The industry is forecast to change more during 2022 than it has done in the last decade. It is being already noted that the 2020s will be a decade of transformation to a level not seen since the 1960s. What does this mean? What are the major trends that are expected to come to the fore?
1 Increased investment in sustainability. This is hardly any surprise but the levels of change are set to increase in speed as all companies really do set new carbon zero targets and invest in the learning what is needed to achieve the goals.
2 Resilient business plans. The one thing every business has learnt over the last two years is how to adapt, change and still build robust plans which meet objectives. The last two years has been a harsh learning landscape but today most businesses will be able to adjust far more easily to the major shifts seen over the last two years. This will also allow for stronger long-term planning than maybe existed previously,
3 The rise of greater bespoke services. The consumer is looking for stronger and greater “experiences” and hospitality will be a constant development curve in how it develops new bespoke services which do engage the consumer. Digital innovation has become ever more central to all but the desire for personal care has risen amongst consumers. So what will be the new experience benchmark be?
4 The increased use of robotics. How robotics impact on hospitality will be fascinating to observe as it could create one of the most fundamental shifts seen. There are many increasingly capable robots and AI systems that can take on tasks that were previously done by humans. This leaves employers with some key questions: how do we find the balance between intelligent machines and human intelligence? What roles should be given over to machines? Which roles are best suited to humans? There’s no doubt that automation will affect every industry, so business leaders must prepare their organizations – and their people – for the changing nature of work.
5 The further rise of CPUs to service clusters. With all the shortages of talent, it is logical that there will be a rise in more CPUs which deliver into operations on a daily basis. The challenge is to ensure that these deliver high class services. There will be winners and losers in this area as many try to learn themselves but it does require the knowledge and skills in place.
6 Reinvention of hotels and venues. Just as services will change, so we will see new venues emerge, new experiences and hotels create new models..
7 Greater interaction between local suppliers, entrepreneurs and corporate players. It has been one of the great frustrations in recent years that the balance between entrepreneurs and coporates has been harder than ever. So many want innovation and yet their procurement processes will not interact with companies under 5 years trading. Understandable to a level but it hinders an important balance in a relationship which has underpinned economic success for many decades.
8 The narrative for business will once again become external. Pre-pandemic, it was well documented that most days in an executive’s day was dominated by internal emails and meetings – to a level of 80%. This is set to change as it will be the client experience which will determine future success.
9 Flatter, fitter organizations. The last two years has shone a light on those parts of the business which arguably have not been effective as others. Structures have been cut and there will be less hierarchy.
10 Delivered in models set to continue their rise. The delivered in models have grown by close to double during the pandemic and this is set to continue on its upward journey but with increased alliances with hotels and food service companies – which will see the delivered-in model become an accepted norm across all markets.
11 Stronger seasonal markets. One of the major questions raised has been whether covid will have changed our lifestyles so that many operations will become more seasonal. Research has shown audience growth in those venues with outdoor facilities and that those which are too “indoor” has struggled to see their audiences return when any sign of covid increases are in sight. What will this mean for the future of many events, especially conferences? What will it mean for theatres, cinemas, and underground venues? Will heritage sites see continued growth and interaction with their communities? Will more invest in developing outdoor spaces?
Most of the above have already been key factors during 2021 and are simply set to gain momentum as the market recovers.