One of the recurring themes of this OTT blog is technological innovation and how it affects all the links in the tourism chain. Innovation, however, may come not only from technological but also from conceptual factors. The traditional concept of hotel accommodation is evolving towards a model in which the design and care of common spaces is fundamental. More and more new lodging proposals are presented, so attractive as to be in themselves one of the main attractions of the trip. What these models claim is that the client considers the stay in the establishment as an experience sufficiently motivating to be one of the determining factors of their choice of tourist destination.
The digital newspaper Reportur points out that this evolution may be rooted in the emergence of the private home as a competitor of hotels, on platforms such as Airbnb o Booking. The traveler is discovering that integrating into a model of accommodation more experiential-neighborhood, far from the standardization of the classic hotel model, allows greater interaction with local culture and customs. It is particularly significant that the first dialog box that appears on the Airbnb home page asks the user to discover “accommodations” or “experiences” instead of asking what their destination is, and then show a ranking with the “most valued experiences” “In places as diverse as Los Angeles, Hanoi, Dubai, Rio de Janeiro or Naples.
In the context of this trend, we find avant-garde projects that have turned the concept of accommodation upside down. Generator in the hostels segment, for example, offers a combination of luxury rooms at an affordable price with exclusive social events designed to facilitate social interaction. The experience of socialization as part of the accommodation is one of their claims. This premise is accompanied by a decoration that is at the same time industrial and warm as a hallmark, with rooms reduced but full of innumerable innovative details. CitizenM, on the other hand, also positions itself as affordable luxury and, like Generator, offers central locations, stylish design and “sociable atmosphere”, also with smaller rooms but more functional than usual.
But undoubtedly the most groundbreaking initiative is that of Zoku Amsterdam, a concept that has reinvented the model of accommodation and is reaping so much success that it could be called the turning point of the hospitality industry.
Zoku breaks molds. This micro-home is, according to Forbes, one of the “coolest” accommodations in the world. Being a hybrid between a hotel and a home, take the advantages of each of these formats. Long stays away from home no longer have to be cold and uncomfortable due to the lack of warmth of a hotel room. Zoku is designed both for short stays of two or three days and for stays of several weeks, since it is designed as a complete home. In a small space of 30 square meters of loft, you get the feeling of being in a house that nothing is missing: bedroom, kitchen, closets, living room, bathroom, dining room and multiple storage areas. Each millimeter is perfectly studied and optimized to create a feeling of spaciousness and intelligent use. The guest (or neighbor, as they prefer to call it), can invite friends to dinner, hold work meetings and rest perfectly in their room-apartment. And, as in the projects of Generator and CitizenM, one of the pillars of the Zoku offer is to present the common spaces as nuclei of socialization and interaction with the rest of the neighbors of the 130 lofts of the building, located in an area downtown in addition, Zoku provides co-working spaces.
Another novelty of the Zoku model is the role of its staff, since their tasks are also not usually performed by hotel workers. There is no reception as such, and check-in and check-out are done in a computerized desk. Zoku employees infiltrate their own clients (or neighbors) as one more to engage in friendly conversations and inquire about whether they are comfortable in the establishment. From the outset, they do not usually identify themselves as Zoku staff, so customers tend to believe they are talking to another guest, a situation that Zoku employees take advantage of to obtain direct information about their service evaluation and personal impressions.
Futuristic models of tourist accommodation products, airlines and agencies are making their way. They are focused on a new and growing segment, global nomads that live totally connected but also appreciate the social offer of the shared spaces in the physical plane and not only in the virtual one. In recent years new models have been glimpsed, of which Zoku is another example, which break with some classic patterns in the culture of each tourism sub-sector.
Encuentra el tema de referencia en Reportur
Note: images provided by Zoku Amsterdam