Six trends shaping new business models in tourism and hospitality

| Article

As destinations and source markets have changed, tourism and hospitality companies have evolved too. Six key trends have shaped business models in this sector over the past decade.

In accommodation, asset-light models like franchising and management have proliferated, though luxury and small-scale brands are opting out. Consolidation has driven economies of scale. Hotels are looking to reclaim their relationship with guests, and almost two decades in, home sharing is charting its own course.

In the experiences space, reinvention is the name of the game. Cruises and theme parks have both focused on attracting new demographics while fine-tuning their revenue management strategies. Experiences remains a highly fragmented, legacy sector, creating massive opportunity for those able to crack the code on aggregation.

By considering the six trends, tourism and hospitality companies can gain insights on business practices for today—and on areas of future opportunity.

Accommodation: New models and value propositions

Accommodation is betting on asset-light models; but they don't suit everyone.
Consolidation has been a significant trend that may taper off.
Home sharing is taking a new approach.

Experience providers: New segments and revenue streams

Cruises are reinventing themselves for sustained growth.
Theme parks are targeting new regions and demographics.
There is opportunity in the fragmented experiences space.

Looking forward: Strategies to stay ahead of the curve

Tourism and hospitality has kept pace with global growth.

As stakeholders gear up for the next decade, there are things that businesses across the sector can do to sustain their hard-won growth—and profits. Moving forward, three strategies in particular can help tourism and hospitality companies stay on the leading edge of innovation.

Unbundle offerings

Hotel and experience providers can take a page from the airline playbook by unbundling rates and letting consumers pay for the exact experience they want. For example, at the time of booking, hotels can present guests with an individually priced bundle for a room on a higher floor, including breakfast and free parking—features that the guest’s past behavior suggests they would particularly value. Ensuring that guests can find their ideal room can lead both to increased revenue and increased satisfaction. A major hotel brand reported that guests chose to spend an additional $22 per night, on average, to customize their hotel room to their liking.1

Cross-sell exclusive experiences

For accommodation and transportation companies, partnering with experience providers to cross-sell a full journey provides an opportunity to tap into a growing area of traveler spending—and a chance to deepen the relationship with customers as a vacation creator. For example, airlines can partner with museums to offer discounted rates if booked at the time of the flight, or hotels can partner with a historical site nearby to offer early-hours admission. For uptake rates to become significant, the partnership needs to add value beyond mere cross-selling. Offering features like insurance or an option to buy now and pay later is one way to add value; creating a distinctive experience like a combined train and historic hotel journey is another.

Embrace a data-powered strategy

Tourism and hospitality entities individually hold a treasure trove of untapped data. Take Paris: hotels may see a surge in bookings for the “shoulder season.” Experience aggregator platforms might see that street food tours have attracted rising interest. Social media might reveal that a particular neighborhood is exploding in popularity. What special guest experiences could be created by combining these insights? Stakeholders can unlock new revenue streams by thinking through what data they hold that can be of value to others. More broadly speaking, combining multiple sources of data can help guide a strategy of unbundling and cross-selling to create more gratifying and pertinent experiences for travelers around the world. Embracing data isn’t just smart—it’s the future of travel.

Explore a career with us