Skift Take

Good morning from Skift. It's Wednesday, March 30, in New York City. Here's what you need to know about the business of travel today.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

Listen to the day’s top travel stories in under four minutes every weekday.

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Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast discusses the changes hotels are making to accommodate new traveler patterns, how marketing images are not matching consumers’ ambitions, and what Star Wars can teach event planners.

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Episode Notes

Hotel design has seen a major shift in the last two years, and Contributor Carley Thornell writes that the pandemic drove hotels to undergo renovations enabling them to better accommodate in-room dining and suit the needs of business travelers.

As guest rooms are increasingly becoming settings for both work and relaxation, hotel companies — including Hyatt — have made significant investments in order to prepare their properties for different work styles. Its Confidante Miami Beach hotel now includes designated working areas and separate dining spaces in guest rooms and suites.

Interior designer Olga Hanono, whose studio specializes in luxury hotel builds and renovations, said such enhancements are essential for modern guest rooms since more people are conducting daily activities in the same space.

Next, although travelers are generally getting back on the road this year with new priorities, some brands still are using images reflecting their pre-pandemic mindset. A new survey by stock footage agency Getty Images has found a disconnect in photos used by brands and travelers’ priorities, reports Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O’Neill.

Getty surveyed more roughly 7,000 Americans about their travel plans and more than half of respondents revealed that they were not planning a foreign trip in 2022. But O’Neill writes that many brands are buying and using images representing lavish international journeys. Furthermore, despite travelers expressing a preference for outdoor-themed vacations, brands are mostly showcasing images from cities in their marketing materials.

Finally, while large-scale resumption of in-person events has thrilled event organizers,
it’s also created enormously high expectations for planners as attendees are seeking
deeply-engaging experiences. But organizers can turn to the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel as a blueprint for how to create immersive experiences, reports Lisa Jade Hutchins, a writer for EventMB, a Skift brand.

Hutchins writes that the Galactic Starcruiser, which is located in the Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida, is not only a hotel but an experience where guests can become immersed in a Star Wars adventure over 48 hours. The Galactic Starcruiser provides visitors a themed experience that includes costumes, hologram projections and activities related to the Star Wars films.

The hotel makes heavy use of live-action-role-play, which immerses participants in a story and enables them to adopt a character. One executive said more event planners are becoming aware of it, predicting that clients — instead of running a typical team-building event — will ask to be pirates for four days, for example. In addition, another executive said that Disney is demonstrating how technology can enhance an experience by providing participants another layer of immersion.

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Tags: disney, hyatt, marketing, skift podcast