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5 emerging Asia Pacific hospitality trends |

Travel and Tourism

5 emerging Asia Pacific hospitality trends

Dolly Dy-Zulueta -
5 emerging Asia Pacific hospitality trends
Russia Valley, a Ritz Carlton Reserve nestled in Jiuzhaigou, China.
WATG / Released

MANILA, Philippines — WATG, the preeminent leader in integrated luxury hospitality design since 1945, has revealed that there are five emerging trends that will shape the Asia Pacific’s hospitality industry in 2024.

With the return of travel following the formal end of the pandemic, consumer preferences and expectations have evolved, thus triggering changes in the way stakeholders in the hospitality industry make—and live up to—their brand promise.

Unique to the design space, WATG’s research-led advisory and analysis team provides informed insights for business direction and guest experience, forming the foundation for commercial success. Guy Cooke, Associate Principal and Studio Director of Advisory Services, shared his observation on five emerging trends that will shape the hospitality industry in the months ahead.

Luxury brand collaborations

There is a growing prominence of luxury fashion and lifestyle brands within the hospitality space as they seek to capture growth in the ‘experience’ economy by aligning their brands with aspirational High-Net-Worth Individuals’ (HNWIs) recreation and way of life. Some examples include the emergence of pop-up beach clubs like Fendi Puente Romano and Dior Bali, exclusive suites within famed hotels such as the Bentley Suite and Dior Suite at St Regis NYC, entire luxury hotels like Bulgari, Armani, and Baccarat, and the proliferation of branded residences by such brands.

With WATG, these include the collaboration between Bulgari and the newly opened JW Marriott Jeju Hotel & Resort in Jeju, South Korea, to showcase the timeless glamour and heritage of the renowned Italian watch and jewelry maker, as well as the Louis Vuitton “Deep Time’ luxury jewellery exhibition held at Rissai Valley, a Ritz- Carlton Reserve nestled in Jiuzhaigou, China, which is Ritz-Carlton’s first all-villa resort.

Private members’ clubs targeting ‘daycations’ sector

The line between hotel and members’ club is blurring, as hotels now turn to the local community for patronage. The array of amenities offered by hotels are now more attractive, as they now create club-like concepts for these "daycations." Rosewood, Six Senses and Aman, for example, are all opening private clubs for local residents integrated within urban hotels. At the same time, there is growth and innovation from the traditional private members’ club space targeting specific market segments with increasingly enticing offers such as a guestroom component or ‘retreat’ concepts away from the city.

Hotels now go beyond traditional services to enhance guest experiences 

Hotel operators are extending their services and brands beyond traditional hotel services into other adjacent lifestyle concepts. This includes the branding and operation of a range of synergistic components within an urban mixed-use development, including residences, wellness hubs, serviced offices, and private members’ clubs. Accor, for example, has launched a dedicated service line called Accor One Living to focus on the development, operation and branding of these mixed-use spaces with a focus on creating complementary experiences under a single brand for a range of user—from guests and onsite residents to the local population. Hotel operators are also continuing to expand their presence into non-hotel leisure experiences through the branding and management of standalone vacation rentals, superyachts and private jets.

Scaled-up accommodation will become a typology, which is here to stay

The post-pandemic trend for multi-generational and blended travel is having a demonstrable impact on the demand and supply for larger accommodation typologies within a resort setting. Hotels are being designed today with a greater consideration for this market. Larger villas are making up a greater proportion of total inventory. Family-friendly in-villa amenity is being bolstered while flexibility to cater to the different needs of a travel group is being designed into the product. This growing transient multi-generational demand dovetails neatly with the growth of branded residences, creating an all-round beneficial scenario from a cash flow and end user demand perspective.

Amenity innovation to go against the conventional

As the "experience" economy enters a new phase, there is an arms race underway in the hospitality sector for amenity programming that helps destinations stand out from the crowd. Developers are going extra lengths, investing in wow-factor concepts that capture the imagination and place the destination on the map. Leveraging the unique context of each destination, including natural assets and local cultural themes, is central to anchoring amenities and providing one-of-a-kind experiences that cater to growing expectations for authenticity. Partnerships with third party "specialist" operators, brands and celebrity-endorsed concepts are also adding a new dynamic and visibility to the destination offering that speaks directly to the targeted guests. Be it kids’ clubs, sports and fitness facilities, wellness programming, cultural experiences and translating through into the F&B offering and poolside experience, each new resort requires a new layer of thinking in terms of experience curation through the guest stay.

“As the hospitality landscape evolves in the Asia Pacific, we must rethink what this means to us, to our clients, their guests and to the planet. It is imperative that we continue to innovate as we strive to respond quickly to market needs, to elevate guest experiences and recapture revenue to optimize returns for our clients. Backed by a thorough research-led framework, our deep understanding of what today's travelers seek allow us to set new standards for what guests can expect in a new era. We believe that these trends don’t just guide our clients to build a more resilient business model but also shape our industry to ensure we can keep on thriving in 2023 and beyond,” said Guy Cooke, Associate Principal and Studio Director of Advisory Services, WATG Singapore.

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