January 21, 2014 // Franchising.com // A new report published today by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), 'Creating Moments of Trust – the key to building successful brand relationships in the Kinship Economy', suggests that to win guest loyalty in the future, hotels need to deliver a global, local and personalised experience. The research also shows that personalised brand experiences which resonate with the local culture are particularly important for the fast-growing number of international travellers from emerging markets.
The collision of these three dimensions, accelerated by the rapid rise of technology-enabled personalisation in recent years, is changing the experience guests expect when they travel. Hotel brands that are able to become truly "3D" – by delivering localised and personalised experiences through trusted global brands - will build the trust that is needed to sustain lasting relationships with guests and outperform in the future.
Last year, IHG published: 'The New Kinship Economy', which highlighted a transition from brand experiences to brand relationships in the hospitality sector. This year's report builds on this work to help IHG gain a deeper understanding of what it is that travellers around the world want from their relationships with hotel brands.
Commenting on the report, Richard Solomons, IHG Chief Executive said:
"This report marks a step-change in the thinking that has dominated the travel and hospitality industry over the last two decades. Hotel brands have traditionally concentrated on being 2D – how to be both global and local. But our research shows that the rise of personalisation means brands must be 3D in order to build both trust and lasting relationships with guests and to win in a highly competitive global market.
"We know that our guests trust IHG's global brands to deliver on a promise of quality and consistency time and time again. But they increasingly expect these same brands to deliver localised and personalised experiences, whether they are travelling for business or pleasure. That is why we have developed our ground-breaking HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts and EVEN Hotels concepts, and why we are focused on supporting technology-enabled personalisation across our brand family."
The report, surveying more than 7,000 international travellers, shows that over the last 12 months, emerging market travellers have been travelling more frequently than their developed market counterparts. Whilst they are more likely to look to a global brand for an assurance of quality, emerging market travellers are also more likely to make choices based on differences between hotel chains. This group prize personalisation and fit with local culture most highly of those surveyed. These trends point to the importance of trusted global brands being able to deliver the combination of localised, personalised experiences. The report also shows that initiatives that allow guests to create their own experiences through technology are equally important, particularly to the Millennial 'Laptop and Latte' business traveller group – which has the most trust in global brands to be innovative.
IHG is already addressing the growing consumer demand for 3D brands in a number of ways. Two examples include the development of our two newest hotel brands: HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts, the first international hotel brand designed specifically for Chinese travellers; and EVEN Hotels, the first mainstream holistic wellness hotel brand. These new brand launches build on IHG's existing focus on delivering a higher degree of localisation and personalisation across our portfolio of trusted global brands.
Findings in the report include:
Based on the research being published today, IHG has identified six 'trust-building' actions that will help its hotel brands around the world deliver the 3D experience that guests increasingly expect. These actions are detailed in the report and are:
For more information on the IHG 2014 Trends Report, please visit www.ihgplc.com/Trends_Report.
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of nine hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE™ Hotels & Resorts.
IHG manages IHG® Rewards Club, the world's first and largest hotel loyalty programme with over 76 million members worldwide. The programme was relaunched in July 2013, offering enhanced benefits for members including free internet for Elites across all hotels, globally.
IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,600 hotels and 679,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories. With more than 1,000 hotels in its development pipeline, IHG expects to recruit around 90,000 people into additional roles across its estate over the next few years.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.
Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.ihgrewardsclub.com for more on IHG Rewards Club. For our latest news, visit: www.ihg.com/media, www.twitter.com/ihg, www.facebook.com/ihg or www.youtube.com/ihgplc.
SOURCE IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)
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