugged in 24/7. They are equally (if not more) comfortable with electronic than face-to-face communication.
  • Achievement oriented: They’re confident and ambitious. They don’t hesitate to question authority or demand what they want in life.

As millennials enter their peak spending years, they are seeking novel experiences from restaurants, resorts and hotels. And these bloggers, culture buffs and multi-generational travelers are quick to spread the word.

Perfect Your Social Media

2014 is the year that social media and mobile devices continue their shift towards being totally inseparable. Mobile activity has allowed social media to live in real time as users can create updates, tag friends, and check in from virtually anywhere on their smartphones or tablets.

  • Make innovative use of apps to market your property. In North America, 2014 will be the first year that online access is greater from mobile devices than from desktops or laptops.
  • Content marketing will overtake traditional advertising. Your business strategy should include a drastic reduction in traditional paid media and a focus shift to content marketing. In your toolbox will be blogs, e-newsletters, eBooks, webinars and image sharing.
  • Optimize your website. One of the most important jobs of hospitality marketers in 2014 is finding ways to increase direct bookings – and travelers are increasingly taking their transactions online.
  • Review all your social media tactics. Monitor and respond to Yelp, Trip Advisor and Google Places reviews and feature Yelp deals.

Expect More International Guests

Travel will continue to go global in 2014. Leisure demands from abroad will increase due to initiatives like Discover America, a $12.3 million campaign to drive tourists to the United States. President Obama recently proclaimed tourism “the number-one service we export.”

As always, the hospitality industry is on the go, with myriad changes projected for the year ahead. To learn more about positioning your business for success in this ever-changing environment, read our related posts or contact the experts at Horizon Hospitality today. If you are looking for hospitality recruiters, contact our team today.

Horizon Hospitality continues to be recognized as the leading hospitality recruitment firm in North America.  From restaurant manager searches to hotel general managers recruiting to executive chef recruitment, we have placed top-tier hospitality executives, managers, sales professionals and chefs in a wide array of restaurant, hotel, resort and country club positions.   Whether you’re looking for a hotel or restaurant management job or a top hospitality executive recruiter, Horizon Hospitality is here to help!    


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