Digital innovation trends hospitality for 2020
Digital innovation and a greater commitment to the environment on the part of both tourism service providers and tourists themselves will involve major changes on the side of workers, executives and entrepreneurs. The trends of 2020 outline, in that sense, a quite defined path to follow. Key partner Eurogites look at the digital and environmental innovation trends in this 2-series blog. This blog focuses on the digital trends in hospitality for the upcoming year, based on the trend article of Hosteltur (2019) and the NTG research outcomes.
Digitization, the key trends for the sector this year
Digitalization of business processes:
Hospitality businesses that go digital increase their performance, improve their productivity, save time and money and are more sustainable. This year, the technology will offer multiple possibilities in particular to pubs, restaurants and hotels, such as more efficient control of the dining room, kitchen and warehouse. In addition, the technological tools of the POS systems will allow them to manage staff and everything related to suppliers and invoices more efficiently so that the establishment owner can concentrate his efforts on the gastronomic offer and on improving the experience of his customers (Hosteltur, 2020).
The sustained growth of Mobile / eCommerce:
7 out of 10 internet users admit that they bought some aspect of travel via online channels, such as flight tickets, hotel stays or bus tickets, in the last 12 months. It is expected that this trend will be maintained or increased throughout this year (Computing, 2019).
In 2020, travellers will leave key aspects of the decision-making process even more in the hands of technology. Deciding which place to visit or which tour to take can be overwhelming, so in 2020 we will see new technologies that will help us decide more easily.
According to Dijk (2020), 59% of people want technology to provide them with options that will surprise them with something completely new. In addition, 46% of global travellers say they will use an app that allows them to easily and quickly search and book activities in real-time while travelling and 44% plan to use it to organize activities in advance and have all the answers in one place. Intelligent tips, based on technology and artificial intelligence, will give us access to a wide variety of new experiences that might otherwise never have crossed our path, while helping us to save time and maximize every moment of our vacation, as well as offering tailored suggestions for destinations, accommodation and things to do, based on current preferences, previous travels and key contextual factors such as weather and popularity.
With Locals is one of the applications that is growing in interest. The concept that they offer is similar to Airbnb, but instead of locals offering housing for travellers, the locals offer local and authentic experiences. Travellers can skip the hop on – hop off bus and choose a more private and personalized trip with a local of their choice. This app helps travellers plan activities in advance, maximize moments of their holiday and experience the ‘unexpected’.
Virtual assistants, chatbots:
Speech enhancement will be of great value in 2020 and will make chatbots (virtual assistants) the ideal companion at any time on a journey. The support they will offer will be more effective, with immediate answers to your questions, personalized guides, voice and real-time information on reservations and flight status etc. More interactions between customers and companies are being automated through a chatbot.
The chatbot landscape is changing, as they are now able to “learn” many more things. By connecting chatbot technology to internal data sources and overlaying it on some machine learning machines, the bots improve over time and thus learn more about how to best respond to incoming inquiries.
As a result, a chatbot that can answer the most frequently asked questions has been relegated to a basic level. Many travel agents are using bots to boost product sales and cross-selling, and bots are learning how to help customers book and manage their travel (Daniel Batchelor, 2020). KLM is one of the pioneers in travel when it comes to the implementation of chatbots. Below, an example of the KLM’s virtual assistant ‘BB’, who helps travellers to pack their bags for their upcoming trip.
In 2020, the traveller seeks a complete experience that combines digital experience – through continuous technological innovation – and humane treatment. A trend study by the Barceló Hotel Group determines that there are three phases in which the use of technology varies: 40% of those surveyed seek inspiration in social networks before starting their journey and online platforms are the preferred way for more than 50% of users to book experiences. But once at the destination, personal recommendations from employees or hosts and the opinions of other travellers are the most reliable source of information in 80% of cases (Barcelo Hotel Group, 2019).
Smart tourist cities
A relevant example of the digitalization and transformation that tourism is undergoing is the Palma de Mallorca Beach in Spain, whose Wi-Fi network is the largest in Europe in a public space, with 85 access points along 5 kilometres, and with a management capacity of 300,000 daily connections that are already used by 11,000 people a day. Through this free Wi-Fi, the visibility of the tourist destination is increased, as users are encouraged to share photos on social networks (Palma, 2020).
Eurogites also contributed to the NTG survey and interview distribution. Find out more about the outcomes of the NTG research here.
Barcelo Hotel Group (2019). Estas son las 5 tendencias que marcaran de viajes en 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.preferente.com/noticias-de-turismo/estas-son-las-5-tendencias-que-marcaran-los-viajes-en-2020-295416.html
Batchelor, D. (2019). Las Principales tendencias que transformaran el turismo en 2020. Retrieved from: https://amadeus.com/es/articulos/blog/las-principales-tendencias-que-transformaran-el-turismo-en-2020
Computing (2019). El sector turistico lidera el comercio electronico en Espana. Retrieved from: https://www.computing.es/mercado-ti/noticias/1113181046401/sector-turistico-lidera-comercio-electronico-espana.1.html
Hosteltur (2020). Las Tendencias que marcaran la demanda de viajes en 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.hostelthur.com/131927_las-tendencias-que-marcaran-la-demanda-de-viajes-en-2020.html
Hosteltur (2019). Storyous: la digitalizacion sera clave para la hosteleria en 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.hosteltur.com/comunidad/nota/021163_storyous-la-digitalizacion-sera-clave-para-la-hosteleria-en-2020.html
Palma (2020). Puntos wifi gratuitos en Palma. Retrieved from: https://www.palma.cat/portal/PALMA/contenedor1.jsp?seccion=s_fdes_d4_v1.jsp&codbusqueda=2415&language=es&codResi=1&codMenuPN=1811&codMenuSN=839&codMenu=2262 https://www.open-ideas.es/turismo-digital-las-tendencias-de-cara-a-2020/