Futurologist Tracey Follows from Futuremade

Futurologist Tracey Follows from Futuremade offered hoteliers some top tips for future-proofing their businesses at this week’s Annual Hotel Conference.

Speaking at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate hotel yesterday, she said today’s consumer is so used to convenience and efficiency, the sense of surprise and discovery has been lost from everyday life. With guests constantly seeking different experiences, if a hotel can provide something of the unexpected, it will be more memorable.

She added that in this global world, people are feeling more uprooted culturally and socially, and hotels would do well to involve their local communities to give their guests a sense of place, and personalisation is also key – something they can work on now.

In terms of potential future trends that hotels could one day tap into, she said that one day, travel recommendations may be available with the same molecular personalisation that a diet can be tailored to an individual.

Her tips were:
• Rediscover a sense of discovery and try to surprise your guests in some way
• Take people on a detour; allow your guests to wander (and wonder)
• Find new ways to involve your local community in your business to create a sense of place
• Offer a human or automated assistive service – even if that is Alexa or Google Home. “If we’re living in a connected way at home we’re going to expect it when we’re away from home.”
• Think about optimising a guest’s experience at a molecular level: food, fitness, family history
• Start exploring virtual tourism now as the competition grows exponentially through new realities
• What would you do if you thought you were in the wellness economy? You are – so start offering products, services and experiences that can facilitate that
• Gyms, spas and even bars need redesigning for the emerging social wellness trend
• Big data includes mood data: better understand your customer journeys via emotional data, not just behavioural data. “All of this emotional data through new technology is going to allow us to monetise feelings.”