Muriel Muirden of WATG Shares Top Travel and Hospitality Trends for 2017
November 17, 2016 1:27pm
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.
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.
WATG is one of the world's leading integrated design firms and ranked as 2nd in the world among hotel architectural firms. WATG's interior design firm, Wimberly Interiors, was ranked 11th by Interior Design Magazine in their 2015 Hospitality Giants survey.
With over 70 years of design excellence, WATG and Wimberly Interiors, have become the world's leading design consultants in the industry since starting in Hawaii in 1945. With offices in Irvine, Beverly Hills, Seattle, Chicago, New York, London, Miami, Istanbul, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai and Honolulu, the multi-disciplinary design firm is best known for creating internationally acclaimed destinations in 160 countries across six continents. WATG offers integrated design solutions comprising strategy, planning, architecture, landscape, and interiors for urban, tourism and resort destinations. WATG's projects are renowned not only for their design and sense of place but also for their bottom-line success.
Contact: Andrea Plantilla
Contact: Kimberly Brown
Muriel Muirden advises the firm’s global leaders on tourism trends and market opportunities; and she conducts proprietary research on evolving hospitality products and market dynamics. Muriel has 25 years of experience in the tourism and leisure industries and her particular areas of expertise are in the fields of development strategy, concept evaluation and business planning for major tourism, hotel and resort real estate enterprises.
Born in London, brought up in the Far East and educated in Scotland, Muriel writes and speaks regularly on trends and developments in the international hospitality market and has been an instructor in the Office of Executive Education at Harvard University lecturing on economic master planning for large land-use projects. She founded and co-chaired ULI’s European Resort and Hotel Council.
The Future of Hotel Design
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