Travel & Hospitality

Market shifts, microtrends and expert opinions that signal significant change for global travel and hospitality companies and consumers

Need to Know
23 : 01 : 20

Hilton targets wellness-driven travellers, Qumin spotlights the future of Chinese luxury travel, and museum visits boost life expectancy.

Muji designs simple pre-fab homes for seniors

Muji Plain House (Yo no Ie), Japan Muji Plain House (Yo no Ie), Japan
Muji Plain House (Yo no Ie), Japan Muji Plain House (Yo no Ie), Japan
Muji Plain House (Yo no Ie), Japan Muji Plain House (Yo no Ie), Japan

Japan – Muji's affordable single-person homes have been designed for Japan's elderly population.

With a stair-free and low-maintenance set-up, the open-plan dwellings – titled Yō no Ie – have been created in a way that complements their outdoor environment and welcomes natural light. Featuring decking with space for a vegetable garden, the entire building encourages indoor-outdoor living and offers the kind of natural setting that can be hard for elderly people to access in Japan’s urban environments.

Designed in keeping with Muji’s minimal aesthetic, the cedar-boned homes were originally conceptualised as a solution to dense city living in Japan, but have evolved into a comfortable solution for senior citizens. The prefabricated homes are even built to withstand the region’s earthquakes, with steel finishes that ensure a safe living space.

While Muji has centred its home concept around natural, simple living for elderly citizens, our Opinion piece from Future Facility explores an alternative future in which technology-driven homes empower older people through innovations such as voice-driven appliances.

Tempo by Hilton courts itinerant wellness fanatics

Tempo by Hilton Tempo by Hilton
Tempo by Hilton Tempo by Hilton

US – Hilton is moving into the lifestyle space with its Tempo hotel concept, designed to serve travellers seeking a stay that matches their daily wellness practices.

Combining thoughtful design with a diverse range of partner lifestyle brands, Tempo promises a holistic experience for wellness-focused travellers, going beyond commonly offered on-site gyms to provide a wellbeing space for total mind and body training. Among its services are guided meditations, sleek fitness facilities and bedtime wind-downs created in partnership with Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global initiative.

Tapping into the growing desire for sustainably sourced food and non-alcoholic premium drinks, Tempo aims to help wellness-led travellers to continue living by their values and rituals even when staying away from home. According to Phil Cordell, senior vice-president and global head of new brand development at Hilton: ‘Tempo by Hilton introduces a new concept by combining all the benefits and efficiencies [travellers] expect... with an uplifting dose of inspiration.’

As health and wellbeing continues to be at the front of mind for many consumers, the travel sector is innovating to support guests and provide opportunities for Wellness Tourism away from home.

Chinese tourists are crucial for post-Brexit tourism

London – China-focused digital creative agency Qumin’s first live event highlights the impact of China’s internet eco-system on the modern Chinese traveller.

Hosted at London’s Bulgari Hotel, the BYOB Live event set out to understand how China's post-1990s generation are engaging with luxury in the UK. In a country where 60% of young people live with their parents, Chinese youth have one of the highest disposable incomes in Asia-Pacific and by 2025 they will represent 45% of personal luxury goods retail, according to Qumin.

Qumin founder and CEO Arnold Ma, and co-founder Thomas Nixon, brought these statistics to life with talks that highlighted the digital behaviour of young Chinese tourists, including how they use social media platforms such as Mafengwo and Douyin to intricately plan trips.

According to Ma, the next generation of Chinese traveller will be focused on creating content rather than observing it, driving a shift from closed platforms such as WeChat to Douyin, China’s version of TikTok. ‘It’s 100% AI-dictated – you don’t follow anyone,’ said Ma. ‘It’s pure escapism for young people who are always on.’

For more on how brands can engage the millions of Chinese consumers set to travel internationally in the next decade, read our Opinion piece.

Charismatic China by TryFu Charismatic China by TryFu

Stat: Museum-goers are likely to live longer

Researchers in London have uncovered that engaging in cultural activities such as visiting museums or going to the theatre can contribute to an increased life span.

While numerous prior studies have shown that creative practises like art and music can help with chronic pain, as well as slowing symptoms of dementia and Alzheimers, a recent study published in the British Medical Journal reveals particular benefits in relation to living longer. The study followed thousands of people of 50 and older over a 14-year period, finding that those who visited a museum or attended a concert once or twice a year were 14% less likely to die during the study period than those who didn’t.

With many consumers increasingly drawn to investing in experiences over physical products, brands are raising awareness of the benefits of cultural activities beyond mere entertainment. For more on the future of experience, book tickets to our Trend Briefing 2020, which takes place in March.

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