As 2016 draws to a close, surprising new data from the U.S. Department of Commerce has revealed that Americans have set international travel records despite terrorism, zika and ebola threats. With the travel industry showing no signs of slowing down, it is critical that we begin to anticipate future trends and identify the unique design challenges we must overcome to better cater to them. The needs of today’s travelers are constantly evolving, and we must shift to meet their needs in order to maintain a competitive edge in the year ahead.
Multi Purpose Spaces. Designing transformative and flexible spaces is fundamental. Why? Because change is inevitable. Being able to reinvent a destination provides endless opportunities and guarantees hotel designs will stand the test of time.
Exotic Emerges. Tourism to emerging destinations such as Cuba and the Dominican Republic is predicted to grow at unprecedented rates in 2017 creating demand for construction of new properties and renovation of aging properties.
Design Matters. From entrances to lobbies and all inside spaces, travellers are demanding to feel immersed in the local culture. Well designed properties mix their brand with the local community by utilizing local color schemes and natural materials, or curated throughout all of the elements of the design.
Social Public Spaces. Hotel lobbies and concierge desks are being phased out and replaced with more convenient and welcoming sofa side check-ins complete with iPads and a refreshing cocktail. While mobile apps for check-in and electronic keycards are being implemented further streamlining the process.
More but Less Tech. With the rise of millennial business travel, the hospitality sector is introducing more efficiency and sleep apps to ensure the smoothest of stays. From monitoring the queue at the breakfast buffet to controlling the ambiance of rooms and sleep apps and wearables that go beyond a room’s blackout shades. At the same time, however, travellers want full immersion and to disconnect with indoor and outdoor spaces that flow together, blurring the lines.