3 Hospitality Trends to Look for in 2017

Erica Lamberg
U.S.News & World Report

The hospitality industry is ringing in the new year with some developments that are on track to not only improve the guest experience, but also add new services to build brand loyalty. Embracing marketing programs, introducing new on-site programming and offering authentic branding, hospitality pacesetters are trailblazing in 2017 and beyond. Here are some trends to watch in the year ahead.

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Soliciting Feedback from Travelers

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Hyatt Regency brand's campaign, "It's Good Not to Be Home," is a culmination of crowdsourcing consumers through social media to give their best ideas on how to improve the business travel experience. After conducting customer research, Hyatt chose two winning entries and worked with powerhouse duos to bring them to life. Personal trainer Gunnar Peterson and James Beard Award-winning pastry chef and Cronut creator Dominique Ansel created an in-room food and fitness routine for Hyatt and fashion designer Cynthia Rowley paired with tech mogul and businesswoman Randi Zuckerberg to create an on-the-go beauty bar. Recently, Hyatt Regency debuted these experiences at an experiential event at the brand's New Jersey property, Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson. And the company has announced that these experiences will inspire future Hyatt Regency amenities and services.

Seeking feedback from guests is a way that brands are growing brand loyalty and continuing to embrace input from the sought-after and lucrative business traveler segment. "At Hyatt Regency, we're dedicated to helping guests be their best when away from home -- that's why we asked business travelers to tell us how we can enhance the Hyatt Regency guest experience," says Samie Barr, vice president, global brands for Hyatt. "We had a lot of fun bringing two of these consumer generated ideas to life last month: a Fit & Fuel pairing, which was suggested by a guest who wanted more in-room fitness and healthy snack options, and an On-the-Go Beauty bar, inspired by a guest who envisioned a beauty bar for those who wanted a quick touch up before a meeting or a night on the town," Barr explains. "The Hyatt Regency brand is always evolving to meet the needs of its guests, and the Fit & Fuel pairings and On-the-Go Beauty Bar will definitely provide inspiration for future hotel experiences and amenities as the brand continues to evolve," she adds.

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A Growing Number of Hotel Brands Targeting Millennial Travelers

Moxy Hotels, Marriott's new experiential brand geared towards millennial travelers, recently launched its new brand-wide fitness, food and arts programming designed for travelers and locals who like to mix and mingle with friends and guests in playful communal spaces. Moxy programs include acupuncture Happy Hour, a 20-minute mini-massage session paired with healthy elixirs, and Pump at the Moxy, a 30-minute high-intensity workout with local fitness experts that includes pushups, squats and more. Other programs include NamaStay Power Yoga classes led by renowned instructors on the pool deck and HIIT it Up, an endorphin-boosting interval-training class. Moxy's first two U.S. hotels opened this spring: Moxy Tempe and Moxy New Orleans. And abroad, Moxy Frankfurt Eschborn opened this summer, and Moxy Berlin Ostbahnhof opened in October. The brand has ambitious growth plans worldwide in 2017, which includes unveiling more than 20 hotels in New York City, London and more major destinations.

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More Personalized Hotel and Trip Planning Experiences

Travel agents are increasingly becoming travel concierges for infrequent, leisure travelers and seasoned jet-setters, alike. Personalization and streamlined service are key motivators for today's luxury traveler who expects immediate, one-stop-shop, customized travel experiences. "We're seizing this opportunity by cultivating a team of lifestyle experts with unparalleled relationships and in-depth industry knowledge," says Claire Bennett, executive vice president of American Express Travel. "They [travel agents] can offer today's savvy global traveler elements of the trip beyond air and hotel -- from VIP access to local insights on the newest restaurants to one-of-a-kind, extraordinary experiences," Bennett says. And according to Bennett, affluent consumers are often in control of their travel itinerary and are in pursuit of curated experiences, comfort and convenience. "Whether they seek added value from a flight upgrade, a recommendation for the best new restaurant in London or are traveling more often and for longer stays, consumers know what they want, and are becoming savvier about making their needs known to travel brands," she adds.

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