Fortune 500 futurist Faith Popcorn has set out her predictions for the luxury travel sector, focusing on the guest experience, service, destinations as well as hotel design.
She believes that virtual reality (VR), escapism and immersive brand experiences will shape service and guest experiences in the future of luxury travel.
Her predictions are listed below.
• Clanning Experiences: VR technology will enable real-time sharing of adventure and luxury among friends or family who are spread around the world. It will mean that guests and their loved ones can enjoy simulated adventures in real-time, whether it be a walk through the Serengeti or an ocean swim with extinct marine life.
• Customised Wardrobes: Hotels will partner with fashion brands to sponsor guests’ in-room wardrobes, complete with 3D printed designer clothing. Wardrobes will be customised to suit personal taste based on online shopping habits, size and local weather conditions.
• Fantasy Escapes: Luxury as we know it today will become so accessible that consumers will seek more extreme and un-attainable experiences. Hotels will provide guests with game-like environments for fantasy escapes, which could involve living out danger in a safe environment.
Popcorn said: “Consumers will be craving immersive experiences which will allow them to indulge in luxury in both a physical and a virtual sense.
“By harnessing virtual reality and the constant flow of personal likes, dislikes and bio-data, hotels will be able to provide guests with once-in-a-lifetime experiences seamlessly and spontaneously – or so it will seem.”
By 2086, as space becomes more of a luxury in itself, Popcorn predicts VR will evolve interior design so that it can be tailored by guests, and luxury travel will offer access to never-before-explored locations and immersive experiences. She predicts:
• Building Down: With 70% of the world’s population set to be urban by 2050, the design and structure of luxury hotels will change dramatically with brands set to adopt new architectural solutions such as ‘building down’, to fit to the changing landscape.
• Immersive Spaces: Guests will be able to design spaces specifically tailored to their personal aesthetics and needs. From customisable holographic wall art to fully adjustable interior design, guests will be treated to state of the art facilities to ensure maximum satisfaction and relaxation.
• World Experience: Different wings or rooms in hotels will be created to offer guests a taste of cultural experiences from different corners of the world – from golden Caribbean beaches to white blanket ski slopes, all located in the same hotel.
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has teamed up with interior designer, Tara Bernerd, for the development of the brand’s new design philosophy.
Bernerd said: “InterContinental Hotels & Resorts are constantly looking to evolve their interiors and aesthetic to make their properties more unique and luxurious for guests.
“Interior architecture and design play a very powerful part of a guest’s experience and I am delighted to be supporting InterContinental Hotels & Resorts on their new design philosophy that will hope to see them continue to push the boundaries of luxury travel into the future.”
Simon Scoot, vice president global brand strategy at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, added: “Our collaboration with Faith Popcorn and partnership with Tara Bernerd further ensures the InterContinental brand remains at the forefront of luxury travel.
“Innovation and pioneering spirit is in the InterContinental brand’s DNA. Since the launch of the brand in 1946, followed by the opening of the first hotel in Belem, Brazil, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts opened the gateway to a whole new world of glamour and discovery for a jet-set generation.”