Sommet Education, the higher education group encompassing leading hospitality management institutions Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches Global Hospitality Education, has released a report identifying the key trends to shape the hospitality industry in 2019.
Drawing on the expertise of Sommet Education faculty, the report titled “Top Trends in Hospitality for 2019” examines shifts in consumer behaviour and emerging trends in five key areas:
- Innovation: The most successful innovation strategies will be those that cater to the diverse needs and expectations of today’s global travellers. Shared spaces and social experiences will be key to attract Millennial and Gen Z travellers, while busy business travellers and digital nomads seek the integration of time-saving technology.
- Technology: Artificial intelligence, facial recognition and internet-of-things connectivity are enhancing customer service, with blockchain-based loyalty programmes and platforms also creating new opportunities to engage with customers. These emerging technologies have the potential to transform the industry in ways we have yet to imagine.
- Luxury: Faced with an increasingly diverse range of clients, luxury brands need to balance heritage with innovation in order to remain relevant and bring their identity into the future. Luxury brands are adopting hospitality codes to bridge online and offline experiences that maintain the human touch and build client loyalty.
- Sustainability: Transparency and accountability are becoming more important as Millennials and Gen Z travellers push global businesses to take a more comprehensive approach to sustainability, from the reduction of single-use plastics to the development of social business concepts.
- Food and Beverage: Motivated by environmental and health concerns as well as a desire for authenticity and pleasure, global consumers are exploring local flavours, vegetable-centric cuisine and farm-to-table culinary concepts, while the visual presentation of food has taken on new value through social media.
“As worldwide hospitality education leaders, our responsibility is to provide aspiring industry professionals with the skills and knowledge they need, and to develop the next generation of leaders for the hospitality industry,” said Benoît-Etienne Domenget, CEO of Sommet Education, “Monitoring industry trends and adapting our academic programmes accordingly is essential for us to ensure that our curricula remain relevant for the industry and our students.”
Despite the increasingly transversal nature of the hospitality industry, the importance of retaining the human touch and a customer-centric approach remains a common thread running through the key trends of 2019.