In addition to working on a futuristic Atari hotel, leading hotel architect Tom Ito has begun to see new design trends directly related to the pandemic.
It’s all about remote and hybrid ways of working, but the design world is now moving beyond simply converting hotel rooms into makeshift offices.
Ito, a Gensler architect who started and leads the firm’s hospitality practice, said hotels today are thinking much more about secondary cities and airports.
With more people moving out of the big cities, more thought needs to be given to hotel design in suburban areas. Lifestyle hotels are known to focus on local communities, but the same should be done for any property in a secondary city to attract remote workers who fled the big cities during the pandemic.
“Hotels have always been thought of as a ‘third place’ outside the office,” said Ito, who was a speaker at Skift’s Design the Future event last December. “It’s not necessarily in the room that you want to work, but out of the room to be inspired or to meet with others.” He is also seeing hoteliers eyeing secondary airports because gateway airports are becoming overcrowded as the travel industry recovers. “This is creating a lot of accessibility problems,” he warned.
“You go there for convenience and a place to sleep, but you make it more of a destination place, like a hub for the community and really embrace it,” he added. “That’s what we did for Denver International Airport downtown, and we’re planning to do it for other cities so that it becomes not only convenient, but brings the community and the city together.”
The Magic Kingdom of Work
A more surprising revelation is the resort’s rise as a serious destination for remote workers. A case in point is Walt Disney World’s Swan Reserve, he said, which includes family rides.
“We are doing a number of projects in touristic places. “Mexico is on fire right now,” he said. “So does Costa Rica.” The shift to hybrid work-friendly hotels in tourist destinations was also due to time being the most important product. “We always knew that, so how can we make the best of it,” he added.
Extended-stay product development is also on the rise, and brands (including Marriott with its new apartments by Marriott Bonvoy) are really “cashing in” on offering apartments, Ito said, to cater to guests with holidays and combining it with extended periods of work.
And Ito added that hotel designers must ensure they consider staff, not just guests, in the buildings of the future. As environmental, social and corporate governance gain importance, elements of social equity and diversity are equally applicable to hotel employees.
“Let’s design spaces for them so they’re not stuck in a room in the worst part of the building,” he said. “Make them feel respected and a part of it … that involves engagement.”
It may even convince those people who left hospitality during the pandemic to return.
But what about the aforementioned Atari Hotel? Ito spoke at length about it during the Design the Future event last year. Unfortunately, it’s no closer to completion, but the architect is still excited by its ability to merge the real with the meta, with avatars still likely to play a central role.
“We are still looking for the right site location. It’s a big commitment, on the land side and on the acquisition side,” he said.
The rate of growth in telecommuting and combined travel is accelerating, but companies can’t seem to keep up.
That’s according to BCD Travel, which warns there are “shortcomings” in support for future job trends.
More specifically, traditional travel risk management practices have not kept up. The Netherlands-based corporate travel agency found that three-quarters of business travelers say their employer treats travelers’ health, safety and security as a priority, but only 36 percent of travelers say their employer cares unconditionally about safety and their safety when working remotely, according to its latest traveler survey.
Another 25 percent don’t know if they’re covered.
The survey, which surveyed 674 business travelers worldwide at the end of the summer, also found that 64 percent of travelers did not know if they were covered by safety and medical support if they extended their business trip for leisure purposes.
“This survey demonstrates the growing need for a shift in mindset from managing travel risk to managing people risk,” said Mike Janssen, global chief operating officer and chief commercial officer for BCD Travel. “Today’s task of care policies must address the realities of the hybrid or work-from-anywhere workforce, as well as the changing values around the well-being of travelers.”
10-Second corporate travel capture
Who and what Skift has covered over the past two weeks: Abu Dhabi Airport, Airbnb, Expedia, Hilton, IHG, IMS Consulting, KLM, Qantas, Sabre, Surf Air.
Advantage expects business travel to return to 75 percent of 2019 levels this year
of The Travel Advantage Partnership is forecasting a recovery in business travel revenue at the end of the year to 56 per cent on 2020 figures and 83 per cent on 2021 figures – but 75 per cent on 2019 figures. Its new Global Business Travel 3.0 review predicts a full recovery in 2019 with figures reaching between April 2024 and March 2025. However, the average transaction value this year so far is $404.44, up 12.4 percent. higher than the average value in 2019. The average length of a business trip has also exceeded 2019 averages: to date it is 6.71 days, compared to 4.57 days in 2019.
“Looking at the business travel industry over the past six months, it has been a story of recovery and growth, despite continued significant disruptions and capacity challenges,” said Guy Snelgar, global director of business travel at The Advantage Travel Partnership. The third edition of the Global Business Travel Review was published with data company Travelogix, and is based on the analysis of 13.7 million records, going back to January 2019 and up to September 30, 2022, with a total value of $9 billion in revenue from transactions. .
Travel tech firm Vibe launches corporate booking tool
UK technology company Vibe has developed an off-the-shelf booking tool for business travel agencies and corporations. It’s the company’s first move into a pay-per-transaction model, and Vibe said the platform can help customers drive online adoption as it can handle complex travel policies, multi-level approvals and multi-channel content. The platform also allows corporate travel agencies to offer leisure travel. For those who don’t want the Vibe brand, it’s offering Vibe Corporate Plus, a more customizable version of the platform.
“This is a direct response to an increase in demand from both travel management companies and in-house corporate teams for off-the-shelf consumer-grade reservation technology solutions branded as Vibe or as a private label ,” said Martin Eade, co. -founder and e-commerce director of Vibe. Vibe’s clients include Qatar Airways Holidays, Agiito, The Internet Traveler and Cassidy Travel, among others.
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