Friday, 5 October 2018

Rapid changes on the Australian hotel landscape

A new research report highlights the dramatic expansion and transformation of Australia’s hotel industry, with a new generation of hotels being developed to cater for a new generation of traveller.



The report – The Innovation Revolution Transforming Australia’s Hotel Industry – was undertaken by Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) and documents how new global and local hotel brands, new designs, new technologies and new guest services are changing the face of Australia’s accommodation sector.

The changes include trends such as localism, individualism, art and sustainability, and come at a time when the Australia hotel sector is undergoing its largest-ever expansion. 

Cities such as Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and Melbourne have already witnessed a significant rejuvenation of their hotel stock, while the Sydney hotel sector is at the start of its most dramatic expansionary phase since the 2000 Olympics and change if afoot in Hobart.

Over 200 new or upgraded hotels will be added to Australia’s hotel inventory in the decade to 2025 in city, airport, suburban, regional and resort destinations. 

The addition of 30,000 rooms across all price points will make a vital contribution to maintaining the record growth in tourism, which in 2017 delivered $41.3 billion in foreign revenue to the economy and supported over 180,000 Australian jobs.

Major innovations identified in the TAA research report include:

New lifestyle brands introducing new hospitality concepts: Boutique international brands like Aloft & the Autograph Collection (Marriott), Curio (Hilton), MGallery (Accor), Indigo (IHG), TRYP (Wyndham) and Ovolo Hotels have joined Australian designer brands like QT, Art Series and Veriu.

The technology revolution – from VR design to keyless entry: New technology, from virtual reality to artificial intelligence, is increasingly intertwined in the future of hotel development and design. In many hotels the reception desk has been replaced by multi-purpose welcome areas with iPad check-in – or no check in at all. Personal mobile technology is also allowing guests the capability to pre-select rooms and services.

The Lobby/Living Space Revolution: Functional lobby and reception areas are being transformed into vibrant, communal ‘living’ spaces. Hotel designers have introduced the ‘home-away-from-home’ concept by re-designing their lobbies and other public areas from business-like, pragmatic spaces to living-room style spaces that are warm and inviting. Interactive cafes and delis are now common, flowing across the lobby, along with plentiful lounges, re-charging ports, TV screens and private areas for friends/colleagues to catch up over a coffee or glass of wine.

Design emphasis moves from global to local, uniformity to individuality: The new generation of hotels has attracted a new generation of designers, with the licence to make a statement with their designs. From prime city locations to pristine resort locations, hotel design is now aimed at complementing the landscape, becoming an integral component of the local area.

Small equals big in the design revolution: Through innovation in design, many of the new hotels being launched feature smaller, more functional bedrooms, with wall-mounted TVs doing away with the need for large cabinetry. Power and USB points are now bed-side to support guests using technology from their beds, while mobile desks are replacing traditional work desks.

In launching the report, Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO Carol Giuseppi said that the massive expansion of Australia’s hotel industry and the commitment to design excellence would play a crucial role in sustaining Australia’s record-breaking tourism performance.

“The biggest trends influencing the new hotel design include an emphasis on localism, community, individualism, art and sustainability," she said. "Hotels are being designed to complement the local landscape, with street art, edgy design and a focus on local produce on restaurant, bar and function menus.

“The changes are being driven by changes in traveller’s demands, particularly the millennial generation. Technology has been a key focus for hotels. Not only are most Australian hotels offering at least some level of free wifi, but connection speeds are faster and the new breed of hotels are offering casting capability to their in-room screens. Keyless entry to rooms has been introduced and increasingly guests will be able to select their specific room type in advance."

The full report is available via https://goo.gl/L3SGjM 

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