PwC Hospitality & Leisure Trends 2019 - Finding Ways to Be Distinctive


The latest report from PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey series focuses on the trends in the Hospitality and Leisure industry. In it they report a loss in connection between brands and consumers due to the influence of third-party booking sites that reduce the brand to reviews, ratings and inevitably, price.

Partly because of this drop in ability to connect directly with their customers, Hospitality CEOs are more pessimistic about the future of their businesses than CEOs in other industries.

The authors suggest three strategic choices for hotels in order to rekindle the brand loyalty and the direct connection with their customers.

The first one is to modernise their offering, but only if it makes them better, distinct and different from local competitors.

The second one suggests hiring top-notch, customer-centric staff - in other words to improve the human to human relationships at hotels. We all want the best staff of course, but in larger establishments with seasonal workers, and where customers want to pay as little as possible, it’s a very tough ask.

The third recommendation focuses on implementing the latest technology to streamline administration and free up employees to spend more time with guests. Here we agree totally - for example we are still amazed that hotel staff are used at breakfasts just to administer the paperwork of who has gone in, whereas with some simple technology they could give guests a much better service and also provide the hotel with invaluable insights into the use of their facilities.

The PwC report continues with the comment that “interesting possibilities emerge from the machine’s ongoing analysis of information in the system” which is where data becomes insight. As in many industries, the lack of analysis is a failure to see the potential that lies within the data that is collected. If managers can see data as sources of information, then they can put in place the right systems to collect the right data to allow them to create insights. Artificial Intelligence (an overused and also misused term in our opinion) can do the leg work, but it won’t replace the wisdom of the experienced manager.

In conclusion, the PwC authors suggest that hotels should be “taking risks with new ideas and anticipating what will be most attractive to guests.” This again is something that we here at Guestband have at the heart of what we do - we believe that hotel technology should be creative, innovative and exciting as that is what will truly connect and resonate with clients. We have written about this here:

The summary PwC report can be found here

And the full report can be downloaded from here