Green Certifications, mobile app check-in and healthy menus are among the trends observed by the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s recently released Lodging Survey.

COMMON SPACES FOR younger travelers, rising “Green Certification” and accommodation of guests’ ongoing love affair with mobile technology are some of the trends explored in the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s recently released Lodging Survey. The biannual report is compiled in partnership with STR.

The survey assesses advancements in amenities, guest services, sustainability and technology trends. It is funded by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation, AHLA’s philanthropic organization. This year it found several trends that cater to millennial travelers.

For example, more than 10 percent of responding luxury, upscale and midscale properties reported the inclusion of communal living spaces, a trend favored by younger travelers. The percentage of respondents providing alternative food services, such as grab-n-go marketplaces or similar pickup services, rose from 21 percent in 2016 to 31 percent in 2018. Also, high-end hotels are more likely to provide vegetarian or healthy menu meals.

Sustainability also remained important in 2018. Last year, 25 percent of hotels in the survey had a Green Certification, up from 16 percent in 2016. About 94 to 99 percent of branded hotels in the survey had linen and towel reuse programs, as did 83 percent of independent hotels. About two-thirds of hotels within all chain scales report some type of water savings program.

More than 80 percent of all mid-price and higher segment properties surveyed reported offering mobile device check-in service. Overall use of mobile key apps rose from 6 percent in 2016 to 17 percent in 2018. The percent of hotels allowing guests to access hotel services using mobile apps rose from 35 percent in 2016 to 40 percent in 2018.

“Data like this helps the industry continue to move forward and create new opportunities for its guests, employees and surrounding communities,” said Amanda Hite, president and CEO of STR.

The importance of technology to hotels also was emphasized by a recent survey from Hotel Internet Services that found WiFi service is ‘very important’ for more than 90 percent of hotel guests surveyed.