The demographics of hotel guests have been dynamic over the years. Today is the era of the experiential guests, also known as the Millenials, people who travel to experience new things, from the walls of their chosen hotels to the outside.
According to a study conducted by the Art Force Organization, Millennials are “tech-savvy, cause-driven, and attracted to unique design”, and this is where the hospitality industry can take advantage of their adventurous personalities. Their study found that “aesthetically pleasing design is clearly something that Millennials want in all environments,” and that includes hotels that house art works.
For the travelling Millenials, hotels are now more than just a comfy place for them to rest and sleep. “Hotels want to spice up their look in hopes of gaining business from this new market. This is a definitely a smart move for the industry because it’s no secret that Millennials love to travel more than the generations before them,” the Art Force’s study concluded.
But hotels and hospitality-related industry should not only focus on how their rooms look. Art Force also found that lobbies filled with art, enhanced common areas, multi-functional public spaces, and unique bar environments will draw in this new market as well.
In the recent years, hotels across the world have started to invest in art and feature artwork within their lobby design, pubic spaces and even in their guest rooms. Some hotels even take their commitment and brand strategy a few steps further. More than exhibiting art works, they also hold regular art workshops on photography and crafts, showcasing their local talents, The Tambourine reports.
Hotels in Dubai are now reaping the benefits of investing in hospitality art to increase their revenue and attract more Millenial and experiential hotel guests.
“Everybody is evolving when it comes to art,” Mona Hauser, a hotel owner in Dubai, UAE says. Her first hand interactions with the new breed of hotel guests as proof of this will suffice. “Today, people who own big hotel chains realize that putting up a print with a few splashes of color is boring and people are more sophisticated now.”
But, not only high end-big-chain hotels are starting to invest in art to gain more revenue and attract more guests. In fact, budget-friendly properties are jumping into the art scene in order to attract guests seeking unique experiences, while staying budget-friendly.
Hauser also noted how the rise of hospitality art benefits both the hotel industry and the plight of local artists. “It is great,” she says. “If more artists can put their art out there, then the world is a better place and to see something genuine is so much better than a blank space that has simply been filled for the sake of it.
For another hotel in the country, art is not really just an experience for the eyes. Rasha Al Mutawa, director of Noon Art Boutique Hotel Apartments said that every guest differs in their own definition of art.
“For us, opening an art hotel means that someone can come and live the art rather than just look at it and leave,” he explains. He also believes that guests can connect more with local artists througb the art presented in their hotels, giving them the taste of local culture first hand from the artists themselves.
“We expect the guest to have a full understanding of the artist by the time their stay is over,” he said.
Despite Hospitality Art being a global trend, some people still argue if whether using the distinctive drive offered by arts to attract more guests and increase the revenue of a hospitality-business business is appropriate or not, effective or not.
Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) a hospitality management University in Switzerland, answers their argument with a fact. According to their study, arts and hospitality have a positive association.
Today, most hospitality professionals recognize that arts enhance hotel guest experience. Arts being for sure emotional drivers, they will inevitably generate more visits to the hotel if chosen with sense, whether in accordance with the brand’s image or beautifully included in the facilities.
Adding arts becomes part of a hotel’s overall branding process, as a means of conveying implicit messages or values, and of differentiation from competitors. Indeed, arts and design are often blending with the brand itself.