Emotions is a new brand standard.

Hotels used to be about consistency and reliability, but now they're competing in a new era of travel that demands more than just that. People are more informed and have higher expectations than ever before, looking for experiences that speak to their emotions.

That’s why many hotel executives are trying to figure out how best to engage with people’s emotions. They want to create an experience that is inviting, welcoming, and caring — one where guests feel like they belong. But at the same time, hotels also have to take into account the feeling of "loneliness" many travelers are facing these days. It's not easy to come up with a brand message that appeals to both feelings at once.

Some establishments are trying innovative tactics: pumping a signature aroma into lobby and outfitting it with working fireplaces to appeal to guests’ senses. But while these strategies could potentially succeed in bringing more customers through the door, will they be enough to make guests truly feel connected?

Though the rise of short-term rental accommodations like Airbnb have been a success, many hotels are now trying to replicate their success by loosening their rules and creating a more authentic experience for guests. A lot of international brands implemented new training system that will help new staff to create an emotional bond with brand, in order to make visitors feel welcome and special. For example, Jumeirah is investing in training to create what they call ‘an emotional spark’ among employees so they can better understand how much of an impact they can make on guests’ experiences.

However, some argue that these changes may not be enough for traditional hotels to stay competitive in this ever-changing market. They need to think deeply about what it is that their brand stands for and how they will communicate this message to their customers while also evolving the physical experience offered at their properties and investing in staff training to cultivate an emotional connection.

And it will become more and more important when Gen Z will take the reigns of power and become the main target audience for all brands.

Let's get ready to a new shift!