Blog Industry trends

23 Top hotel trends for 2024 [Deep dive]

Hotel trends

After the pandemic, the hospitality industry experienced significant growth, paving the way for innovation and new hotel trends. Some, like renewable energy and sustainability, had been dominating the headlines even before the pandemic. While other trends, like artificial intelligence or bleisure travel, started transforming hospitality only in the past few years.

In 2024, all these trends are expected to continue shaping the industry. Keep reading to uncover the top hotel trends for 2024 as well as explore emerging trends poised to make an impact on your strategies this year and beyond.

Watch one of our latest episodes with Ashley Williams, General Manager at Mitel where we explore the trends impacting hospitality in 2024.

Hotel Trends 2024 - Lowkey by Oaky podcast (ft. Ashley Williams, Mitel)
Hotel Tech Trends in 2024 | LowKey Hospitality Podcast (ft. Mitel) #14

Key takeaways

While reading through this list, you will notice that to incorporate these trends, working in silos won’t work. These trends are closely intertwined with each other. For example, to incorporate personalisation, you’ll need to acknowledge the importance of data and start leveraging automation.

Here’s a brief overview of the latest trends you need to consider to ensure the success of your hotel in the coming years.

  • Personalised guest experiences and eco-friendly practices are a must to attract the modern traveller.

  • AI and advanced hotel tech will continue to reshape the industry.

  • Staff and labour shortage issues continue to persist in some of the markets (especially in Europe and the US).

  • Hotels need to reconsider their marketing strategies to tap into the new trends and guest preferences.

Which hotel industry trends will be more important to your team will depend on your hotel positioning and the guest personas you want to attract. For example, hotels that target digital nomads, a hotel segment that’s growing by the day, will focus more on transforming their spaces to meet this group’s specific needs. In this case, adding flexible and multifunctional spaces (see trend #8) will be more important than creating wellness experiences.

While all hotels might not leverage the same trends, you’ll want to ensure that you focus on all three areas: guest behaviour, tech, and marketing to stay relevant.

Hotel trends shaping the industry in 2024 and beyond

The world is rapidly changing, and so are the trends persisting in the hospitality industry.

To help you easily digest the volume of information, we’ve divided 2024’s hotel trends into four main groups:

  • Guest behaviour trends — explore how guest behaviour and preferences have changed and what guests expect from their hotel experiences.

  • Hotel technology trends — dive deeper into the advancements and innovations in hotel technology. According to a HotelTechReport survey, 81% of hoteliers believe it’s very likely that technology will be more important for the success of a hotel business in the next five years. This is why it’s crucial to be in the know of the emerging hotel tech trends.

  • Economic trends — find out about various economic factors that impact the performance and operation of hotels.

  • Hotel marketing trends — discover marketing strategies and approaches you need to use to increase visibility and attract guests.

Guest behaviour trends

1. Sustainability and eco-friendly initiatives

Sustainability is practically on everyone’s lips (and hopefully minds too). The tourism industry in particular needs to prioritise sustainability as it accounts for about 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

As travellers are becoming more environmentally conscious, they’re searching for ways to lower their carbon footprint. Travelling by foot isn’t an option. This means that the only real way they can make a difference is by booking eco-friendly accommodation and services that incorporate sustainable practices.

Aside from the obvious answer — cutting energy consumption, hotels can also:

  • Minimise food waste by donating leftover food to local charities.

  • Reduce plastic usage.

  • Offer guests the option to plant a tree in exchange for skipping daily housekeeping. You can include this initiative in your pre-arrival offers and deals presented to guests through Oaky hotel upsell software. In partnership with Hotels for Trees, a foundation dedicated to promoting a greener hotel industry, this initiative allows your guests to make their stay more sustainable.

Hotel trends eco deal

2. Personalised guest experiences

Personalisation has been a buzzword for a couple of years. Online stores and mobile apps have widely adopted it. This creates an expectation among hotel guests that booking their stay should also be a tailored experience.

What personalisation looks like in the hotel industry is adapting your services to the available data about the guest. It’s easier to personalise stays for returning guests, as you’ll have more information about their preferences. Knowing which guest segment they fall under will already help you to tailor your offering.

Upselling software for hotels like Oaky can connect the dots between creating personalised experiences at a hotel and letting guests make use of them. Moreover, it’s an opportunity to monetise the efforts you put into crafting them.

That’s the approach that leading hotel names like Anantara Hotels and Resorts (part of Minor Hotels) use to offer personalised deals to specific guests. With Oaky in their tech stack, they can enhance the guest experience by putting relevant deals in the spotlight before check-in, which helps them drive ancillary revenue.

3. Digital nomads

Like personalisation, remote work has been trending for a couple of years now. Accelerated by the pandemic, increasingly more companies are adopting flexible policies. Travellers are using this to their advantage more often by choosing to work from anywhere.

As such, the digital nomad guest section has grown. According to Statista’s numbers, the number of digital nomads in the United States topped 17 million as of the middle of 2023. To put this growth into perspective, in 2019 — before the pandemic — there were fewer than 10 million.

To cater to this growing segment, you can:

  • Offer free, high-speed Wi-Fi

  • Include pet-friendly accommodation

  • If possible, add coworking spaces and meeting rooms.

4. Bleisure travel or blended trips

Adding to the previous hotel trend, increasingly more travellers are choosing to combine business trips with leisure. This is made possible by companies coming on board, too. More than half of business travellers strongly feel that their companies encourage employees to take personal time off before or after a business trip, as revealed in The State of Corporate and Expense Report presented by Skift and TripActions.

To attract more bleisure travellers, you can:

  • Provide discounts or special offers for extended trips

  • Offer mobile check-in to streamline the process

  • Include meals and amenities geared towards a healthy lifestyle so that hotel guests can stick to their normal routine when away from home

  • Promote leisure amenities (wellness treatments, spas, saunas, gym, yoga centre, etc.).

5. Wellness experiences

Along with the hotel trends involving business travel, wellness travel is another trend that skyrocketed after the pandemic. From divorce retreats to digital detoxes, there are various ways that travellers are prioritising their wellness.

Hotels can optimise their properties for wellness travellers by including wellness amenities or services that also present great upselling opportunities. Spas, massages, an onsite gym, and yoga classes on the beach are just some popular ideas.

6. Vegetarian and vegan options

One of the benefits of including more vegetarian and vegan options is that it will boost your sustainability efforts. Studies show that vegan diets can lead to 75% less climate-heating emissions.

What’s more, as many people follow vegetarian and vegan diets, your hotel will become more inclusive (another popular trend) and appeal to a wider group of travellers. In fact, millennials are 30% more likely to choose non-meat options compared to travellers from other age groups.

Given that the majority of travellers are actually millennials, it makes sense to embrace vegetarian menus to cater to the expectations of this age group.

Aside from introducing vegan and vegetarian options into your breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, you can also extend it to your wellness amenities. Only using cruelty-free body products can be a great unique selling proposition.

7. Hyper-local hotel design

Emerging hotel trends show that moving forward, local artwork will feature more in hotel design. Guests want to see the destination reflected in the hotel design.

Working with local artists is a great way to put the unique character of your city’s community on display. Some hotel designers are even going as far as to add an onsite art gallery. Whether you’re going small or big, stay local to stay relevant.

8. Multifunctional and flexible spaces

Aside from learning about the local community through the hotel design, guests also want to enjoy a sense of community spirit first-hand. It also ties in with the digital nomads and bleisure traveller trends that create a need for meeting rooms.

Whether it’s by adding a coworking space or letting a lobby area double up as a pop-up cinema on the odd occasion, think of how you can use public spaces for multiple functions. Communal spaces can be used for work and socialising too and shouldn’t be restricted to check-ins and checkouts.

9. Inclusivity and diversity

Even though you might cater to a specific type of guest, you still need to keep in mind that guests come from different cultural backgrounds. It’s important for hotels to create spaces where every guest feels welcome and valued.

To establish diversity and inclusivity practices, you can start by hiring a diverse workforce. Employees who share commonalities with guests, such as language or cultural understanding, can provide more personalised and authentic experiences, leading to higher guest satisfaction and loyalty.

You might also want to provide comprehensive training on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for all staff members to raise awareness and promote understanding of different cultures, identities, and perspectives.

Another key step is that hotels need to ensure that they offer accessible facilities and services. Ensure that your hotel facilities and services are accessible to guests with disabilities or special needs. This may include providing wheelchair ramps and assistive devices.

If you don’t have a strategy for developing diversity and inclusion, create one. It will offer valuable guidance showing you in which areas more investment is needed. Then, make sure that you make it a part of your branding. You want everyone to know that at your hotel they’re welcome.

Hotel technology trends

10. Artificial intelligence

AI is one of the current trends across various industries. AI-powered chatbots can be of particular great use to hotel brands. It can speed up the booking process by answering prospective guests’ questions and, at the same time, helping hotels deal with staff shortages.

According to one of our special guests on the LowKey by Oaky podcast, Ashley Williams, the General Manager with 11 years of experience working in the hospitality vertical at Mitel, AI technology will develop significantly this year. So much so that guests won’t be able to discern the difference between a live agent and a bot.

Plus, she believes that AI is here to stay, another reason for hotels to get on board. As she puts it, “AI is allowing hoteliers to do more with less.”

That being said, according to The State of Corporate Travel & Expense 2023 report by Skift and Navan, plenty of travellers and hotel managers remain hesitant to give a lot of control to AI.

11. Smart hotel rooms

From voice-controlled assistants to smart thermostats to IoT devices for room service requests, there are various technological features and amenities that you can add to create smart hotel rooms. While adding smart hotel rooms to your room inventory is in line with hotel trends, a common concern is cost. Does it offer enough value to offset the initial investment needed to implement the idea?

The answer to that is yes. Not only will guests enjoy more convenience and a better experience overall, but hotel operations will also become more efficient and sustainable. It can also add that touch of luxury and sophistication, which can help luxury hotels in particular to differentiate themselves in a competitive market.

12. Virtual reality

For hotels looking to incorporate innovative technology, there’s virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). What makes these trends so applicable to the hotel industry is that they can be used to create immersive experiences, making it easier for guests to picture themselves enjoying local experiences and amenities on offer.

Virtual tours and augmented reality also allow hotels to communicate more information in a format that’s easy to digest. Imagine how many pages of content you would have to create to describe all the amenities in detail and how long that would take to read. With virtual and augmented reality hotel tours, you’ll need only a few minutes.

13. Direct bookings

In 2024, hotels will build on last year’s success in driving direct bookings and increase their focus on getting more direct bookings. H2c’s 2023 Digital Hotel Operations Study reveals that almost 33% of bookings in the last year were direct.

Hotel trends 2024

According to this report, the increase in direct bookings can be attributed to loyalty programs and hotels actively sharing high-quality content on their website. These will be good places to start for hotels looking to increase their share of direct bookings.

Not only does it help to save on guest acquisition costs, but it also helps to collect more guest data (OTAs usually keep this data to themselves). As mentioned earlier, this data can be used again to personalise the guest experience, allowing hotels to leverage multiple hotel trends.

To elevate your direct bookings, make sure to optimise your website as well as your booking engine. By choosing the right marketing strategies (more on them later in this article) to improve the visibility of your website and minimise friction in your booking process, you can expect an increase in your direct bookings.

14. Guest data

As mentioned earlier, guest data is critical for many hotel operations. Hotels need it to personalise communication and upselling deals which in return can improve their monetisation efforts.

When using guest data, it’s crucial that hotels have systems in place to protect the guests’ data. It’s another point that our LowKey by Oaky podcast guest Ashley Williams touches upon in the episode. She explains, “One of the best things you can do as a hotel owner is to protect your assets.”

Her advice to hotel owners is to reach out to the vendors that they use, for example, the property management systems, revenue management tools, or upselling software to ensure they’re accessing the latest tech from a data protection standpoint. The last thing you want to trend for on social media news is a data breach.

15. Contactless tech

Like flexible working policies, widespread adoption of contactless tech is one of the impacts of the pandemic. Offering a mobile check-in option is one of the most popular ways that hotels are introducing contactless tech.

That being said, it’s key to keep in mind that, like in the case of AI, not all guests are fans of this trend. Guests booking a stay at luxury properties in particular might find it a detractor as they still expect face-to-face connection at check-in. The best approach is to offer guests both options — mobile check-ins or in-person, check-in at the front desk.

Economic trends in the hotel industry

16. Staff and labour shortage

The staff and labour shortage in the hotel industry isn’t a new issue. While the pandemic has played a role in the shortages that hotels are still trying to eradicate, there are other factors that are also to blame. Lack of flexibility, unpopular working hours, and stressful conditions make a career in the hospitality industry less appealing. And, for those who are up for the challenge, it simply isn’t sustainable.

For hotels to address the staff shortage, it needs to address these root causes. Fair compensation and a better work-life balance are good starting points.

Hotel tech and AI can also serve a dual purpose. It can make the career less stressful and more enjoyable by reducing the workload of employees but also enable hotels to fill the skills gap and do more with less.

17. Price consciousness

With inflation and increased cost of living, travellers are becoming more price-conscious. According to YouGov’s survey conducted in 18 markets globally, 18% of respondents replied that they have become more price-conscious when it comes to buying flight tickets or booking hotels.

Basically, travellers are searching for that sweet balance between quality and value. With guest expectations at a high, hotels have their work cut out for them. This might mean that hoteliers will have to redefine their value proposition, an exercise which will also give them an advantage in the competitive market.

18. Unpredictable occupancy in some markets

Current global conflicts decrease the occupancy rate not only in the immediate regions like Israel, Russia, and Ukraine but also in neighbouring countries and markets. For example, the conflict in Gaza is expected to have a negative impact on tourism in the Middle East. Egypt and Lebanon will also feel the brunt, while countries like Morocco, Tunisia, and Cyprus to a lesser extent. What’s more, resorts in these neighbouring countries draw guests from Israel as well as Europe, a double blow for business.

To give you an idea of the impact that the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to have on travel, in 2020, these two countries combined accounted for 2.6% of global tourism spending, resulting in billions of lost revenue for the travel industry globally.

Marketing trends in the hospitality industry

19. Video marketing

Short-form video content, in particular, has found favour among travellers. When shared on social media like TikTok or Instagram, it’s more effective than static posts to get users to stop scrolling and take note. Plus, message recall is much higher than using text alone.

Hotels that are mainly targeting Gen Z travellers should take note especially. It’s much easier to reach younger travellers via social media marketing and video content. Find out which channels your target audience visits frequently and optimise your videos as per the channel’s specs.

20. Hyper-personalised marketing campaigns

As mentioned earlier, personalisation is one of the major hotel marketing trends. Though, to do it properly, you need to personalise each step of the guest journey. Hyper-personalised marketing campaigns involve tailoring messages and offers to individual guests based on their preferences, behaviours, and demographics.

Some of the examples of this type of marketing can be personalised email marketing campaigns, targeted ads, creating customised offers and packages based on the previous booking history of your guests, etc.

Again, to bring hyper-personalised marketing campaigns to life, you need ample guest data and know the channels where they prefer to consume information.

21. Influencer marketing

Since 2022, the market size of influencer marketing has only increased. Influencer Marketing Hub predicts that the market size will reach about $24 billion by the end of 2024, a growth of nearly $8 billion in only three years.

Travellers trust influencers’ opinions. In a time where personalisation is an expectation, influencer marketing adds another element of authenticity.

22. Socially responsible brand values

Expedia’s Sustainable Travel Study reveals that 90% of travellers want sustainable travel options. As mentioned earlier, eco-friendly practices will continue to drive guest behaviour going forward.

Hotel trends eco deals

To stay relevant, hotels will need to make sustainability one of their core brand values. Then, incorporate it into your branding so that prospective guests start to associate your hotel as the most sensible option. After all, it’s something to be proud of. So, be sure to communicate how you’re doing your bit for the environment.

23. Gamification

Gamification is a trend in the hotel industry that involves applying elements of game design and mechanics to hotel operations and guest experiences. The goal is to engage guests and hotel employees, motivate behaviour, and enhance the overall guest experience through interactive and entertaining activities.

While the idea of integrating gamification into hotel operations and guest experiences is not new, it has been evolving over the past years. As technology advances, hotels start incorporating gamified elements into their loyalty programs, mobile apps, websites, and on-site experiences or pre-arrival guest engagement. Hotel groups such as Accor Hotels, Marriott International and Hilton Hotels have included gamification elements in their loyalty programs to incentivise guests and drive repeat business.

Final thoughts

Personalisation is the golden thread tying many of these hotel trends together. They clearly show the importance of deciding on a target audience. While all your guests should feel welcome and equal, you should find ways that you can tailor the experience towards specific guests and ensure that these experiences speak to their needs. For many, this will be driven by their desire to travel more sustainably and combine business with pleasure.

Unlock personalised guest experiences with Oaky

Any questions about Oaky? Feel free to reach out!

MKT Olga Vasylieva email
Olga Vasylieva

Senior Marketing Manager 

Send email