Faced with competition and the Uberisation of the economy, hoteliers have had to adapt their offering to customers who are hungry for sensory experiences and a la carte services. How can this requirement be met, and, more particularly, the global requirements of the business traveller whose constraints and needs vary according to traveller type
. And what are the new personalisation tools available?
With its 2,000,000 accommodation offers in 34,000 towns and cities, Airbnb has transformed the way travellers find and rent accommodation. The hospitality industry, first to be affected by the Uberisation of the economy, has had to be creative to adapt to the new aspirations of connected customers allergic to standardisation and in search of personalised experiences.
City centres hotels, at the heart of what’s happening
This summer, the group is taking things one step further by launching Flying Nest
, mobile eco-designed guestroom units by Ora-ïto that can be set up at the heart of cultural or sporting events. "Originally developed for a B2B clients..., the Flying Nest concept could also be offered to B2C clients in 2019," advised Sébastien Dupic, New Business Manager at AccorHotels.
In early 2019, the first Flying Nest island was set up in Avoriaz at Domaine de la Chapelle. This offering is currently only available to Le Club AccorHotels
members. These new spaces, both stylish and sustainable, offer a light-filled living area, bedroom, bathroom and a private terrace, all at the foot of the slopes! They are currently available January to February only, but further offers will be introduced during the year.
Just like at AccorHotels, personalisation is central to the strategy of many hotel brands. Starting with the basics (a bed and a bathroom), Tune Hotels gives guests the possibility to add options (TV, Internet connection, air conditioning, and similar) that correspond to their actual needs. An add-on options concept based on the low-cost airline model.
On the comfort side, beyond bed size, the Conrad brand proposes the original 'pillow menu', which lets guests choose, among other, anti-snore assistance pillows, anti-migraine pillows or pillows designed to preserve hairstyles.
Thanks to domotics, it is also possible to personalise a room’s ambience at the time of booking - guests at the Andaz Hotel in London (Hyatt Group) can, for example, choose the olfactory ambience of their room - or control room lighting as in the case of hub hotels by Premier Inn (Whitbread Group).
The latest trend in personalisation is day use hotel rooms
. This is a service that is really useful for business travelers who need to rest during a long trip between two meetings, and one that allows establishments to optimise their occupancy rates.
Egome, a startup founded in 2015, has designed an app that lets travellers supply details about their tastes and habits so hoteliers can provide them with the best stay experience possible.
As for Bowo, founded in December 2017, this startup goes even further by providing a touchscreen tablet, a magnetised docking station that acts as a wireless charger, and Bowo, an application preinstalled on the tablet. The latter, linked to an ergonomic back-office, gives hoteliers real-time access to the traveller's consumption data. The digital concierge tool makes it possible to create individual customer profiles and propose personalised offers to secure customer loyalty.
Artificial intelligence is an excellent tool for creating a personalised stay experience. Added to data obtained from online resources such as social media networks, information collected by smart devices (such as a tablet or a mirror connected to a customer's smartphone that gives access to their emails, the weather, and so on) is useful for effectively adapting a room to suit individual guests, and making loyalty schemes more coherent. Thanks to these innovations, hoteliers will increasingly be able to reproduce the ambience – temperature, lighting, TV programme, playlist – of a traveller's room as it was when vacated after his last stay, without the traveller specifying anything in advance. Here technology is put at the service of personalisation to satisfy the ever more demanding traveller.