In our sector, our forward-looking, thoroughly modern part of the hospitality industry, we’ve found ourselves having to stay on top of trends, to future-proof our operations.
On our own newshub platform forum alone we have reported on the rise of millennials and digital nomads; on the reducing size of hotel rooms as developers get clever with ever-diminishing building footprints, especially in key urban areas; and on the inexorable rise in technology, and how it’s going to change the way we do absolutely everything.
Now – almost before we’ve got used to engaging with millennials and their needs – we suddenly have to cope with the oncoming Gen Z, who are holding the reins and the influence; who are influenced themselves by celebrities and social influencers. And who have completely different expectations from their parents.
For one thing, they’ve never known life without smartphones or screens, or what it’s like to wait for anything.
But one trend they are latching onto very quickly, and which will have an influence on hospitality in the not-too-distant future, is their penchant for ‘co’-everything. Co-working, co-living, co-vacationing.
In the last few weeks we have seen the trend mirrored in our own Membership. The co-living lyf brand from Ascott is forging its way into China, Malaysia and Japan; the rise of co-living in India is attracting co-working giants WeWork into the hospitality arena alongside budget bulk brands like OYO; and our business and development partner Savills is discussing the rise of co-living among a new generation of city dwellers who want to live, work and socialise with like-minded people without having to travel.
It seems that, just as the workplace is predicted to be dominated by the over-50s and the under-23s, ie Baby Boomers and GenZ, who will probably make up 40% of all employees by 2025, so travel trends are likely to lean this way too. We’ve read that more Gap Years are now being undertaken by the over-50s who are approaching retirement and may have missed out in their youth, and that GenZ as a pack will be looking at dramatic experiences in large groups, spending more on fewer, more intense trips.
A lot to take in – and whatever happens, it’s certainly going to be exciting!