The ball has dropped signifying the start of 2014, and it also means there is a good chance you may be suffering from ERONYP — Excessive Reporting Of New Year Predictions!
The exercise in trying to read trends and forecast the future is why most bloggers look forward to this time of year, and like most, I too have my own crystal-ball list. Should any of these instincts come to fruition, I can assure you several are hospitality-friendly!
Let’s take a look at my Top 8 (because everyone does 10) predictions for 2014:
1. The ball dropping on New Year’s Eve is not the only item falling. Fuel pricing will encounter huge swings, and when all is said and done, the U.S. year-long average will hit an all-time low. (A first since 2010!)
2. The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects an upward trend in food prices, representing up to a 3.5% jump from 2013. Be prepared to see hefty price increases for bread, cereal, bakery products and beef.
3. Mobile app Vine (owned by Twitter), will become as popular as “the selfie” last year. Enabling users to create and post short six-second clips on Twitter and Facebook, this app will send hospitality into a mode of “It’s not about ‘if,’ but ‘when’” for implementing short spots into the social media agenda and having a game plan for an abundance of rapid to-the-point hotel reviews.
4. Facebook’s strongest growth in 2013 came from users older than 65, which leads me to believe teenagers will jump ship to Instagram for posting photos and Snapchat and WhatsApp for private messaging their friends. Keep this in mind as you divide and conquer your 2014 social media platform and app management tasks, because teens love posting reviews.
5. Other countries will follow Great Britain as the latest nation to replace paper bills with plastic ones. The new bills last longer, hold up better and are harder to counterfeit.
6. Mexico may slip from being a desired destination while China may replace France as the No. 1 destination. (If not in 2014, then shortly thereafter!). Russia, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics, may gain in popularity, but lower airfares along with a relaxation on Russia’s tough tourist visa application rules will need to come into play for U.S. tourists.
7. Design enthusiasts will see multiple trends evolve, and all have potential in hospitality!
Creative unexpected light bulb clusters suspended from above, clear resin or acrylic drapery and shower curtain rods, “black rooms” taking over predictable gray or “greige,” wood grain anything such as floors and furniture and a major change in public restrooms, including urinals, as they go high-end.
8. Do-it-yourself high-tech beauty gadgets for time-deprived women will include sonic cleansing devices, micro-current facial toning devices, infrared blow dryers, hair remover lasers and tooth-whitening units. This money- and time-saving DIY desire validates a 2013 prediction that women-only, designated guestrooms will pop up more and more at properties of all levels.
In conclusion, as the beat goes on in 2014 you can also expect continued success for the following:
- Netflix soared in 2013 as the video subscription service attracted millions of new customers, which in turn means there is no slowing down.
- Recent U.S. airline mergers will equate to expensive tickets, more fees and fewer flights.
- The use of bright colors continues at a mainstream pace and includes heavy doses of Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year: fuchsia. Pink and purple appear in unexpected venues such as F&B, where deviled eggs are made with beets and drinks adopt rosy hues.
- As expensive, chip-friendly and unpredictable granite fades away, synthetic counters made from Zodiaq or CaesarStone continue climbing the popularity chart.
- Single punch words used in ad campaigns continue as the shift goes away from the use of a trio of words such as “Live. Eat. Love.” Leading in popularity are single word descriptors such as “brilliant” and “epic.”
- Product lists with 101 “I never thought of that” uses (previous examples include coconut oil and honey) will continue to trend and generate interest and major water-cooler conversations.
I’ve shared my predictions; now it’s time to hear yours. Feel free to chime in with your own predictions before the New Year gets into full swing!