If the word “design” gives you tunnel vision toward visual elements and built spaces, prepare to expand your perspective. In today’s world, design is so much more than an aesthetic discipline. This is particularly true in the hospitality industry, where design strategies impact the guest experience, both online and offline, throughout the entire travel journey. Design influences the way consumers understand and perceive brands across physical and digital touchpoints. It impacts the way they experience and evaluate their journey and the way they feel — not only about the hotel brands they interact with, but about themselves as people.
Today, successful design requires a holistic approach. Design thinking is what guides travelers from their couches to far-flung destinations and keeps them coming back for more, from booking and checking into a hotel, to eating, drinking, and exploring a new destination, and then heading home. And taking this bird’s eye view of design’s influence on hospitality makes it clear to see how every element of design can coincide and contribute to the bigger picture.
There has been a fair amount of industry discussion about how the leading travel and hospitality brands are thinking about design today. But how should the industry evolve to be prepared for future shifts? Where is consumer demand heading? Why does design matter at all, and why should it matter for travel and hospitality?