By Kaitlin Dunn, Writer, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)
Hospitality marketing and sales leaders came together at HSMAI’s Hotel Management Company Sales & Marketing Executive Roundtable — held in conjunction with the Sales Leader Forum in Frisco, Texas, on Nov. 5–6 — to discuss the state of the industry and predictions for next year. Here are four of the developments they’re tracking for 2020:
1. Next year looks steady, but slow in terms of growth. Several Executive Roundtable participants mentioned that this year has been steady, and while they aren’t expecting a lot of growth in the coming months, they don’t think next year will see a huge recession. “The prediction is pleasantly optimistic about 2020,” one participant said. “Not fireworks, but people will still need to travel.” Another participant added: “The data is not showing a downturn yet.
2. Disruptors are an issue throughout the industry. Airbnb is now recruiting salespeople — and has gotten a lot more organized about it, according to one participant. Others also expressed concern that the homestay company is a threat to traditional hotels, and stressed that companies need to reevaluate how to best stay competitive in the marketplace. Participants also said that disruption in general is going to be an issue, not just with Airbnb but with other potential emerging companies as well.
3. Hotel companies need to find new ways to draw in business. Traditional ways of reaching customers are not cutting it anymore. Several participants mentioned that innovation and finding new ways to bring people in are going to be priorities for next year. One participant sees a lot of new concepts being explored, particularly in the food-and-beverage space.
4. 2020 will see more hotel trading, which could lead to more problems with brands. A few participants think next year will see more acquisitions and trading of hotels. One participant predicted that this will lead to more startups and new management companies. Another participant mentioned that after a recent merger there is less support from brands, a trend that could continue into the future. Networking with brands is a priority for one participant, who is worried about the relationship between HMCs and brands.
The session was sponsored by Cendyn, Tambourine, and TravelClick, an Amadeus Company. Hotel companies represented at the Roundtable included Concord Hospitality, CoralTree Hospitality, First Hospitality, Hospitality Ventures Management Group, Hotel Investment Services, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Kessler Collection, OTO Development LLC, Pineapple Hospitality Company, PM Hotel Group, Prism Hotels & Resorts, Pyramid Hotel Group, and Remington Hotel Corporation. HSMAI brings together Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Digital Marketing Officers, Chief Sales Officers, Chief Revenue Officers, and Hotel Management Company Sales & Marketing Executives through the year.