The global hospital industry is optimistic as we approach the final quarter of 2023. Hotel occupancy levels have been 10% higher compared with 2022 and reservations for Q4 2023 are trending into 10% ahead of last year, which is great. RevPAR has also increased by an average of 15% globally. Europe has shrunk in occupancy, even overtaking the US. Naturally, Europe is a major source market for the luxury tourism segment, not exhaustive to fivestar hotels, but also in curated travel experiences. We experience younger wealthy consumers driving growth based on their bucket list travel needs. But looking into the big picture and not limited to the current state, I think that young affluents who fall into the millennial and Gen Z consumer groups will shape the travel market in the in the near future.

The upward trend in global hotel performance reflects a growing demand for travel and accommodation. And while travellers return to hotels and contribute to their resurgence, we see a growing scheme of hotel real estate in several destinations with hotel brands evolution. I’ve have also just returned from a gathering aimed for a thorough venue inspection to unveil the eagerly awaited programme for the imminent 50th Emma Golden Jubilee Anniversary celebration. Set against the backdrop of Venice, public excitement and anticipation, the Venetian Organizing Committee introduced the leading theme human capital, a comprehensive programme tailored to address prevailing challenges within the hospitality industry.

This initiative promises a productive ground for profound discussions, engaging activities and memorable commemorations that will resonate with all attendees. The event line-up features speakers from various sectors of the industry and academia ensuring a rich diversity of perspectives and invaluable insights on the subject.

Summer dreaming

The challenges faced by the hospital industry post pandemic between increased costs due to supply chain disruption, the lack of flights and shortages in availability of labour have obviously made an impact although they have started to subside. That said, summer of 2023 saw a spike, particularly in leisure travel. It is evident that the hospitality sector needs to constantly adapt to these changing needs. As we look ahead to 2024, it really becomes crucial to explore the emerging trends and advancements that will shape the future of hospitality. Personalised experiences, sustainable practises, technology savviness, storytelling and online reputation management mark, in my opinion, the foundations on which hospitality organisations must invest and commit if they wish to be on the winner’s side. Cautious optimism is pretty much the message coming from different directions, as Germany will host the EUR 2024 Football Cup and Paris, the Summer Olympic Games, and as we move closer to the summer, flights will becoming more expensive, and hotels need to account for this.

Future voyages

Going forward, EHMA’s priorities are providing the right the tools and insights our communities need. We care about our members, we care about tomorrow’s hotel, current hotels in Europe and globally, and future potential members. Current trends truly indicate changing behaviour, and as these are constantly evolving, the hospitality industry needs to adapt to the growing demand for personalised experiences. Guests are looking for unique or tailor made experiences that cater to their individual preferences. To support this, we’re examining synergies that will allow members to increase quality in their hotel’s quality service through guest communication enhancement, establishment of quality assurance procedures and guest experience personalisation including, but not limited to, technology utilisation. I think that in today’s world where identifying the right job is important, one of the biggest benefits of working in the hospitality industry is that it offers so much choice in career direction; hospitality skills and qualifications can be applied to many diverse positions and business types across lots of incredible destinations. And after all, this is not a profession but a passion – and that is essential to attracting new people to our industry.