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With every passing year, consumers’ expectations evolve, becoming more demanding and outspoken. If their expectations aren’t met, you can be certain the world will hear about it thanks to social media. While poor customer experience can damage any brand, it is a downright killer in the hospitality industry, which is why these brands have to strive to provide a delightful, seamless travel experience for their customers.
Below you will find some of the customer experience trends in the hospitality and tourism industry in 2015, which all prove the importance of being quick to adapt to customer expectations.
China and India reached a year-on-year tourism growth rate equivalent to that of the UK, France and Japan. While much of this growth is on a domestic level, there has been a significant spike in international travelers from this area of the world as well. Thus, smart hospitality and tourism brands have created offerings specifically for travelers from this part of the world.
They’ve also sought to create an excellent hospitality customer experience and travel customer experience by training their staff in proper etiquette, expanding their menus to cater to their new guests’ tastes, and even learning to conduct specific rituals, such as weddings, among other things.
A study published in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism stated that 40% of the tourism market could be made up of people who are interested in reducing their impact on the environment, despite being disposed to spending significant amounts of money on their vacations. Thus, enterprising brands have taken advantage of this segment and achieved incredible travel customer engagement by providing an experiential offering in line with their values.
For example, one hotel sources only organic vegetables farmed by the surrounding community, provides only organic food on their menu and donates a percentage of their revenues to conservation efforts in the area. Thus, their guests are taking part in sustaining the local environment, even if indirectly, achieving a high level of hospitality customer service engagement by creating a truly experiential offering.
Enterprising brands have revamped their restaurants and food services, as well as the activities on offer, understanding the fact that millennials are looking for a unique experience. Furthermore, they have overhauled their systems, providing digital check-in options, fast Wi-Fi and even apps allowing customers to do their own research.
While millennials are the up-and-coming segment, the boomers remain the key segment and it’s essential to understand and cater to the different generational needs. Where millennials are looking for a unique experience, boomers have a forever-young attitude that smart brands have begun catering to with a variety of life-enhancing experiences.
A closer look at these trends indicates one thing: the tourism customer needs to be wowed with a tailored customer experience strategy. It’s no longer enough to simply meet expectations. Customers want to be wowed. In fact, they expect it. So, to earn their loyalty, brands need to evolve with consumers’ expectations and adapt their offerings accordingly.