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Hotels 2020: Welcoming tomorrow’s guests

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Server arm with a silver platterHow will hotels attract the business and leisure guests of tomorrow? How can they compete in a digital world? And what will their future business models look like? The hotel industry is going through a period of unprecedented, irreversible change and will look very different in 2020 than it does today.

On the surface, a casual observer might think that the sector is in good shape. By 2016, total hotel revenues are expected to exceed half a trillion US dollars.1  Occupancy, RevPAR and average daily rates are all high, making for a good outlook. Yet strong trading figures are only part of the picture. Hotels are feeling the impact of a much deeper trend. The industry is increasingly consumer-led and guests are calling the shots. And as in other sectors, digital technologies are shifting the balance of power towards the consumer. All the while, consumers are changing.

Over the next few years, we will see ‘millennials’ – digital natives who bring a strong desire for local, ‘authentic’ experiences – becoming the primary consumer market.2  International guests, especially from emerging markets, are also growing in importance. In the UK, foreign guests are expected to drive nearly all hotel growth between now and 2020. For hotels, this means travelers will increasingly demand services (and languages) tailored to their needs.

With these trends making a growing impact on hotel operators worldwide, a new report from Grant Thornton International examines how the consumer-led economy will change the playing field for hoteliers between now and 2020. We explore the main challenges and opportunities for hotels across four key themes, drawing out the foremost questions that hotels should be asking as they prepare their businesses for the future.

Get the full report > (PDF)



1 ‘Global hotel industry revenue from 2008 to 2016,’ Statista, 2015
2 ‘How millennials will change travel by 2020,’ Hotel News Now, January 2015