Is the front desk set to become obsolete in 2023? Will our travel experiences be dictated by TikTok in the near future? Here are five of the key trends expected to shape the hospitality industry in the year ahead

Focus on value-driven travel

Travel demand will remain high as people still want to make up for lost time from the pandemic. But with inflation and economic uncertainty in the air, travellers are rethinking how to get the most for their money, from taking advantage of flight deals to travelling off-season to destinations for lower prices. Regarding lodging, Expedia says that 43% of travellers will stay in one- to three-star hotels next year. Travellers will still continue to seek out unique experiences, so even lower budget properties that can deliver on that will benefit from all the value-seeking travellers in 2023.

The vanishing front desk

A tight labour market means that lodging businesses are still struggling to fill positions. Now that technology is becoming more widely available to independent properties, is this the beginning of the end for the hotel front desk? In 2023, we will see more lodging businesses reduce traditional front-desk service in favour of a more digital experience, such as mobile check-in and digital keys.

Blended travel meets hybrid lodging

The hospitality industry has long put hotels and holiday rentals in separate categories, but in recent years, the spaces have begun to blend together. Hotel brands are getting into holiday rentals and holiday rental brands are starting to become more like hotels. The consumer is also starting to treat them the same, as travellers already consider both hotels and STRs in their booking journey, which is evident in the way OTAs offer both options when travellers search destinations for properties. In 2023, this concept will go even further and we will see the rise of more flexible properties that offer a mix of different types of accommodations and flexible spaces all in one property.

Evolution of travel search and inspiration

Gen Z and their love of TikTok is rapidly changing the way that we search for and are inspired by travel, with TikTok increasingly the preferred search engine for that generation. In 2023, TikTok will become a bigger player in the travel advertising space and will also influence other trends in travel search. Google is already changing its algorithm to prioritise the style short-form video popularised by TikTok and Instagram.

A shift from amenities to experiences

Today’s travellers want unique experiences and the purpose of their travel is going to be increasingly tied to the accommodation they select. Lodging businesses have already been seeking to meet this need with investments in new concepts and amenities that cater to these travellers (such as more sustainable practices in the hotel, offering more local products, etc). While this itself isn’t new, the proliferation of these new experience-led amenities will affect how we shop for travel; increasingly travel booking sites and brands are going to offer more ways to personalise your search for accommodation. Airbnb has started to lead the way in 2022 with their new “Categories” release, while is betting that travellers will increasingly want to seek out eco-friendly accommodations with the recent launch of its Travel Sustainable badge.

This article was written by hospitality management platform Cloudbeds,