Tagscoworking, doyoucatchon, hospitality, Industry Trends, millennials
The sharing economy is forcing hospitality brands to rethink, redesign and reconnect.
We can thank millennials for the co-living phenomenon. This demographic has embraced the sharing economy and is reshaping how we conduct business. According to a 2018 report by London architecture office Studio Weave and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), this co-living trend could help address some of the developed world’s biggest social problems, from loneliness to the ageing population.
And people support the idea. Last year, Space 10, IKEA’s future Living Lab, launched ‘one shared house 2030,’ a survey to determine the future of living spaces featuring 14,000 respondents from 147 countries. The results found a majority of people would like to live in tight-knit communities of four to 10 people.
This co-sharing trend is impacting the travel experience. At the most recent Bloomberg’s Year Ahead Luxury conference, hospitality guru Ian Schrager predicted that the next big industry disruptor is co-living spaces. To Schrager, it reflects people’s search for authentic experiences and connections, presenting a new interpretation of luxury itself.
Many established hotel brands are answering the millennial call and offering programs that embrace the co-sharing spirit. Bumble, the female-first networking app, has teamed up with Marriott’s Moxy Hotels to launch ‘BumbleSpot #attheMoxy.’ Through this initiative, Bumble users can make connections from the digital sphere to real life via “BumbleSpots”, places that have been verified by Bumble as inclusive environments for their users to meet their online connections. The Line Hotel has also partnered with the online platform to encourage meet-ups for BumbleBFF, the app’s platonic friend-finding platform, by hosting BumbleBFF Brunches. Other community schemes at The Line include run clubs, art classes and in-house podcast and radio programs recorded from the lobby of the Washington property.
Kimpton Everly Hotel in LA launched “Room 301” to focus on building human connections. A designated guestroom, Room 301 explored communication between strangers, allowing guests to share their experiences with former and future occupants. Within this space, guests can leave notes, share personal Spotify playlists or even pay it forward with hotel reward points. To dig a little deeper, guests have the option to ask questions like “What is your favorite thing about yourself and why?” and “When was the last time you cried or laughed intensely?” Following the success of Room 301, Kimpton hotels across the US are introducing similar experiences.
A new genre of hotels is emerging in response to travellers’ desire to find connections. Life House hotel, which opened its first location in Miami last October, is designed around social networking. In addition to private rooms, Life House offers shared rooms with upscale bunk beds, adding a sophisticated twist on the traditional hostel. Of particular note, the hotel has its own unique social networking app that connects guests and locals. Guests can join groups of travellers with similar interests, like those looking for good jogging routes or the best restaurants, and connect with vetted locals for an insider’s guide to their favorites.
Another hospitality brand to watch in 2019 is Selina. With a mission is “to inspire meaningful, authentic connections between people,” each of its properties aim to offer both hostel-like lodging and private hotel rooms, both bars and communal kitchens, as well as co-working spaces and coffee stations. The company now runs 31 properties in Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, México, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Portugal.
Moving forward, we’re likely to see more hotel brands that offer co-living spaces or co-sharing spaces designed to reinforce human connections among guests and locals. As Virginia Woolf once wisely noted: “For pleasure has no relish unless we share it.” Virginia could be on to something.
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