Savills Hotels Asia Pacific hosted the first event of their “Meet the Experts” series on 18th July in Thailand, where a number of hospitality experts were invited to share their valuable insights on the hottest trends in hospitality, and to discuss the rise of alternative hospitality products. The event was held at Oriental Residence Bangkok, with over 150 business leaders in attendance to listen to presentations covering “New Hospitality Trends”.
Rudolf Hever, Director of Savills Hotels Asia Pacific, explained the motivation for hosting the event: “We are seeing major industry trends taking place right now which will shape the future of hotel development. This excites us because it is bringing about significant new opportunities for our developer clients who are able and willing to innovate. We organised the event to share these trends and opportunities with developers in Thailand.”
Robert A. Collins, CEO of Savills (Thailand) Limited, added that “Never before has the hospitality industry experienced so much disruption with the advent of new breeds of travelers, leaps in technology, and the emergence of new accommodation habits, tastes, and approaches to travel. Such disruption requires alternative accommodation models and presents opportunities for nimble and progressive developers looking for a competitive advantage.”
A wide range of topics were discussed, from The Secrets of Select Service Products – Nigel Harris (EVP, Chief Growth Officer, Onyx Hospitality); How Creative Design and Branding Can Enhance ROI – Kevin J Beauvais (Founder & CEO, InVision Hospitality); Risks and Opportunities in Mixed-use Development – Robert Collins (CEO, Savills Thailand) and Benjamin Hirasawa (Partner, Clyde & Co., and Wellness Resorts); and Is This the Future for Asia? – Anthony Jude Tan (Group Managing Director, AJT, Wellity).
During the course of the event, four major trends were presented. The first is the rapid growth and rise of the middle class, especially in the Asia Pacific region. This is driving urbanization and the emergence of megacities which will increase population density and lead to escalating land prices and affordability issues. Increasingly we will see smaller and smaller unit sizes, and more attention paid to smart design and space utilization.
The second trend is the growth in retirement products; the median age in Asia is currently around 30 years of age, but by 2050 this will increase to 40 years. Retirement communities and senior living will be an increasingly dominant sector in real estate. We will see residential products increasingly integrated with retirement products with extensive medical and health facilities.
The third trend is the need to serve millennials, a challenge and opportunity for hoteliers. These people form a very important demographic for hotel and residential real estate developers due to a combination of their spending power and spending habits. Millennials are health-conscious and environmentally aware. To capture the attention of this demographic, developers and hoteliers must provide cutting edge fitness technology, as well as outdoor activities, yoga programs, and healthy food selections. They are not so concerned with hotels having multiple F&B outlets because they are mobile and IT savvy, often preferring to order food delivery online, which lets them take advantage of the limitless possibilities on offer.
The final trend is the inexorable advance of technology, with biometric recognition, virtual reality, and robotics all finding roles in the industry. New technology will drive operating efficiencies, and make hotels less reliant on staff as jobs are replaced by automation, biometric identification, and driverless transport.
Savills Hotels Asia Pacific believes that providing a platform which allows experts in each area to share their insights with other hospitality professionals can make a strong and positive contribution to the future of the industry.