Will communities or individuals determine the future?

13 Mar. 2017

By 2030, multiple changes will occur and will influence the hospitality industry due to globalisation, one of them being a shift of market power.

In the third thesis of the Lausanne Report, EHL - in cooperation with hospitality experts - discuss this trend that will disrupt the industry depending on the economic stages of a market and its geographical position.

3. In search of a sense of belonging

The “human factor” is the principal and decisive element for the development of the hospitality industry. People will be hosts and guests, investors, owners and clients. Concepts such as crowd funding, peer-to-peer and sharing hospitality have their origins in the relationship between individuals and/or communities.

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Scenario A: Power to communities

Their social mission being a competitive advantage, community-controlled organisations can be expected to outperform their competitors in the future and become the driving force for business success.

Here are some key rationales communities:

  • It is a "trend" for people to join digital communication platforms to interact with individuals that share common values and ideas, and thus created multiple online communities
  • Such platforms allow people to participate voluntarily and actively engage themselves and thus have the power to make or break a company
  • The fact that millenials feel the need to join on- and offline communities and share their values and ideas will influence the development of hospitality
  • Communities will be seen as innovative organisations, which will lead to the definition of new hospitality rules and to the push of hotels into the shared local economy
  • The demands of communities will require the local management to be empowered in order to adapt quickly
  • Communities, investors and customers can benefit from a financial and social dividend when being in a co-ownership

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Scenario B: Power to individuals

Communities lose influence and individuals decide to act on their own: possible scenario driven by three factors:

Here are some key rationales regarding individuals:

  • Guest want to be able to control and choose who is tracking their data and be on their own all while using hotels’ facilities and services
  • Technology gives individuals, guests, the power of choosing and commanding the way their experience should be customised. In fact, customers want to be able to select and combine all the services that they need and want as part of their guest experience
  • People change and are unpredictable. Some individuals might have reached a new stage in life and not want to share values and ideas with other people, which will give a new to reason to the hospitality industry to focus on customised guest experiences
  • Online accommodation rental platforms are considered a threat by most hoteliers although they should be seen as an opportunity as they are expanding the hospitality market

Let's co-exist

When it comes to what hospitality will look like in the future in a world where individuals are gaining power and want to be considered as independents, it is still quite blurry. On the other hand, communities keep on becoming more significant. The hospitality industry will thus have to accept the situation and serve both segments equally. In fact, the power could be held by both communities and individuals alike by creating hybrid models in order to share hospitality. That type of model would include hybrid forms of accommodations, combining important elements from both hotels and the sharing economy.

Read about the other industry trends that will shape your future:

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