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Exclusive Q&A: Here Are the Top Hotel Trends to Watch in 2016

National Hotel

The lodging industry has seen big changes in recent years, from record-breaking sales (almost $2B) of historic hotels to new disruptors like Airbnb making a big splash in the industry. 

So what can we expect for next year? Bisnow sat down with renowned travel and hospitality expert, professor of NYU's Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism Bjorn Hanson, to get the scoop on the hotels trends we can expect in 2016.

1. Hotel occupancy will be the highest in 30 years.

Slow growth of supply mixed with good economic recovery will make the availability of rooms a challenge, affecting pricing during peak periods, Bjorn warns travel managers. 

2. There'll be record amounts of renovations.

Think upgraded lobbies, nicer rooms and new food and beverage concepts. But also remember that many hotels will be amidst renovation programs during your stay.

3. New food and beverage concepts to bring in revenue.

"The lodging industry realized long ago that it's better to have room revenue than food and beverage revenue," Bjorn says. But now hotels are looking at how to maximize food and drink for profit, or at least guest satisfaction. This'll be the introduction of new dining options like "grab-and-go" or room service styles. "There isn't a single solution," he says. So get creative.

4. Fees and surcharges are going to increase.

Airlines do it, too. Expect for hotels to be raking in record amounts of fees and surcharges thanks to the higher levels of occupancies. Things that have not been charged for in the past like baggage holding at the front desk will now be added to bills (because they can).

5. Luxury will get a high-tech update.

"The very definition of luxury hotel has changed," Bjorn says, noting how it used to be defined by very specific attributes like old-fashioned concierges. "But with social media, a 25-year old isn't going to rely on that stereotype to recommend the kind of restaurant that a 25-year old will really enjoy."

Related Topics: Bjorn Hanson