CHECKING-IN TO THE FUTURE OF LUXURY TRAVEL
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world’s leading hotel companies announces that its InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts brand has sought the expertise of Fortune 500 Futurist, Faith Popcorn. The collaboration comes as the InterContinental brand celebrates 70 years of pioneering luxury travel and looks ahead to the next 70 years.
Looking at luxury travel trends of the future, Faith focused specifically on the guest experience, service, destinations as well as hotel design. She believes that Virtual Reality (VR) escapism and immersive brand experiences will shape service and guest experiences in the future of luxury travel:
§ Clanning Experiences: VR technology will enable real-time sharing of adventure and luxury among friends or family who are spread around the world. It will mean that guests and their loved ones can enjoy simulated adventures in real-time, whether it be a walk through the Serengeti or an ocean swim with extinct marine life.
§ Customised Wardrobes: Hotels will partner with fashion brands to sponsor guests’ in-room wardrobes, complete with 3D printed designer clothing. Wardrobes will be customised to suit personal taste based on online shopping habits, size and local weather conditions.
§ Fantasy Escapes: Luxury as we know it today will become so accessible that consumers will seek more extreme and un-attainable experiences. Hotels will provide guests with game-like environments for fantasy escapes, which could involve living out danger in a safe environment.
Described as “The Trend Oracle”, Faith Popcorn has worked with leading Fortune 500 companies to help them accurately predict consumer trends. With a documented 95% accuracy rate, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts teamed up with Faith as part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to remain at the forefront of luxury travel.
Futurist Faith Popcorn commented: “In envisioning with InterContinental Hotel & Resorts to mark their 70-year anniversary, we’ve forecast what the future holds for luxury travel. Consumers will be craving immersive experiences which will allow them to indulge in luxury in both a physical and a virtual sense. By harnessing Virtual Reality (VR) and the constant flow of personal likes, dislikes and bio-data, hotels will be able to provide guests with once-in-a-lifetime experiences seamlessly and spontaneously—or so it will seem.”
By 2086, as space itself becomes the ultimate luxury, VR will evolve interior design so that it can be tailored by guests, and luxury travel will offer access to never-before-explored locations and immersive experiences:
§ Building Down: With 70% of the world’s population set to be urban by 2050, the design and structure of luxury hotels will change dramatically with brands set to adopt new architectural solutions such as ‘building down’, to fit to the changing landscape.
§ Immersive Spaces: Guests will be able to design spaces specifically tailored to their personal aesthetics and needs. From customisable holographic wall art to fully adjustable interior design, guests will be treated to state of the art facilities to ensure maximum satisfaction and relaxation.
§ World Experience: Different wings or rooms in hotels will be created to offer guests a taste of cultural experiences from different corners of the world – from golden Caribbean beaches to white blanket ski slopes, all located in the same hotel.
In order to continue creating new experiences for guests that elevate the everyday, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts have teamed up with world famous interior designer specializing in luxury hotel design, Tara Bernerd, for the development of the brand’s new design philosophy.
Commenting on the future of luxury design in hotels Tara Bernerd said:“InterContinental Hotels & Resorts are constantly looking to evolve their interiors and aesthetic to make their properties more unique and luxurious for guests. Interior architecture and design play a very powerful part of a guest’s experience and I am delighted to be supporting InterContinental Hotels & Resorts on their new design philosophy that will hope to see them continue to push the boundaries of luxury travel into the future.”
Opened earlier this year to cater to the luxury travelers in India, InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort represents the epitome of opulence that the brand stands for. Situated in a picturesque location overlooking the Bay of Bengal on East Coast Road, the resort displays state-of-the-art architecture and décor to add to the luxurious experience of a world-class accommodation.
Furthermore, InterContinental Hotel & Resorts is set to break new territory once again, with the development of the Songjiang Quarry Hotel in China. The hotel is set to be built in a 90m deep quarry outside of Shanghai. Boasting cascading waterfalls, extreme sport facilities such as bungee jumping and rock climbing, underwater bedrooms and cutting-edge conference facilities, it is set to be the greenest hotel ever built, with plans to power the luxury resort with geothermal and solar energy.
Simon Scoot, VP Global Brand Strategy at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts added: “Our collaboration with Faith Popcorn and partnership with Tara Bernerd further ensures the InterContinental brand remains at the forefront of luxury travel. Innovation and pioneering spirit is in the InterContinental brand’s DNA. Since the launch of the brand in 1946, followed by the opening of the first hotel in Belem, Brazil, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts opened the gateway to a whole new world of glamour and discovery for a jet-set generation. 70 years on, as global travel has transformed, the InterContinental brand has evolved and adapted with it.”
With nine iconic openings in the last year including new hotels in London, Dubai, and Chennai, and the upcoming opening of InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun later this year, as well as the re-opening of the iconic InterContinental New York Barclay, the brand continues to build its luxury legacy.