4 TRENDS THAT ARE SHAPING THE FUTURE OF HOSPITALITY.
According to Mc Kinsey & Co., experience related spending has grown at a rate of 1.5 times the pace of personal consumption, and four times the rate of expenditures on goods . In other words, the average Millennial or Gen Z prefers to spend money on building lasting memories in favor of the accumulation of things. So what better experience than to travel?
We have all seen the travel craze and how it has taken over Instagram in recent years. From this, we can conclude that one thing is sure. “Millennial’s Love Travel.” In fact, according to Business Insider, Millennials spend an average of 35 days per year on vacation. Followed by Gen Z, who spends an average of 29. This amounts to more vacation time spent than any other group in history.
As demand for travel grows, the hospitality industry has adapted to fit this generation of travelers to confirm to their core values. The increasing dominance of social media, along with current social trends, has a strong influence on how Millennials travel. The quest for likes in the form of sharable content and a perfectly curated Instagram feed has driven Millennial’s to seek out accommodations that are visually appealing and play out well in curated social media feeds.
Millennial’s love to support brands that appeal to their core values. With more Millennial’s prioritizing values such as eco-friendliness and sustainability, this has begun to spill over into the hospitality industry.
More than a capsule wardrobe, Millennials, and Gen Z’s are craving a Capsule lifestyle, where everything must align. In other words, the same customer who shops sustainable brands subscribes to a vegan diet, and cruelty-free makeup will now want to stay in a green hotel that reflects their lifestyle. The same can be said for art enthusiasts, hipsters, foodies, or fashionistas.
With over 50 percent of Millennials currently saving up for travel, it is only natural that these social and lifestyle trends would start to transform the way we go. So, here is a list of the top hospitality trends that will shape travel in 2020 and beyond.
For this generation, Luxury is no longer about the accumulation of tangible items, but more about the experience of sharable moments, in particular those that play out well on Social Media. With the experience economy growing at an accelerated rate, many of the biggest names in luxury hospitality and fashion are looking to gain leverage in this economy.
“According to Forbes, the luxury of the future will be in experiences” (Danziger, 2018). For example, in 2018, luxury goods conglomerate LVMH purchased luxury travel company Belmond, the genius behind the Oriental Express Trains (Danziger, 2018).
For this group of consumers, the traditional run of the mill hotel stays will no longer cut it. Thus, the hotel becomes the destination itself. When it comes to experiential stays, the Devil is in the Details. Aspects of a great experiential stay include visually stimulating aesthetics, sensory design, and immersive experiences all rolled into one. Two hotel groups that have mastered the art of the Experiential Stay are Faena Hotel (Miami Beach), and the Ace Hotel group. Faena has it all, from artistic interiors, live music, speakeasy’s, burlesque shows, and open fire cooking.
The Ace hotel has a chic underground edge with a bit of a hipster vibe. Take their New Orleans Hotel; there are live music venues, a rooftop pool, D.J.s spinning live music at happy hour, and vintage-inspired rooms that give off the vibe of a hostel all rolled into a transformative hospitality experience.
Art Hotels are just another evolution of the experience economy. The millennial obsession with social media and Instagrammable moments has made Millennials very visually oriented. As a result, this generation prefers to spend leisure time in visually stimulating spaces that will play out well on Instagram feeds. Well, what more than an Art Hotel to provide the perfect backdrop to your curated social media feed? Take Paradiso Art Hotel in Ibiza, for example, where the hotel functions as a gallery in itself. Each room features original artwork designed by local artists. Rooms are 70’s inspired, and boast bright and inspiring color pallets made up of pastels and sorbets. The hotel features rotating art exhibitions, along with hosting art-inspired events. Guests in need of a one of a kind experience can pass by the lobby to check out the Zero-Sum suite, a transparent suite where guests can view live artwork in the making.
As concept shops grow in popularity in the retail scene, they have begun to emerge in the travel space as well. As the worlds of Fashion and Travel began to collide, we are beginning to see how the two industries have started to influence one another. Concept shops have been in existence since the early 90s. However, in the past several years, they have taken the retail industry by storm.
Thus, this trend is beginning to extend well beyond the retail sector. In fact, according to McKenzie & Co., specialty concepts are beginning to outpace traditional activities in the leisure and entertainment sector. For example, concept-based gyms are on the rise.
When considering this, coupled with Millennial’s obsession with curated moments and immersive storytelling, more growth in concept hotels will begin to arise. Like concept shops, concept hotels tell a curated story that millennials can partake. Take, for example, the Ibiza Based Concept Hotel Group; the brand has six hotels all based on different concepts. From Cuban inspired Miami Art Deco at the Cubanito to Mediterranean Vintage Rock, each hotel tells a unique story.
With millennials getting more interested in wellness and becoming more environmentally conscious, this has led to a great interest in getting back to nature. As a result, millennials are no longer just interested in being environmentally friendly on the surface level. They want to partake in a lifestyle that reflects their eco-friendly views in totality. So it is only natural that this would affect the way they travel. It is no longer suitable only to eat organic and wear vegan clothes and makeup. They want the complete experience.
Biophilic design refers to the art of bringing the outside indoors (Schantz, 2019). According to research, spending time in or around nature or exposure to natural elements correlates to increases in human health and wellness. According to the Urban Land Institute, the Biophilic design framework consists of 7 essential factors that define wellness; air, light, water, nourishment, fitness, comfort, and mind (Schantz, 2019). What this means when it comes to travel is selecting an accommodation that incorporates nature into its building process. For example, buildings that incorporate elements of natural materials into the construction process. Plant life should be incorporated into the design aesthetic. To provide travelers with a sense of eco-therapy and visual stimuli. For example, living walls have grown in popularity and are linked to a reduction in stress. When it comes to electricity, accommodations that make use of renewable energies and natural sources of light are growing in popularity. In terms of comfort, the eco-friendly traveler prefers bedding derived from all-natural materials to promote a good night’s rest. In terms of dining options, homegrown is best. Many of the world’s top hotels have begun to include onsite farm to table dining options, along with spas services derived from natural ingredients. Last but not least, no eco- friendly stay is complete without group meditation and yoga sessions along with shaman based wellness rituals. Two hotel groups that are leading in this area are the infamous Azulik in Tulum and One Hotel group.
Agrotourism has been around since the 1970s in parts of Italy, such as Tuscany, and more recently, Spain. However, in recent years, a new wave of Agrotourism has been popping up throughout the Mediterranean. Gone are the days of simplistic farm stays. The new wave of Luxe Agrotourism incorporates everything the millennial eco-conscious traveler loves, such as getting back to nature without giving up the commodities that come with the modern world. Today’s Agrotourism is more akin to first-class celebrity spiritual retreats, equipped with sophisticated interiors, Ecotherapy, farm to fork cuisine, group yoga and meditation sessions along with holistic spa experiences. When it comes to Luxe Agrotourism, the Balearic Islands are leading the way. From Boho chic inspired Agrotourism at Atzaro to rustic Mallorcan at Casa Cooke, there is something to fit every taste.