The next 10 years: trends and scenarios

Oskam, Jeroen (2014), “The next 10 years. Trends and Scenarios”. The Hotels Yearbook. Lausanne: Wade & Co., 2014. 8-9.

Watching trends

How will the hospitality business evolve in the next 10 years? Businesses are hungry for information that helps them identify business opportunities and risks in advance. Trendwatchers address this need by watching their crystal balls for the latest updates on consumer likes and behaviour. However, these trends are hardly reliable for long-term strategic planning. They are too volatile and often caused by “self-inflicted” innovation.

Somehow, predicting a trend is like deciding what to have for dinner. When such a “trend” is detected, we decide to influence the near future. If a fashion designer states that “next year, red shoes are hot”, this is not an analysis but a directive statement. In other words, “trends” are commercial propositions rather than insight into the future.

This makes trends capricious and unpredictable by nature in the long run. Besides, were trends a trend themselves? In years without growth, more prudent consumers may slow down their trendiness. Yet, our businesses still face drastic changes we have to analyse and anticipate.