China’s latest turnaround on its zero-COVID-19 policy has sparked a surge in flight bookings as the middle class in the country rush to fulfil their wanderlust needs. With Japan and China finally joining the world in opening their borders, the demand for both sectors is only going to increase from here on. Despite fears of a recession, the spending power of hotel guests in the luxury hotel sector appears unaffected, further fuelling continuous growth. In turn, all this capital flooding into the hospitality space is placing considerable pressure on hoteliers to meet the demands of the 2.0 version of modern guests.
ALL ABOUT THE GREEN (AND NO, IT IS NOT MONEY)
With countless trends that have emerged, it can be tough to identify the right ones to adopt for your hotel space. But two main trends have risen from this pandemic, driving investments in property infrastructure — health and safety, and sustainability.
COVID-19 has cast a heightened focus on health and safety, while eco-conscious travellers are drawing more attention to sustainability issues. Sustainability is beyond the environment – it is about striking a balance between running a business and taking care of the environment and communities concurrently. Guests can smell ingenuity from a mile away, so avoid offering lip service. Instead, come from a place of sincerity to make permanent changes.
There are many ways to adopt sustainability into your hotel, for starters, consider tapping into renewable energy like solar panels and clean and green electricity. Explore ways your hotel can lower its carbon footprint to benefit the establishment and the earth in the long run. Other methods include eliminating single-use plastics and incorporating custom-made furniture with recyclable materials.
BLURRED LINES: BUSINESS AND PLEASURE, PLEASE
‘Bleisure’ travel was on the rise last year. With the increase in hybrid working, hoteliers can expect to see a continuation of this trend. Top executives at Marriott International believe that the pandemic has caused a surge among travellers in having blended trips (both business and leisure), which will have a long-term impact on the hotel sector. Many are beginning to have the luxury of spending more time in the same place, which may have come from the freedom of remote working. This in turn, has ignited more interest in mixed-use and hybrid-purpose hospitality products from developers and capital partners, such as a room with flex-office features. To achieve a mixed-use space, consider incorporating outdoor furniture that supports leisure and work. Think tables paired with ergonomic outdoor sofas that can be used for collaborative discussions, yet are comfortable enough to relax and unwind.
THE INS OF OUTDOOR LIVING
The pandemic has heightened the demand for outdoor living. Today, that demand continues unabated, leading us to a winning combination – outdoor furniture, sustainability and health. Guests are more health conscious now than ever, making this the perfect time to consider including mood-enhancing and fitness elements in the hotel space. Opt for furniture with recyclable materials such as natural wood, teak, rattan or metal. Whenever possible, it is best to invest in quality furniture that will stand the test of time. Expand these ideas into the area of landscaping and ensure that there are pockets of green spaces for unwinding.
THE UNMOVABLE GLAMPING TREND
In 2021 ‘glamping’ hiked its way into the hearts of travellers, and this year, it will no longer be just a niche; it will be the expected. Travellers are eager to disconnect and delve into nature through off-the-grid experiences combined with the luxuries and conveniences of a resort. Aside from including glamorous glamping tents, consider adding resort-like accommodations and integrating theme-park attractions into the hotel grounds to give glampers more to look forward to.
THE TIME IS NOW
The hospitality industry continues to rebound from the cold winter in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic and there’s no better time for hotels to shine than now. Evidence shows that renovated hotels benefited from improved operating performance. Granted, there is intimidation and dread that comes with full-scale renovations, coupled with inflation, shipping issues, and long lead times, it is understandable that some may feel a sense of reluctance or procrastination towards the idea. However, an upgrade is inevitable at this point in time. Investing in renovations and upgrades are a complicated but necessary step to ensure future profitability. If there is any chance to rethink your hotel interior, the time is now.
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