As travel trends shift, the lodging market is being affected. In many urban and resort markets, there has been an increase in the development of independent, lifestyle hotels that are not affiliated with a major lodging brand.
Unique Wins the Day
Gone are the days when a hotel could just put on a coat of fresh paint and continue to attract guests. In the age of Instagram tourism, guests demand a unique travel experience. This can require significant upgrades or entirely new development concepts. In Australia alone, there are going to be 300 new hotels opening by 2025.
Increase in Lifestyle Hotels
Not all of these new hotels being built are being branded with one of the major chains. Many, particularly in major cities, are actually smaller, lifestyle hotels carefully designed to reflect the location of the hotel itself. This trend appeals to an emerging demographic of traveler that desires an authentic, unique hotel experience that reflects the local color of the area.
Lifestyle hotels (previously termed boutique hotels) are one of the ways hotels can compete with home-sharing rentals that offer travelers an authentic, local experience in private homes.
Guests Demand More Unique Offerings
To stand out in the market, hotels can sometimes be challenged to go above and beyond basic offerings. One area of growth is in a hotel’s programs and entertainment. For example, hotels that offer wine tastings, yoga classes, or nature hikes are becoming extremely popular.
Secluded Locations are Becoming Increasingly Popular
Thanks to the internet, there are few local secrets exclusive to certain locations anymore. Even a small town can end up with a surge in tourism due to small attractions like nearby flower farms, rivers, or hiking experiences if marketed appropriately.
Hotel developers have become increasingly aware of this interest in secluded, authentic locations, and they are starting to look at developing unique resort products in these areas.