Milan, 13th December 2018. One thousand shades of hospitality. Fragrances and olfactory perceptions, starred chefs and bartenders, unreleased material and new technologies. Hotels have become the places where social relations happen. They are not just a venue where to spend the day, but also hubs for the latest consumption and lifestyle trends. And these trends will be all showcased at the 41st edition of HostMilano (at fieramilano from 18 to 22 October 2019), one of the world’s leading events for the Ho.Re.Ca and retail sectors, which is going to be once again the trendsetter for the hotels of the third Millennium.
The macro-area of the Milan-based event dedicated to Furniture, Technology, and Tableware has always been the place where to get a preview of the latest professional hospitality solutions through exclusive formats, concept stores, and installations well-established on the market.
An example? Exhis 2013 – the concept store designed by Dante O. Benini exclusively for Host – had already given an overview of what hospitality is today, i.e. a hub where social relations occur, especially in the luxury segment. A true display of beauty, which marked the hotels’ path to the future: 4 themed areas – Work, Mind, Body, and Relaxation – in which to invest to transform a hotel into the ideal place, where every activity is facilitated by services and the quality of the environment.
Robotics, human touch, and sustainability are the future
An area where social and business relations are easier. And a venue where to experience moments to remember. “I’ve always believed in creating a place where people want to stay and come back. In my opinion, travelling means presence. “You are here now, living the moment, immersed in a new experience, whether it’s a particular menu or a room with a view” said a luxury hotel manager who gained their expertise in major international facilities. Who added: “People who do this job shouldn’t set any limits. We need to reinvent ourselves, challenge each other, and be constantly up-to-date.”
But where is hospitality going? While waiting to know which will be the next trends at HostMilano 2019, industry insiders made their point at “The future of Food & Hospitality”, the annual conference organised by Consultants Society International Europe, Africa, Middle East (FCSI EAME) that took place a few weeks ago in Rotterdam.
Trend-wise, Robotics is going to be more and more necessary. Robots and tablets will replace concierges and waiters in welcoming guests and taking their orders.
Sustainability is another factor under the spotlight. No more waste! The best practices of the hotel world include recycling and a rational use of linens, food, and water. Not to mention toiletries made with natural products, room keys made of cardboard, wood, or organic plastic.
The Human touch is also in the top three trends. At the end of the day, everyone needs to meet real people. Hospitality serves this purpose by providing an authentic and spontaneous service.
Millennials and more: here comes technology
According to the latest research, Millennials will represent about half of the travellers on a global scale by 2020. This means one thing: the hospitality world is going to change forever. Digital natives, who expect services to be more and more customised, people born between 1980 and 2000 are at the forefront even when it comes to using the latest applications from smartphones or tablets. Many high-tech solutions, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, apps, and smart keys, are already common solutions.
For example, the first robot-staffed hotel was recently opened in Japan. Robots here provide information at the reception, file records through facial and voice recognition technology. Another application that is becoming increasingly popular is the chatbox, which is already used on the hotel’s social media, because it allows clients to ask questions and get the answers almost instantly, 24/7.
All these pluses are expected to attract not only Millennials, but also another target, i.e. millennial-minded people, who have become essential for hoteliers. These people are not necessarily a demographic group defined by age, location, or goals, but are millennium-minded, meaning those who combine work and private life, switch from a conference call to a post on social media, buy a book online, while ordering lunch.
Eye for detail is the key
The hotel of the future is asked to catch ongoing trends to intercept guests’ new needs, under any point of view. Trends and innovation are the common thread of every edition of HostMilano, a true hub where to explore the best solutions in the hospitality world, in terms of design, contract furniture solutions, and exclusive concepts.
Therefore, while furniture and accessories are evolving to adapt to new spaces, design is ready to propose new aesthetics, combining elegance with functionality, while being bound to its territory. Elegant and natural products made with refined materials and styles that meet today’s requirements.
The reason is simple: rooms must always be smart and hyperconnected, lobbies are now designed to be true living rooms with multi-functional areas, such as bars, restaurants, business centres, and lounges, where anybody can meet at any time.
But there is a but! To succeed, hotels must deal with an increasingly fierce competition. That’s why, services multiply to make your stay an experience to remember. A few examples? Many hotels are now turning into huge showrooms, where to test and showcase products useful for travelling or that you can take away, such as perfumes and natural cosmetics. The latest trend for hotels, especially the high-end ones, is to focus on wellness and wellbeing. Gyms, health centres, and personal trainers are just one side of the medal, which also includes the accurate choice of lighting, colours and materials, besides paying attention to food and beverage. Nothing must be left to chance.
Something similar occurs in the restaurants of the most exclusive hotels, which have become true stages for starred chefs. Moreover, an increasing number of designers and starchitects are committed to designing unique hotel facilities, especially when Italy’s excellence is involved.
Seminars and insights to outline the hotel of the future
Interior and exterior design solutions, contract furniture, and tableware. To stay up-to-date on the latest hospitality trends on a global scale, HostMilano has organised hundreds of events, including workshops, data and research presentations, training sessions, and national and international competitions.
As for the macro-area dedicated to Tableware, Furniture, and Technology, FUTURBAR&Co - Hospitality: back to the future – the research implemented by Comufficio and the FIA Consortium, in collaboration with HostMilano and the Mussapi architecture studio – will be back in 2019. A prototype of 300 m2 will display vintage and contemporary furniture to give life to an environmentally-friendly area made with reduced costs but without sacrificing innovation and technology.
Another must-attend event is the series of workshops (7) about current topics applied to the professional hospitality sector organised by Host and POLI.design. These events will be dedicated to architects and industry experts and will focus on the most innovative solutions and tools, new urban scenarios, the luxury world, consumers’ experience, and new technologies.
SMART Label, the award dedicated to innovation in the professional hospitality industry, promoted by Host-Fiera Milano in collaboration with POLI.design and sponsored by the ADI (Italian Association for Industrial Design), will also be returning to Host. An event intended to promote companies that have successfully put the combination of technology, hospitality and future trends in the limelight. In total, the numbers point to 497 candidacies collected over the past three editions, 156 companies awarded the SMART Label and more than 20 special recognitions with the Innovation SMART Label, awarded to the same number of products marking significant milestones in the sectors represented.
All updates are available at: www.host.fieramilano.it, @HostMilano, #Host2019.
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