Research has shown that the hospitality industry is the largest industry in various countries around the world. Globally, the industry accounts for ten percent of employment of citizens in various nations across the globe. The hospitality sector also undergoes several changes and developments that affect its functions and operations. Many research professionals in the hospitality industry have noted that there are various trends that are likely to affect the sector. Some of these factors range from sustainable development, customer satisfaction based on their changing needs, to branding, marketing and even globalization in general. Some of these issues are already affecting or influencing operations within the sector. Many managers, researchers, reporters and hotel owners have cited various current trends that have affected different areas of operations in the industry. Therefore, this paper is an analysis of contemporary trends that affect hospitality industry.
Every industry in the world is currently concerned about sustainability issues. Everyone is talking about going green, conserving the environment, and reducing carbon emissions that will eventually counter global warming process. Notably, the hospitality industry has not been left behind in the quest to go green either. The sector is one area that uses high amounts of fuels and gas for purposes such as cooking and transportation. It is no doubt that the current types of gas and fuels release high amounts of toxic waste into the atmosphere which then affect the ozone layer hence leading to increased global warming activities on the earth’s surface. Therefore, managers, stakeholders, policy makers, and other players in the hospitality industry have decided to come up with lean forms of energy to enable environmental sustainability (Kapiki 2012, p. 41).
Many hotels and transportation firms in the hospitality industry recognize the need to protect the environment by not using gas and fuel that release toxic amounts of waste into the environment. They are equally aware of global warming issues and have taken an active role in participating in campaigns to find better ways to change global warming trends. They know and understand that sustainability is important for the future survival of hotels and transportation sectors which together strengthens the operations and performances within the industry (Harris & Brewster 2012, p. 23). All hotels and other companies found in the hospitality industry must consider factors such as going green, reduction of carbon emissions into the environment by using the right types of fuels and gases as well as eliminating operations that increase the production of high toxic wastes into the environment. Sustainability is an issue that is rapidly changing the way hotels, transport firms, and other players in the hospitality industry operate hence it is important to consider them at greater perspectives.
Globalization refers to the factor that facilitates the abilities of many hotels in various countries to operate together within the same environment. It has ensured that many managers can consult one another on operations and on factors that affect the hospitality industry in general. Globalization has also ensured that clients from various parts of the world can visit different destinations on the globe. Therefore, the managers, employees, shareholders, and facilitators in the hospitality industry have had to deal with issues of diversity among their clients (Zao& Jing 2009, p. 77). The hospitality industry has to come up with products and services that suit the needs of clients from different cultural backgrounds. It is time for the employees and the management in the hospitality industry to recognize that the world is becoming a global village fast, and therefore, they must work towards ensuring that all their clients are represented in different capacities. For example, they should make food, drinks, and other entertainment services that meet the standards of all clients across the globe.
Changing Needs and Sophistication in Customer Demands
Since the hospitality industry deals with clients from various parts of the world that also have various expectations, they have to deal with the issue of changing needs in customer demands. As time goes by, clients realize that life is changing, and their needs in the hospitality industry products and services also change. They expect the managers in the industry to meet these needs without fail. The best way for the hospitality industry to meet the changing needs of clients is by conducting effective research on the demands of clients. They should then formulate various procedures of meeting such demands. Changes in time also lead to sophistication in the demands from clients (Hotel News Now 2015). The clients expect service provision to be quick and accompanied by further luxuries such as technological advancements. For example, some clients expect that every hotel room must be fitted with a wireless internet port, a laptop or other modern forms of entertainment to make their lives at their holiday destination equal to or better than that at home. They also expect ease in hotel bookings using methods such as online booking or telephone methods to reduce the hustles of having to be there on time. They also expect to have the receipts delivered to their emails for printing. Clients view these methods as being able to help reduce the congestion and limit time wasting on having to do such activities. Therefore, managers in the hospitality industry have to consider these factors to be able to survive in the industry.
The world of technology continues to advance and is currently affecting how the hospitality industry performs its operations and interacts with their clients. Technology brings in various methods of providing faster services and producing high quality and effective products for consumption by clients. Technological development is used to ensure maximized client satisfaction by guaranteeing that the clients receive their desired services in the shortest lead time possible (Reynold, Powers, & Barrows 2011, p. 124). For example, numerous taxicompanies all over the world have gone high tech by making it possible for clients to find them by using internet services. The same case applies to booking hotels, making inquiries about reservations and even online-booking of air tickets for travel purposes. Legislators will have to address matters that concern amalgamating the innovative technology into their organizational structures to ensure quick and high quality service delivery to their consumers. Furthermore, they must conduct a thorough examination of the business environment to discover how the diverse gadgets of technology such as computers, Smartphones, and the internet can be used to control their services and make service delivery to their clients well-timed and satisfactory (ICD Publications 2004, p.138).
The other important modern trend that is affecting the hospitality industry is the constant increase in competition. Just like other sectors of the world, competition in the hospitality industry is high and occurs at an alarming rate (McGuire 2015). Competition comes in various methods within the industry, for example, in the form of customer satisfaction, the quality of service and production provision, branding, ability to acknowledge cultural diversity, and the capability to meet customer demands. The hotel and transport managers must ensure the perpetual offerings of first-class services; they must maintain effective customer care that promotes the client’s satisfaction. The hotel and transport employees need to be efficient and effective in providing their services. Similarly, the managers must use modern methods of making products and services that their clients use.
Many hotel managers and professionals indicate that the industry has to deal with stiff competitions brought about by many hotels and the leisureindustry at large that provide analogous services. Varied room rates and transfer fees keep shifting as establishments aim to achieve competitive advantage by reducing their prices to attract new clients. Astonishingly, even bigger hotels have to bow down to the method of plummetingtheir prices to the levels of other hotels so that that they accrue the required profits (Tourism.gc.ca 2014). Current managers and stakeholders in the industry have to consider aspects such as pricing and product division to be able to realize the best competitive advantage in a dwindling economy where competition is stiff among many firms that provide substituting services and products. Some professionals project that the increasing competition might lead to a reduction in profits made by firms in the hospitality industry because of lack of development in various areas in the industry.
Marketing Strategies and Methods
Just like other sectors, the hospitality industry uses marketing methods to inform clients of the services they provide. The managers from many firms that make up the industry need to use effective marketing procedures to inform their customers on what is on offer. These include holiday destinations, available services, pricing, event for the whole year, and other additional services that make them stand out from the rest in the industry (Kapiki 2012, p. 29). The managers have reported that the modern generation requires the industry to use current methods that are attractive to them. They must be able to use methods targeted to each niche to equip them with the right information that best suits their needs. Managers must employ the use of effective marketing means to reach out to as many clients as possible. They must also use different market entry methods in the global market to be able to overcome competition, reach out to many clients, and stabilize their operations in such environments. The managers state that it is important to update the processes such as the need to consider people, price, place, and products as well as services to effectively market the products in the industry.
The concept of social media marketing is another modern marketing tool that is being used widely by various organizations in the hospitality industry. Social media marketing involves the use of social media platforms to connect with customers online. Such platforms includeFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+ and among others. Other platforms include social websites and fan pages where organizations engage customers directly. The concept is one of the modern forms of advertising that is growing at a very high rate as internet penetration increases in numbers. It is proving to be very effective since organizations can get feedback almost immediately on the type of products or services they offer. An example of a customer that gets bad service in a restaurant or hospital, the first source where he or she registers such dissatisfaction is a particular social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter. It is therefore important for organizations to be very careful when engaging social media marketing.
Quality of Products and Services
Every person wants to stake his or her money in products and services that correctly meet their needs and demands. In that case, managers and producers working in the hospitality industry have reported that clients have showed a changing need for high-quality products and services. Clients in the current hospitality industry awards high value for their money (Tourism.gc.ca, 2014). In this sense, they believe that the ability for the hospitality industry to provide high-quality services and products rightfully meets their demands. To be able to provide such quality needs for customers, the hospitality industry has reported that they have had a need to change their methods of research and development procedures. The operators in the industry state that the modern methods used in the sector to research on new methods of production and service deliveries are not any cheaper and require high amounts of capital to be met.
At the same time, a concept that is also becoming essential is that of customer relations and services. The objective of building, developing, and maintaining reputable brands for organizations is becoming a priority. They level of competition cannot afford for an organization to become complacent in the way they treat their customers. Customers especially in the hospitality industry want to feel the value for their money by the quality of services offered by organizations and businesses. The last thing a loyal customer would want it sitting in a restaurant waiting to be served, and it takes ages. Organization reputations are built on top notch branding, and good customer relations is one place that represents the face of such entities. The hospitality industry is unique judging from the type of services and products being offered. People’s health is of prime importance and compromising even the slightest of thataspect can cause grave effects.
Pricing and Labor Costs
Pricing is a very important factor that helps in determining the loyalty or disloyalty of customers. Research has shown that when companies set prices that are too high and clients cannot afford them, there is a high probability that the same clients will walk away from the firms. On the contrary, affordable prices encourage and welcome more customers thereby making it easy for the organizations to maintain and even increase their client base (Emerald Publishing 2015, p. 4). Hospitality industry managers and stakeholders in the modern generation have to deal carefully with issues of pricing because high prices scare away clients hence they will not make enough profits. On the same note, very low prices will attract more clients but the firm risk making less or no profit to sustain their operations. Therefore, they have to come up with affordable prices. Many researchers have reported that the hospitality industry spends 49.6 percent of their aggregate operating costs singularly on labor activities. Therefore, to be able to reduce the amounts in labor overheads, the managers will have to consider new methods to utilize, along with superior production and service provision trends that utilize fewer funds compared to the current rates. The managers have had to cut down on some types of production processes by merging them to help eliminate high costs of production and channel the funds to labor costs operations. This will imply that they will have to unify a number of departments, leading to the harsh retrenchment of their staff members (Medic 2009, p.11)
Apart from prices, labor cost issues another issue that is currently affecting the hospitality industry. Research shows that the increasing amount of labor is putting a strain on the amounts of profit that the sector is making. The hospitality industry consists of the highest number of human resource personnel making labor costs to increase significantly. Therefore, the industry has to deal with the issues of increased labor costs by cutting on other factors such as costs of production, research, development among others (Emerald Publishing 2015, p. 10). On the same note, there are few skilled workers in the hospitality industry that can work on complex issues that the industry faces.
Safety and Security of Clients
Every person wants to feel safe and secure in their environments. Current hospitality industry forms operate in an era marred by issues such as political instability and increasing terrorism activities. Research by McGuire (2015) shows that political instability and increased terror activities have negative effects on the hospitality industry. The study shows that an issue such as bombings that mainly target areas or country with high tourism activities leads to paralysis of operations in the tourism industry. For example, a country like France nearly suffered a reduction in the number of tourists visiting Paris after the terror attacks that hit the city in the year 2015. Terror activities make visitors to a given destination be scared of visiting the named location because of fear of insecurity issues. They believe that their lives are in danger and cannot afford to risk visiting tourist destination that are affected by terrorism. Political instability also instills fear on local, national, and global tourists. Such instability sends a clear message of lack of security in the nation. Hence, many visitors will shy away from visiting such destination as they fear for their lives. Therefore, the hospitality industry in various countries must ensure safety and security to increase the number of clients visiting from various parts of the globe. Hotels and transport sectors within the industry must work together with the government to ensure that there is a reduction or total eradication in terror activities and further ensure that the political landscape in the nation works to welcome but not to scare away clients who make the hospitality industry to thrive.
The hospitality industry is one of the busiest industries of the world. There are various current trends that affect the operations in the sector. Some of these factors include stiff competitions, marketing methods and strategies, technological advancement, and increases in customer demands. On the same note, clients within the hospitality industry become sophisticated as time changes. Hence, the manager in the industry have to consider such an issue to be able to keep up with competitions in the sector. Firms operating in the industry must further consider modern trends such as pricing, labor costs, sustainability and environmental issues among others to be able to function well within the industry. Other trends that currently affect hospitality industry include globalization and multicultural or racial diversity that directly affect product and service provision in the hospitality industry.
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