Macro-Environment Trends in Hospitality & Tourism

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  • 0:03 Top Trends List
  • 1:00 Hospitality & Tourism Impact
  • 4:45 Political &…
  • 6:30 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Macro-environment trends that are political, economical, environmental, or social in nature can influence the direction of hospitality and tourism organizations. In this lesson, you'll learn more about those conditions.

Top Trends List

Let's pretend you're a travel agent, tasked with identifying some of the biggest trends impacting your industry - the hospitality and tourism industry. In order to anticipate how these trends might impact your job, your boss has asked you to compile a list of relevant political, economic, environmental, and social trends that could influence the strategic direction that organizations in the hospitality and tourism sector might take. It's sort of like taking a crystal ball and looking into the future, except with some insights from industry experts and your own experience in the industry to build upon.

You've managed to put together a list of topics you think are pretty important and have passed it along to your boss. She agreed with your assessment and, pleased with your effort, distributes your analysis throughout the office. The following is the research you came up with that you hope helps your fellow travel professionals.

Hospitality and Tourism Impact

You identified several trends impacting the overall hospitality and tourism industry, defined as macro-environment trends - that is, external factors over which the industry has no control that might affect its performance and strategies. That could include a wide variety of things such as environmental factors, social factors, legal and political conditions, or even technological changes.

Some of the top trends that caused your co-workers to sit up and take notice include:

Climate Change

Unpredictable or unstable weather patterns can be a hamper on hotels and tourism in both warm and cool climates that depend on certain conditions for their guests and livelihood. As a solution to this challenge, hotels could consider making changes to infrastructure to withstand negative weather events. Providers in mountainous areas could implement a four-season travel strategy toward its guests.

Green Policies

All businesses are under increased pressure to incorporate environmental and sustainable practices and programs. These might include energy and water conservation measures. Luckily, hotels and restaurants can accommodate by considering eco-friendly options they can share with their guests such as energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances and reducing waste in a restaurant by donating to local food pantries. Hospitality providers can use these practices to their advantage in marketing and attracting guests.

Disruptive Forces

The emergence of shared travel providers such as Airbnb, where travelers book cheap accommodations owned by other individuals, and online mega-travel search engines can have negative consequences on the overall tourism industry. To combat this issue, create travel options that appeal to this generation of travelers, such as Marriott is doing with the introduction of their Moxy brand of hotels to appeal to millennial Airbnb users.

Income Inequality

The gaps between the very wealthy, the average middle class family, and the very poor are becoming more prominent. In Asia, this gap is expected to be the worst. However, offer reasonably-priced and affordable options for tourists, whether that's a moderately-priced hotel or a special discounted menu for more frugal travelers. Contrast these with the lavish accommodations for wealthy guests.

Economic Uncertainty

Job loss, inflation, and less discretionary income can cause would-be travelers to avoid vacations or, at the very least, stick close to home to avoid the added expenses of dining out and staying in hotels. To offset economic uncertainty, hotels could offer bundled deals with restaurants or local attractions, weekend getaways, or reduced rates. Restaurants might consider menu specials.

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