6 Top Hotel & Venue Trends for 2017

DEC 2016

Steady Forecast for Renovations & New Builds

Although supply is steadily catching up with demand, there continues to be a push for new and updated inventory. The need to stay competitive is also driving hotel-to-hotel renovations, including same-brand upgrades as well as transformations to entirely different brand flags. Last year was a record-breaker for hotel renovations in the U.S., with one out of five existing properties getting an upgrade, according to the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University. (A more typical annual average is 15%) The Dallas market continues to lead the way in new builds, ranking #3 in North America for projected hotel openings in 2017.

Hotels & Venues Seek the Right Fit

Hotels and venues are becoming more sophisticated in identifying their target market and the business that best suits their brand or property. As such, it's not unusual for hotels and venues to turn away clients in favor of those better aligned with their brand. Even though this could be frustrating to planners, it actually bodes well for the industry, as hotels and venues are taking the time to better understand your customers' needs, which enhances overall attendee engagement and event satisfaction – a win-win for both hotels and planners.

Still a Seller's Market…For Now

Many 2017 industry forecasts predict a continued seller's market, but some indicate that for the first time in several years, supply might be catching up with demand. That said, higher rates and occupancy as well as turbulence from disruptors like Airbnb and dynamic hotel pricing are still likely to complicate contract negotiations. Overall, STR and Tourism Economics predict "healthy" growth in 2017, with average daily rate up 4.3% (almost matching 2016's projected 4.4%), and occupancy at an all-time high. They also predict a 2.1% demand growth, surpassing a projected 1.9% supply growth.

A Push Towards Focused Meeting Space

Minimalism is a growing trend in fashion, architecture, furniture design - and even meeting space. The more advanced our technology becomes, the fewer materials are needed in the physical meeting room. To satisfy this minimal approach, wireless rooms that promote creative collaboration are on the rise. These flexible spaces are increasingly must-haves in many new build and renovation plans.  Technology also plays a big role in design considerations. Hotels such as the centenarian Dallas landmark The Adolphus, Autograph Collection paid close attention to technology in their recent multimillion-dollar renovation. Their 24,000-square-foot meeting space was completely overhauled to feature the latest AV capabilities.

The F&B of the Future

Generic, forgettable hotel restaurants are a thing of the past. Restaurant concepts are now just as important a factor as guest rooms and meeting space. As planners seek bigger, bolder F&B experiences for their meetings, hotels are responding by offering restaurants helmed by renowned chefs and creative menus. There is also a trend towards concepts that have a distinctive, experiential vibe such as local farm-to-table, tapas and microbreweries, just to name a few.

The Rise of Urban & Mixed-Use

Hotels in urban and mixed-use developments offer walkable settings that provide retail, restaurants, and other services such as spa and fitness. More and more, planners gravitate to these types of venues in hopes of amping up the experiential nature of the meeting or event. Hotel Lorenzo, one of a handful of new downtown Dallas hotels, is a 237 room Art centric boutique hotel located in the vibrant Cedars area of downtown Dallas and walking distance to the Dallas Convention Center. With 5,750 square feet of meeting space (plus complimentary views of the skyline!) and 7,500 square feet of outdoor event space, this venue provides traditional event space, with the added perk of exciting urban amenities.

For more information on these resources and planning your next meeting or event in Dallas, TX, visit www.visitdallas.com/meeting-planners or call our planning partners at 800-232-5527.