In contrast to private and office buildings, the hotel industry has so far been rather slow in terms of visionary, sustainable and smart construction. But the megatrends of urbanisation, digitisation and ecologisation also demand new approaches from the hotel industry around the world. Hotels in 50 years’ time will no longer be comparable with hotels from the present. The social, economic and technological change is simply too big.
One megatrend that does not even spare the hotel industry is global urbanisation. According to forecasts, around three-quarters of all people will live in cities in 2050. Particularly in Asia and Africa, the conurbations that already exist today will grow considerably.
This urbanisation trend means that new megahotels will be built in many metropolises around the world. Megahotels are already reality today. The First World Hotel in Malaysia is the largest hotel in the world with over 7,300 rooms. It will soon cede this title to the Abraj Kudai in Mecca, which will set a new world record with 10,000 rooms.
Architects from all over the world are presenting ever more unusual ideas for the megahotels of the future. If it were up to their architectural visions, floating hotels or hotels suspended on wire ropes could soon become reality.
The world of work is currently undergoing one of the greatest upheavals in history. Digitisation has now found its way into all sectors and enables people to work in many professions regardless of location. The hotel industry, too, must adapt to the megatrend of remote work. Many working people no longer see a hotel simply as a place to stay for one or more nights during a business trip. Rather, the hotel is seen as an additional workspace that should fulfil the same requirements and provide the same amenities as the office at the company headquarters, a co-working space or the home office in your own home.
For hotel operators this means that in future they will have to adapt much more to the working needs of their guests. A few boringly designed conference rooms will not suffice. The considerations must rather go in the direction of turning a hotel bedroom into a hotel workspace if required. This means completely new challenges with regard to the interior design and furnishings of hotels.
In the past, many hotels were architecturally designed to accommodate as many guests as possible in the smallest possible space. In addition, hotels usually did not distinguish themselves by investing much time and money in the use of ecologically valuable and health-promoting materials.
The megatrend towards sustainability has also fully taken hold of architecture. The days of environmentally harmful building materials and unhealthy interiors are likely to be numbered soon. In the future, hotels will have to think much more about how they can give their guests a new sense of well-being based on architecture and design.
The keyword "environmental awareness" is now also high on the agenda of most hotels. Guests increasingly attach importance to hotels making a similarly sensible use of resources as they are used to at home. In the future, this resource-saving approach will not stop with the changing of towels, but will encompass the entire architecture of a hotel building. Energy and water consumption as well as waste production and air conditioning are key issues for the hotel of the future.
The smart home is not only finding its way into private buildings, but increasingly also into hotels. For many hotel guests, the development towards smart building technologies can represent a major gain in comfort. It is not uncommon for guests to find themselves overwhelmed with the operation of the television or the control of the air conditioning system. Smart home devices, which in the future will even be voice-controlled, enable guests to operate their unfamiliar environment intuitively. In this context, it is conceivable, for example, that the roller blinds open automatically after waking up, room service is called via a voice assistant or the room lighting is sensor-controlled.