Emerging Developments in the Hospitality Industry

  • Conservation and Green Technology
  • Sourcing Local Cuisine and Culture
  • Integrated Smart Technology
  • Unique Customer Experiences
  • Social Layout and Design

Changes in consumer priorities and availability of modern technology has spawned several major trends in hotel design that will likely leave a lasting impact in the decades ahead. The hospitality industry is particularly sensitive to shifts in public taste and opinion, so staying abreast of new trends and developments is fundamental to long-term success. Boutique hotels and similar establishments often enjoy the greatest opportunity to take advantage of new trends as they emerge.

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1. Conservation and Green Technology

An increasing number of hotel guests have real concerns about their carbon footprint and the impact their activities have on the environment. Many governments around the world are also considering stricter environmental regulations for the decades ahead, so designing hotels with a priority on environmentally-sound practices can be a strong investment. Many hospitality establishments also modify plumbing fixtures and power output to minimize waste, which helps them cut down on utility costs.

2. Sourcing Local Cuisine and Culture

Keeping with the trend towards green and eco-friendly design, hotels are now looking for ways to source local cuisine and culture. This is a big priority for hotels in resort or vacation destinations but can create a more unique and wholesome experience in any context. Locally-sourcing at least some of the establishment’s food supplies can provide a welcome boost to the community and garner respect from guests.

3. Integrated Smart Technology

Many hotel guests carry a smartphone with them throughout the day, so it’s no surprise that they often expect access to convenient technology in their rooms. Integration of smart technology is one of the biggest trends in the industry, transforming virtually every aspect of the experience. This technology allows guests to control the lights from their bedside, charge devices by setting them on a table and adjust climate controls with a handy remote.

4. Unique Customer Experiences

Modern boutique and destination hotels are now seeking to provide a more personal and authentic experience to their guests. Some accomplish this by converting old, historic or unique buildings, which can also be a boon for sustainability, according to the Boutique and Lifestyle Leaders Association. Rather than filling each room with identical decorations, furniture, and artwork, some establishments are now designing rooms individually to personalize the experience.

5. Social Layout and Design

Areas conducive to casual social gathering are a common feature in modern hotels. Some modify their lobby to provide the opportunity for some degree of privacy and casual conversation, creating a single central area for socialization. There is also a developing trend towards lifestyle hotels that specifically cater to a limited client-base with specific interests or preferences.

Staying at the cutting edge of hospitality trends is a life-long challenge for professionals in the industry. Hotel owners and operators have to account for the current needs of their guests while looking ahead at the emerging trends that will shape the future of hotel design.