Hotels & Resorts

The long-predicted generational shift in the hotel industry looks as if it is starting to happen. The millennials are developing as a buying group, forcing developers and operators to rethink developments.

Everyone is racing to determine what is going to work —and more importantly what isn’t —as developments look to adjust to the latest trends.

Many of the traditional amenities that underpinned resorts are no longer driving traffic. Golf is flat-ling as a utility. Instead, wellness, education, and experiential resorts are attracting more consumers. Resorts must offer more than a chance to sit next to a swimming pool. Insight are currently working on resort developments in China and Cuba where these demands are evident.

Resort developers are realizing they have to respond to multi-generational demands. Families are going on holiday together and they want to stay together. Hotels must be able to accommodate full families, which translates to villas and suites with three or four bedrooms; or larger and adjoining rooms with extra beds and space for people to gather
In terms of location, it was predicted by some that post- 2008 economic crash, the resulting impact to the holiday industry would be that many stayed more local to home. Far from it. Little impact was seen.

More and more people are now holidaying in cities, creating a new level of urban destination resorts. Younger travelers in particular like the energy and convenience, as well as the proximity to events. These markets like Barcelona, Madrid and Rome are growing as destinations faster than most traditional resorts.

The trend has created a need for urban hotels to catering to more than the traditional traveler, with flexible-type rooms and trendy atmospheres. Cities are already full of energy and things to do, so for developers, they don’t have to build amenities, as they are already provided in the deal.

UK & Europe

In the old hotels of Madrid and Barcelona, business is thriving. Room revenues were up more than 10 percent in the past year and occupancy is strong as tourists flock to Spain’s cobblestone streets, tapas bars, and old museums. Even the country’s beach resorts, which saw their values nosedive after the 2008 economic crash, were posting stronger numbers and drawing tentative interest from investors.

To the north in Paris, however, the story is different. In the wake of terrorist attacks and refugee issues, hotel revenues were down more than 15 percent. Europe is a divided continent in many ways. While markets like Spain, Portugal, and Croatia are experiencing a surge in visitors, France, Belgium, and Turkey face a tourism crisis.

In many areas, tourism-related development is at a standstill amid the European Union’s economic turmoil.

From Britain’s Brexit vote and changes coming with the new Trump administration in the United States to the European Central Bank charging negative interest rates and ongoing concerns over terrorism, the industry is awash in uncertainty and undergoing fundamental changes.

Travellers are also turning to Airbnb and similar home-sharing services across the continent as well as boutique B&Bs as increased personalization and agility prevails, presenting the hotel industry with new competition and everyone continues to work out just through what the millennials really want.

Experts views vary on the short-term prospects and opportunities from these uncertainties, but all agree on one thing: it is definitely not a time for business as usual. One thing however does remain constant – quality developments and innovative ideas will often get the financial investment they need.