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By Shannon Kim, Vice President, Hospitality

January 15, 2024

The year 2024 brings hope and anticipation after a positive end to 2023 which saw improved stock market performances, a slowing of inflation and avoidance of recession. While economic challenges persist, staying ahead of emerging trends is crucial, especially in the hospitality industry. In this article, we'll explore 10 key trends, and how they will shape the hospitality design sector in 2024 and beyond.


Experiential travel, once a luxury for the affluent, has surged in popularity, growing 3 to 5 times faster post-pandemic, with affordable options that now make it accessible to a broader audience. Hotels responded by incorporating "WOW-factor" concepts and creating one-of-a-kind experiences that go beyond a place to stay. Guests seek out unique experiences that leave a lasting impression and holds significance - workshops, cultural immersion programs, and partnerships with local artists, that provide a truly memorable stay. Authenticity is key when providing personalized services and experiences that cater to their individual needs.


Social Media Influence, and the rise of "Instagrammability" greatly impacts end-user hotel choice. Users look to their feeds for travel ideas and reviews, while upwards of 70% of social media users post pictures of their own travel experiences. A recent study by American Express reveals that 48% of respondents want to travel somewhere they can show off on their feeds. Hotels can accommodate by integrating social media-friendly features into their designs, recognizing the power of great content and viral impact in today's competitive social media environment.

Technology Advancement and AI Integration see hotels continuing to adopt advanced technologies such as contactless payments, biometrics, and AI driven processes to reduce wait times and enhance guest experience even as they continue to experience labour shortages.  Streamlined supply chain and staff scheduling optimization are being implemented to increase operational efficiencies. While innovations like AI-integrated steak grilling machines and robot baristas seem to step-out of your favourite sci-fi movies, they become a reality and provide data-driven insights that will play a pivotal role in tailoring experiences and logging individual preferences – increasing guest satisfaction, repeat visits, and improving customer value and reward systems.


A continued Focus on Health and Wellness the hotel sector takes serious note of this trillion-dollar market. Heightened awareness, pandemic restriction and an aging population contribute to the growing emphasis on health-centric products and services with the hotel sector further investing in in-house fitness programs, sleep enhancements, detox programs, mindfulness and even medicines and treatments. This will also impact F&B menus and accommodations for diet restrictions, all driven by guest expectations and willingness to pay for access to these specific amenities.

Bleisure, a hybrid of business and leisure has blurred the lines to create a new type of traveler who is a combination of work and vacation. Think boardroom to beach and how hotels can create an environment that makes it easy to move between the two. Hotels can benefit from the loyalty often associated with a business traveler, who often chooses to book the same hotel or chain when travelling, by expanding hotel services, offering amenities such as flexible working spaces, or providing itineraries specific to their geographic area. The goal is to encourage guests to extend their stays, do more activities while they are there, or even bring their family along to join in the relaxation and fun, beyond the requirements of work. 

Sustainability initiatives remain at the forefront as hotels are taking increased steps to reduce their environmental impact.  Beyond just offering reduced towel and linens services, the efforts are focused rather on ecological initiatives such as limiting waste from the onset, composting, and local and ethical ingredient sourcing. Smart showers, dual flush toilets and apps that help guests set temperature based on their personal preferences are other ways we’re seeing hotels take bigger steps towards their sustainability goals. 


Biophilic design, used to enhance the connection between occupants and the natural surroundings by incorporating direct natural elements, indirect natural influences, and thoughtful consideration of space and environmental conditions, evolves into entire hotel concepts. Evident at hotels such as the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge in New York, Park Royal Collection Pickering in Singapore, and Tierra Hotel Patagonia in Chile, biophilia is used to create a unique appeal. Spaces are blending indoor and outdoor areas, while new design mandates incorporate more outdoor public spaces, not only creating visual interests, but also extending beyond aesthetics into responsible design.


Branded residences, which blend luxury hotels, high-end residences, and private clubs for a unique lifestyle experience, are gaining traction in the sector.  Dubai leads in their development, and despite economic challenges, the market shows sustained growth, especially post-pandemic as noted in the 2023 Global Branded Residences Report.  These exclusive properties offer an attractive blend of opulent living and exclusive hospitality services.


Scaled-up accommodations see an increased demand as the sector embraces multi-generational and extended family travel groups. These accommodations dovetail with the growth of branded residences, with larger, flexible villa style accommodations becoming a significant part of hotel inventory.

Private clubs are growing in popularity as the ultimate curated experience and sought-after destination for creative professionals, foodies and travelers who seek a deeper connection beyond what traditional public spaces and environments can offer. Private clubs are meticulously designed with an emphasis on connection and comfort. Their unique combination of physical locations, world-class amenities, hyper-targeted programming, and air of exclusivity will become a source of inspiration to the hotel sector. Soho House exemplifies this trend with its contemporary appeal that attracts a younger demographic.


As the hospitality industry continues to evolve, it is important to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate emerging developments. By continuing to evolve their designs, hotels can create an experience that is unique, memorable, and tailored to the needs of their guests for a long time to come.

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