WATG have been breaking ground in hotel design for over 70 years, designing some of the most innovative and award-winning destinations around the globe. With a finger firmly on the pulse, WATG Trend Forecaster Muriel Muirden has rounded up the top trends that will be shaping the travel and hospitality industry in 2017. For a more in-depth list of Muriel’s trends and examples, please reach out to WATG@PurplePR.com.
THE SIMPLE LIFE Barraged by social media and endless decisions, we are increasingly seeking a respite from the pressures of modern life. The hospitality sector is responding to this desire with a host of less-is-more models including menu free dining and the rise of wilderness experiences in heretofore un-trespassed destinations, which offer total immersion and digital disconnection. We will also see the emergence of summer camps for grownups, offering lonely millennials a break from ‘adulting’.
THE SCIENCE OF YOUR STAY The hospitality sector will continue to increasingly apply data and science to help guests to be more efficient and sleep better during their stays. 2017 will see a prominent rise of travel-oriented apps aiding us to experience the smoothest of stays as guests, from monitoring the queue at the breakfast buffet to digitally controlling the ambiance of our rooms. Hotels are also predicted to engage with the functionality of sleep apps and wearables by going beyond blackout shades to design rooms incorporating creative solutions like sound and lighting technology and sensitive wake up tools and techniques.
A HEALTHY OBSESSION A preoccupation with mindfulness and wellness will see the rise of ‘Feel good hotels’, jumping on the fitness bandwagon by offering bespoke classes and exercise mashups. We’ll see hotels committing to cultural and environmental conservation by using locally sourced vendors and employing indigenous people. ‘Edible resorts’ with micro-gardens, olive groves and vineyards are on the rise alongside a return to resorts anchored in eco-agriculture and ambitious village nature concepts.
FRIENDLY LODGINGS Legalised recreational marijuana, nearly a $40 billion industry, has brought cannabis tourism to the United States and we predict the evolution of cannabis-friendly accommodations will boom in the coming years. And while plenty of hotels currently allow pets, we’ll see an even greater evolution of top notch pet-friendly programs with amenities including plush beds, food bowls, dedicated dog parks and concierge lists.