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Hospitality - TCS 2021 Global Leadership Study Key Findings industry report

ESTIMATED READING TIME: 5 minutes

This report asks:

How Hospitality organizations are planning to balance radical innovation with incremental optimization in the following arenas.

  • Where they will compete: In a digital world, how they are deciding in which businesses and markets to play (business strategy)
  • What to compete with: How they plan to digitize what they already sell to consumers, as well as new offerings (product/service strategy)
  • How to compete: How they are digitizing the processes by which they create demand for, and supply of, their offerings (operational strategy)
  • How to lead: the culture and talent management strategies they believe they need to compete in a far more digital world (talent management strategy)


The Hospitality industry has faced unprecedented challenges in the past few years, including a prolonged period of low occupancy, higher costs and staffing shortages. Other challenges include the focus on offering health and wellness focused accommodations and experiences. This report, an excerpt based on the larger TCS 2021 Global Leadership Study findings, explores ways in which the global hospitality community will build innovation and optimization approaches into its strategy to successfully navigate the future.

Executives who participated in the study (conducted in the first half of 2021) work at companies with average revenue of $13.9 billion. Among the 40 accommodations and food services companies surveyed, the average revenue was $8.3 billion; 90% were headquartered in North America, with the remaining companies split between the UK and Japan. Of these hoteliers, restaurant chains and other participants in this sector, survey respondents included a range of job roles: 40% strategy executives; 28% were division or business unit heads; 28% were heads or directors of operations; as well as a CEO and a COO.

Hospitality Leaders

The TCS 2021 Global Leadership survey also compares how two groups of retailers answered our questions: “Leaders” and “Followers.” Leaders were those retailers that had higher-than-average retail sector increases in both revenue and profit between 2015 and 2019. Of the 40 Accommodations & Food Services operators, 14 were Leaders and 11 (28%) were Followers.

Essential Takeaways

  • Hospitality executives expect their fiercest competitor will come from a broad mix: existing rivals in the sector (according to 28%), digital competitors in business today (25%), or invaders from other industries (25%). A fifth think upstart disruptors not even yet established will be the toughest competition by 2025. (Among the more successful companies, only 7% expect much competition from traditional hospitality companies.)
  • The use of customer data to improve existing offerings as the path to growth. Companies in this industry project that in 2025 they will derive more than half of their revenues from existing products and services, so it makes sense that a solid 50% of this group view as a priority utilizing customer data as a means to improving those offerings.
  • Training employees and developing their careers. In an industry with high employee turnover, it makes sense that when asked to identify their leadership priorities executives would cite training and career development as the biggest necessary improvement in their employees’ experience by 2025.


Where accommodations and food services companies think their most formidable competition will emerge by 2025.

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Where are Senior Leaders planning to focus their efforts between now and 2025?

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The Global Leadership Study asks: What is more important for the mid-2020s? Explore the 4 Essential Takeaways.

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