These days, it is essential for hoteliers and entrepreneurs to be aware of the direction society is currently headed. When it comes to trends, it’s not about making exact predictions, but rather understanding how and why society is changing. In the travel and tourism industry, trends are not as obvious as you might think. Originally from London, Oona Horx-Strathern has been researching such trends for over 20 years. In her studies, she reveals how hotels and hospitality can adapt to the needs of customers post-Corona. Over the course of her career, Horx-Strathern has written numerous books on futurology and the architecture of the future. For many years, she has been one of the most sought-after speakers at the Zukunftsinstituts, has been a consultant for Unilever, Philip Morris, Beiersdorf and Deutsche Bank and has spoken at numerous universities and conferences. For her new Home Report 2021, the author has researched how social change phenomena affect residential construction –and as a result, the hotel industry. Among other things, she writes about the megatrend New Work (megatrends are large-scale trends that are long-lasting and involve profound changes). As a sub-sector, she has identified the “hoffice” trend, which is self-explanatory for many people in the Corona era: the office is becoming part of the home. But what does this mean for hotels?
Does it means hotels become a place of refuge, without WLAN?
For the industry, one of the biggest takeaways from the crisis is modular construction. “In the future, a building will adapt to the functions it has to fulfill,” says the trend researcher. “It doesn’t matter how fast or how much the function changes.” Hotels can learn from this to design their buildings flexibly so they can respond quickly to challenges. But does that mean that hotels have to upgrade digitally no matter what the cost? According to the trend researcher, in this regard there may be a counter-trend. In other words, hotel rooms that don’t even have WLAN. These room can offer refuge and digital detox from everyday life, which is constantly lived out online. Therefore, upgrading the room electronically could be counterproductive.
Trends are more than just design details
From co-living to the share economy, there are numerous trends that are causing young people in particular to live a completely different lifestyle than the one we have known up to now. “Health in this new society is not just the absence of illness,” Horx-Strathern says. Instead, it is much more about the balance of body and mind.
When it comes to this new sensuousness, it is about much more than making superficial changes and design details, but rather fundamentally intelligent concepts are needed; this is key if hotels want to follow this trend. In holistic health hotels, spiritual aspects play as big a role as traditional wellness options.