Alta Thoughts (September 2022)
By Rakesh Patel
Welcome to the September summary of our latest thoughts and comments on articles related to the hospitality sector in Asia. This month, we summarise some of the trends we see in luxury travel, hospitality technology, wellness and sustainable construction. Please enjoy and you can follow us directly on LinkedIn and go to our website.
By way of background, Alta Capital manages real estate funds that invest in future hospitality trends such as wellness, experiential and sustainability. We source and acquire undervalued/undermanaged boutique hotel assets and reposition/redevelop them for these future trends.
We are always happy to exchange ideas and receive feedback, so please feel free to reach out.
It is interesting that Forbes luxury travel trends this year include Searching for Wellness, Getting Better Sleep and Staying Sustainable. In many ways these trends are more a necessity than a luxury, and are available to us all.
With 76% of AMEX respondents saying they want to spend more on travel to improve their well-being, there is certainly demand. What is nice is you can pursue your wellness journey either at a luxury hotel frequented by a Forbes reader and AMEX customer, or simply by joining a yoga class, following an on-line meditation or taking a hike in the hills.
The same goes for sustainability. 86% of travelers want to travel more sustainably, but only half manage to do so, according to Accenture. Travellers voting with their wallets and selecting greener options, whether their preference is luxury or affordable, will have a necessary positive impact.
Improved well-being and having a positive sustainability impact is about everyone — you just turn the dollar dial up or down.
We hope that one positive outcome from the pandemic will be a shift from a primary focus on physical exercise for health towards more holistic wellness. This new mind-set prioritizes addressing the whole person. This includes a person’s physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual health.
The writer of this article is not alone in her journey to “less gladiatorial” exercise and more “lower intensity” yoga and Pilates, with numbers from Mindbody’s 2021 trend report, MIRROR, and Allied Market Research “holistic fitness” research, confirming this trend.
As we move beyond Covid, a new normal in hospitality is beginning to emerge. As Xotels points out, a shift in demographics and technology are two of the main drivers of this change.
An increasing dominance of travel by the Millennial and Generation Z demographic, means greater demand for local and cultural experiences, reimagined hotel spaces for remote working, technology enabled processes.
The question remains as to how much of the industry will embrace the change as part of their core purpose or simply risk treating it as an afterthought.
The building sector accounts for 38% of total global energy-related CO2 emissions, adding construction and operations together. It will be no easy task for the sector to halve CO2 emissions by 2030 to get on track for net zero carbon building stock by 2050.
Initiatives to reach these targets are multi-fold and if widely embraced can be impactful and return accretive. For example, more than 75% of all construction waste ends up in landfills, hence the need for more reclaimed and recycled materials to be utilised in new projects.
As deadlines approach expect change to accelerate as a result of increasing government regulations, as well as a shift in consumer preferences and pressure, with more tenants and guests seeking greener buildings to operate and stay in.