Speaking at EXPO Real 2015, Europe’s largest real estate and investment trade fair, which takes place Munich each year, Dirk Bakker provided a key note speech to delegates addressing the impact of change in the hospitality sector on investors. 

According to a recent surveys conducted by Skift and eleven wireless, 70 per cent of international travellers said that the quality of a hotel’s digital tools would impact their booking decisions. 40 per cent of hotel guests now travel with three or more devices and 61 per cent of travellers would use a mobile device to pay hotel bills. 

Dirk explained: “Data suggests that by 2018, the majority of the UK adult population will be ‘digital native’, so it is clear that operators who do not keep up with technological advances, and those which depend strongly on their geographical location, will get left behind if they don’t adapt their strategies accordingly.

By 2025, the world will welcome 1.8bn international visitor arrivals each year – a 59 per cent increase from the 1.1bn international arrivals which crossed borders in 2014. By 2025, the US will still dominate international visitor arrivals. China is not far behind, with a difference of only 6m visitors.

47 per cent of ‘Gen Y’ put more stock in how their peers rate a hotel than any marketing tactics employed by the brand. This is compared to the ‘babyboomer’ generation who, when asked the same questions, 39 per cent said they listened to their peers with 37 per cent being led by a brand’s self-promotion.  

Dirk concluded: “We are seeing emphasis shifting away from the ‘Location, Location, Location’ mantra to become more about Location, Brand and Experience. A strong identity is key to a strong hotel operation and it is those investors which embrace new technology in their finance strategies and brands which put the customer experience at the heart of their operations that will reap the rewards.”