The Digital Age vs The Hospitality Industry

digital age impact hospitality industry

For as long as humans have needed to travel, the hospitality industry has been there to ensure we have somewhere to stay. Hotels, bars, restaurants-- they all have a place in human history that dates back thousands of years. Humans are well used to having our every need catered to, and for as long as we need it, the hospitality industry will be there to meet those needs and desires. 

While we may all be accustomed to the existing industry, there’s no doubt that the last decade has seen hospitality face down a number of challenges. The industry is very different today than it was only a few short years ago; so much so that it could be argued that the industry has struggled to find its place with customers in today’s digital world. So if this is an area you have thought about expanding into for your own business concerns, you’re going to need to be aware of the very modern challenges that hospitality is facing. 

Hotel Guest Expectations Are Higher 

Before the Digital Age, hotel guests would book their accommodation primarily on a wing and prayer. However, if the hotel business is calling to you, it’s vital you understand that things are very different now. 

Guests don’t want to book a hotel based on a few grainy photographs; they want to be able to make informed choices, and truly get a feel for what the hotel is all about. They expect hotel web design to showcase the best of the hotel, provide an insight into what the hotel itself is like, and allow them to book and confirm reservations. Where people would once book a hotel based off a phone call or through a travel agent, guests now expect to be able to experience the hotel via the website first-- and only if they like what they see will they actually reserve. 

Online Review Systems Can Kill A Business 

If customers were dissatisfied with an aspect of the hospitality industry before the internet age, they didn’t have a huge amount of recourse. Customers could demand to speak to the boss or write a stern letter, but that was about as far as it went. 

In the digital age, these complaints can go much, much further. So many of us now base our accommodation and restaurant choices on online reviews, which is concerning given that these reviews aren't particularly trustworthy. It’s safe to say that the digital review system hasn’t been kind to businesses; their bad days cannot be consigned to the past, they live forever online. 

If you’re looking into entering this sector, then you need to understand the risks posed by online review sites like TripAdvisor. These sites can sink your business, and have done so to some. Be careful, have a strategy to respond to bad reviews, and accept the occasional poor review as a fact of life. You can’t please everyone all the time. 

The Hospitality Industry Is Competing With The DIY Crowd 

In years past, if someone wanted to throw a great party, they would hire an event planner or a restaurant and let the pros do the work. No longer is this the case; now, thanks to sites like Pinterest, the bread and butter of the hospitality industry is being taken from them by customers wanting to DIY their own events. 

There is still room for event planners, restaurants, function rooms and hotels, but acknowledge that you’re going to be in near-constant competition. The hospitality industry can flourish in the digital age, but you have to be willing to roll with the changes in the business of hotels and resorts.

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I hope you enjoyed this article about the digital age versus the hospitality industry and restaurants.

Interested in more articles about the service industry?

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