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In 2014, travelers can look forward to digital room service, tea-infused cocktails and other innovations and trends throughout the hospitality industry. The following are trend predictions for next year, from The School of Hospitality Management at Kendall College.
Tea Cocktails and Sour Beers
Spirit bars and mixologists around the country are bringing their focus back to pre-prohibition and classic cocktails, with Vermouth emerging as a star liquor. They are also enhancing their vodka, gin and rum concoctions with a special ingredient: tea. In addition, sour beers, which originated in Germany and Belgium, are experiencing a resurgence. Adventurous beer drinkers will enjoy these high-acid beers and their funky, tart flavor.
Eco-Friendly Becomes the Norm
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, hotels consume nearly $4 billion in yearly energy costs. To offset consumption, more hotels plan to implement green programs, products, packages and practices in an attempt to lower their impact on the environment, appeal to environmentally concerned leisure and business travelers and lower cost. Hotels are also aware that they can save money through sustainable measures.
Travel Advisor reported that nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of travelers expect hotels to have some type of environmental program in place, and the majority (84 percent) do not see these practices as having a negative impact on comfort or luxury.
Kendall believes that 2013 marked the tipping point for sustainable hospitality, with eco-friendly practices becoming the norm rather than the exception.
Reviews and Rankings
Acting like a digital word of mouth, user-generated online reviews can impact business revenue, so it is no wonder that these reviews continue to be an important part of the travel experience. More than 33 percent of the 2012 Luxury Trend report’s customers believe TripAdvisor reviews are very important.
Reinventing Room Service
For 2014, many hotels will begin to reimagine the concept of room service, offering menus created by popular chefs, digital in-room dining menus complete with pictures and descriptions of each menu item and the option of online ordering.
Continued Growth of the Tourism Industry
According to Kendall, travel and tourism in the U.S. currently provides one out of eight jobs and is a top 10 industry in the U.S. In 2013, the industry added approximately 55,000 jobs per month.
The World Travel & Tourism Council reports that the Travel and Tourism industry presently ranks as one of the fastest and largest-growing industries in the world, predicted to support as many as 328 million jobs — 10 percent of the workforce — by the year 2022.