We booked rooms at the best Historic Hotel Restoration of a Train Depot, ever, replete with tracks turned into skating lanes, easy chairs circling the fireplace bar. Instead we were greeted with a renovation of the hotel into Early IKEA mixed with Late Marriot. The “Concierge,” who gets you a reso at the sold out restaurant, was replaced by a “Navigator.” In some hotels you text employees; others are experimenting with robots. USA Today asked Hospitality CEO’s at the Americas Lodging and Investment Summit in LA, “Are you still going after Millennials as aggressively? And what are you doing not to alienate older generations? (50% of the US population is over 50 and have 70% of the wealth.)” Geoff Ballotti of Wyndham Group replied, “In the next ten years 60% of your check-in’s will be Millennials.” As I witnessed, one of the top 2017 hospitality trends is “Provocative Design” creating an “Insta-moment” intentionally done so people will Instagram it. Another 2017 trend is “Loyalty,” expanding into other travel-related industries such as vacation rentals to provide both the hotel wedding and the bachelorette condo party. And, new Loyalty Programs that give superior discounts to members that book directly rather than on booking sites.
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