We live in an ever-changing world where different people, cultures, and lifestyles are blending together to create new trends that impact our society and reach the hospitality industry. Travelers are no longer just looking for a place to sleep, but are looking for an unforgettable experience filled with exploration and local interaction.
Millennials are on the rise to becoming the bulk of travelers, and they are the ones looking for the most diverse experience. They currently represent 32 percent of all US travelers and by 2025 will represent over 50 percent of all travelers. Thus, the industry trends follow the desires of the millennial traveler. Millennials are striving to connect to the local community they are visiting, as well as finding a hotel that can provide a unique experience combining work, play, and sustainable comfort. They are expecting surprises and a total escape. In order to accord their offers to the changing demand, hotels have chosen to create personalized modular spaces.
The increasing use and mobility of technology are an evident trend that is changing the hospitality industry. In the age of the digital traveler, mobile booking has become an inevitable necessity to accommodate the last-minute guest, as well as to cater to the convenience of the 75 percent of U.S. travelers who own a smartphone. International travelers are also on the rise, making it even more important to utilize social networks and mobile apps to ensure hotel reputations are the best they can be. The connected customer is everywhere. Not only are Millennials using their devices to communicate but almost every businessperson is also connected as are an increasing number of older individuals. These connected customers are a significant source of data, enabling hotels to use them for hyper-customized purposes, such as welcoming guests like old friends. The integration of intelligent software system allows hotels to personalize each guests experience, delivering personal services and messages. Digital innovation brings power to the customers, as they can build their own travel experience by choosing a service or another « à la carte ».
The interior design is also an important factor, coming into play as a window to the local culture. Exploring senses by using various colors and textures is a way to attract customers and immerse them in a joyful, dynamic atmosphere. Even if they expect to be immersed in a unique experience, travelers need to feel at home with comfort and coziness. No longer is there just the classic entrance with a single front-desk and a few chairs. Nowadays, hotel lobbies should provide a decorated multi-use space, offering a striking first impression. An unforgettable feeling that could be given by keeping the indoor-outdoor transition as ethereal as possible.
The green movement
has begun to become the norm, increasing savings and enhancing the customer experience. Being eco-friendly has also sparked an increase in health and wellness trends. Staying fit has become a priority for many travelers, so creating healthy food and fitness options are a great way to cater to one-time and repeat travelers. Adopting a sustainable policy turns out to be advantageous for the hospitality industry by attracting guests who wish to adopt a greener lifestyle, as well as saving money through cost-saving energy practices and equipment adjustments.
Lifestyle and boutique hotels are the growing category among recent openings. Those hotels already adapt to this new demanding cliente. They adapt and differentiate by offering a connected and local experience, and try to get away from the feel of a chain hotel that would offer the same amenities in every city. Travelers are looking for a hip place to hang out with accessibility to cultural tours, local cooking, arts and crafts classes, and the chance to get actively involved in local charity schemes and conservation projects. People are looking for an authentic experience, which means having locally inspired decor, providing local foods and products, or even having a local dining option within the hotel itself .The concept of “alone-togetherness,” has also become a desired feature, and well-designed lobby spaces can be ideal spaces for both travelers and locals to have an experience where they can sit and work while being in the presence of other people. Ultimately, as travelers become more global, they desire a more diverse and unique experience, one that incorporates the latest technology and the local culture, as well as comfort, affordability, and sustainability.
Featured image: CitizenM New-York Hotel