We love to predict the future and think ahead, but we don’t often have a chance to look back to see how close those predictions came to reality.
I love when random events in old TV shows or movies predict the future correctly, or at least semi-correctly.
I’m thinking about that 2000 Simpsons episode taking place in “the future,” where Lisa succeeds Donald Trump as president. Or the “predictions” in both the 1989 film “Back to the Future II” and a 2015 “Parks and Recreation” episode that called for the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series, which the team did in 2016. I know it’s all coincidence, but it’s still a thrill when an unsubstantiated prediction really comes true.
That’s why I love speculating about the future. I’m not talking about real, data-based predictions, mind you—real data analysts can do that (and of course they do). I like the Jetsons-style speculation, the “maybe we’ll travel to Mars on jetpacks!” stuff.
It can be liberating and really fun to just sit around and speculate.
That’s what we asked many of you to do for our upcoming 2025 Hotel Trends Report, which publishes next week here on Hotel News Now. We look five years into the future, with performance forecasts and development forecasts, and a lot of fun conversation about the guest of the future and hotel spaces of the future.
You may recall we published a similar report waaaaaaay back at the beginning of 2015, which we called the 2020 Hotel Trends Report. Here’s where you can view that old chestnut.
It’s so fun to look back at those predictions from five years ago and see what rings true now vs. what’s just crazy. Sources in the old report forecasted travelers in 2020 would be much more concerned about sustainability (true), that traditional roomservice would be vastly different (getting there) and that new hotel brands would be more and more niched (true).
Of course, many of the people we talked to back in 2015 were a little ahead of themselves in their thinking. One brand executive—I’ll protect his identity—said that by 2020, we’d be ordering roomservice via hologram, while wearing Google Glass. Nearly every designer we spoke to back then said check-in desks would be a thing of the past by now (nope), and one Harris poll we published predicted that 36% of millennials would be booking travel in 2020 using a smartphone. Reality check—it’s more like 66%, at least according to recent Bloomberg data, as published by the UK’s Condor Ferries.
As for what I predict about the global hotel industry in 2025? Not quite jetpacks to Mars, but I think hotel companies will need to step up their tech infrastructure game in order to keep up with the never-ending changing dynamic of what guests want. Guests don’t want to be told when they can check in or check out of a hotel, or to get out of their rooms for housekeeping. They don’t want to be told how to pay or when to pay. We want what we want when we want it, and that’s only going to intensify.
Make sure you check out our 2025 report next week for more fun—and informed—predictions.
The opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hotel News Now or its parent company, STR and its affiliated companies. Bloggers published on this site are given the freedom to express views that may be controversial, but our goal is to provoke thought and constructive discussion within our reader community. Please feel free to comment or contact an editor with any questions or concerns.