Craig Greenberg, president, and Alice Gray Stites, chief curator, at 21c Museum Hotels, spoke today at the Skift Global Forum.

Part of 21c Museum Hotels since its founding, Greenberg oversees the daily operations of the company, including the management of all 21c properties and the development of 21c in new markets. Gray Stites draws from over 15 years of curatorial experience in her role as chief curator and director of art programming for 21c Museum Hotels.

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Greenberg and Gray Stites’ talk on “Art, Culture & the Experience Economy: Learning is the New Luxury,” explored the idea of learning as a luxury that travelers are seeking out to enjoy. Here are four things we learned:

  • Travelers want to learn, yes. There are still many people who just want a comfy bed, free breakfast and a lot of loyalty program points, but there are a growing number who want to see something they’ve never seen before, have an authentic experience and meet new people.
  • Learning is the new luxury in travel because it is inherently transformative.
  • Curiosity about what is new and what is next is nearly universal, and when peaked, practically insatiable. Sharing a discovery experience deepens our relationships to the people, places, and ideas that we encounter and then remember.
  • Experiential innovation is far more important than incremental innovations, embedding technology or other traditional focus areas for hotels.
  • The foundations of the thriving hotel business for tomorrow may be built on ideas that go beyond art, beyond design and beyond new technology. Hotels built upon products, services, themes, or approaches to hospitality that have not yet been tried.

Keep track of all the activity at this year’s Global Forum by bookmarking our #skiftforum tag.

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And thanks to all the sponsors that made Skift Global Forum 2015 possible: Adobe, Amadeus, American Express, Boxever, Big Bus Tours, CendyneOne, Cheapoair, Criteo, Gogo, HelloGbye, Hornblower Cruises, MasterCard, Mindtree, National Geographic, NewsCred, Sabre, SiteMinder, Travel Channel, TurkeyHome, Uber, Underline, Virtuoso, and Yahoo.

Photo Credit: Craig Greenberg and Alice Gray Stites speaking at the Skift Global Forum in Brooklyn, New York on October 14, 2015. Skift