Despite a global pandemic, technology continues its historic exponential growth, setting us up for an exciting year of hospitality technology in 2022. There are several new technologies and trends that are poised to revolutionize the industry. At the same time, there are a number of safer bets that are nevertheless great new technological trends to consider for your hospitality business in 2022.
Whether you pursue these trends further is, of course, up to you and what makes sense for your business, but between blockchain, the metaverse, crypto, remote work, no-code web design, digital privacy, and more, your relationship with future guests starts as soon as they click!
Let’s start with the exciting stuff: the big bets in hospitality trends in 2022. While this is all established technology, there’s still uncertainty as to how these will pan out or what exactly to do with them. Nevertheless, we’re confident the travel industry (and likely many other industries) will be redesigned by and rebuilt on Web3 and blockchain technology.
We’re extremely excited about Web3. Web3 is a broadly defined vision for the future of the internet where ownership of the internet is decentralized and the ways in which we experience the internet is broadened. While there’s lots of talk about VCs hijacking the idea to create their own “walled garden” of just another internet, the concept still shows promise at its core. Ultimately, when we hear Mark Zuckerberg talk about the Metaverse or your tech-savvy cousin talk about cryptocurrency, we’re talking about the building blocks of Web3.
VR and NFTs
As an example of what this could look like, imagine visiting a virtual dream hotel. Thousands of room types, locations, et cetera at the click of a button. It will happen! Or imagine having a digital room key that doubles as a piece of digital art (or NFT) that you can keep forever. In fact, in Q4 2021, Marriott became the first travel brand to create NFTs as part of their participation in Art Basel Miami.
Blockchain and Crypto
Blockchain technology specifically would allow for all sorts of revolutions in hospitality and travel technology. It could go so far as rendering OTAs obsolete or at least force them to restructure. It would allow for more hotels to be available to potential guests. It could potentially make transactions more secure. It could make rewards and loyalty points easily and immediately transferable anywhere, should businesses choose to do that. Imagine using crypto to pay for travel expenses. In fact, people are already doing it.
Finally, while remote work is not a technology, it’s certainly enabled by technology. We’re seeing a major trend in work, fueled on the other end by the pandemic, that is enabling an unprecedented amount of workers to work remotely or in hybrid work environments. The ultimate objective for workers is more flexibility, both with their location and time. There are numerous ways hospitality businesses can cater to this trend from opening up their space to workers during the day to offering companies retreat packages and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Now we move on to safe bets. These are, at this point, less risky investments or more established means of developing your business. Nevertheless, they’re very much worth considering investing time and resources in for 2022.
They say the only certain things in life are death and taxes. I think we can add GDPR to the list, too. In all seriousness, privacy has rightly become an increasingly important topic for both regulators and tech companies. Just look at forthcoming elimination of 3rd party cookies (already so with Apple products, soon to be so via Google). Hospitality businesses will continue to need to strengthen and fortify the storage and usage of guests data. Keep this in mind for 2022!
Better UX Design for Funnel Conversion
Driving direct bookings and creating an impressive brand image for your property will surely still be one of your top priorities this year. We are actively looking for new solutions to drastically improve your website conversion rate, for example Google and Apple Payment on your hotel website. We believe solutions like Selfbook and Namastay are companies that will experience hyper growth in the early part of this year.
It’s almost not worth mentioning Webflow here as we’ve been speaking about it for the last several months. But then again, the flexibility, transparency, insane speed and incredible SEO… Wow! Really, everything is perfect for hotel websites. The time of proprietary CMS for hotels and restaurants is finally over. Regain control of your own website without being locked into an agency’s 24-month contract. And as a bonus, Webflow has the best back office we’ve seen, perfect for your marketing team.