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New patterns in the hotel industry

In November, failing to physically hold the program of conferences planned at EquipHotel, the French Furniture, accompanied by its partners (the French Design by VIA, Intramural ), took up the challenge of a week of online dating. The extremely varied discussions questioned the ongoing transformations of the hotel and catering sector, which, hit hard by the health crisis, is showing creative resilience by accelerating its transformation, by jointly re-examining the layout of spaces. like business models.

What does “French reception” mean? And how can we maintain our cultural specificity by adapting it to current market challenges? How to transform hotel services while keeping this fundamental DNA? From November 16 to 20, some 70 speakers shared online, in warm and interactive exchanges, their experiences, their reflections and their commitments in a series of conferences, always accessible. in replay on the French Furniture website.

The client was, of course, at the heart of the discussions: for the attention required for his protection in this context of health crisis but also to imagine his return. What will attract him again? What meaning will he look for in his experiences? How will this impact, develop the art of hospitality? What technological innovations will this generate in the use of home automation, from the treatment of mattresses to the kitchen service? Six themes were thus addressed: the lifestyle hotel, hospitality and services, interior designer and supplier, know-how and international .

Collinet, collection fauteuil restaurant.

Repenser l’espace et le modèle économique

Among the reflections shared with the professionals who followed the debates was of course the very redefinition of the place of the hotel: in a world where travel is reduced, there is a development of new uses for companies, with videoconferences.
This place must open up to its direct environment to capitalize on the ancillary functions of the hotel industry and offer new services (retail, seminars, sport, relaxation areas, etc.), and to rethink a new hotel economy towards a more local clientele. According to Jean-Philippe Nuel, “These trends already exist in Asia and the Middle East […] It should no longer be seen as an isolated program that will seek out these customers all over the world, it should be imagined as the future cornerstone of a neighborhood or even a city. It is a reflection which is economic, social, cultural, in which the hotel must forge new partnerships. The challenge is to work on this synergy ”.

In this period of crisis, to compensate for the drop in attendance due in particular to the loss of international customers, some establishments have already converted spaces into coworking places: at a time when teleworking is taking root in daily operations. , and where for some the question arises of the meaning – more than of the necessity – of the return to the office, new intermediate spaces are to be invested for meeting times, meetings, on limited time slots, and it is on these buffer spaces that it is essential to work on in planning.

L’hôtel de l’après-Covid

Scenography, staging of services… In this strong concept of “hospitality”, the redefinition of the customer – local vs international? business vs leisure? family? one-off attendance time or stay? – is of course at the heart of the reflections. In terms of architectural responses, according to Jean-Philippe Nuel, “The hotel of tomorrow may mean giving less space to the room for new services: each space must be analyzed in a precise way” . And the management of spaces must also be rethought in terms of modularity vis-à-vis this diversity of customer profiles.

Likewise, opening up to new services and strengthening health standards require reasserting the attention paid to human relationships: compliance with reassuring measures, maximum use of digital to avoid contact, individualized reception – and which must be felt as such -, like the customer experience experienced in the luxury sector. The staff must be trained, reinforced, to take into account the diversity of profiles and services, and be able to transmit this confidence and this attention.

“We made a good twenty years in a few months”, according to professionals. The next EquipHôtel will take place in November 2022, regular meetings will be offered in the continuity of these exchanges, to scrutinize these developments.