Hospitality’s Next Frontier:
5 Habits of the Experiential Traveller

Who makes up this global creative group of travellers, and what do they really want?

Hospitality’s Next Frontier: 5 Habits of the Experiential Traveller

An emerging segment of travellers is driving change in how hoteliers present their brands today: the global creative class. Comprising a blend of accomplished individuals and young travellers, there is no definite age bracket or actual demographics – but they do have distinct preferences.

As the fastest growing consumer bracket, a report by Singapore Tourism Board revealed that Asia accounts for about 60% of today’s modern travellers, while in the U.S., this group is pushing nearly $600 billion annually in spending. And because this new breed of travellers are already innately aware of their needs and well abreast of travel trends, what they now want is the confidence of hospitality brands who understand.

1. Design and diversify

Unlike a conventional lobby, Vīb Sanampao, Bangkok reaches out to guests via a virtual concierge, comfortable gaming pods and various spaces to merge social engagement with technology.

Unlike a conventional lobby, Vīb Sanampao, Bangkok reaches out to guests via a virtual concierge, comfortable gaming pods and various spaces to merge social engagement with technology.

Unlike a conventional lobby, Vīb Sanampao, Bangkok reaches out to guests via a virtual concierge, comfortable gaming pods and various spaces to merge social engagement with technology.

Today’s global creative travellers are on the hunt for good design that’s distinct and easily accessible, so cookie-cutter hotels and amenities just won’t make the cut. As part of Best Western® Hotels & Resorts’ intuitive understanding of their needs, at least four hotel boutique experiences are readily available, allowing guests a step out of the traditional hotel mould and instead into accommodations with distinctive identities in design and comfort.  

Urban-hip upper midscale concept Vīb was launched in 2017, reaching Asia in 2019 when Vīb Sanampao opened its doors in Bangkok, offering unique services like a virtual concierge, gaming pods and various spaces that merge social engagement with technology. Elsewhere, reaching out to the same demographic but in secondary cities is GLō, fitted with sharp and sleek architecture that serve dual functions designed for business travellers and families alike.

“GLō is a modern and energetic new offering that perfectly underscores our brand’s refreshed identity, and our commitment to delivering the exceptional hotel experiences our guests are looking for,” shared Ron Pohl, Chief Operations Officer for Best Western Hotels & Resorts.

Believing in diversifying to build momentum, Best Western® Hotels & Resorts also added two new boutique brands into their portfolio in end 2018: Sadie Hotel and Aiden Hotel, catering to the upscale and upper-midscale segments respectively.

A typical communal space at Aiden Hotels worldwide, allowing modern travellers the choice to interact, while still having their private spaces.

A typical communal space at Aiden Hotels worldwide, allowing modern travellers the choice to interact, while still having their private spaces.

A typical communal space at Aiden Hotels worldwide, allowing modern travellers the choice to interact, while still having their private spaces.

2. Experiential moments

Instead of outright status symbols, modern travellers now search for priceless moments. It is not uncommon for travel itineraries to be driven by the next amazing selfie or for checking into a trendy hotspot with friends.

How an international hotelier like Best Western® Hotels & Resorts has risen up to this challenge is in reinventing conventional spaces. At GLō hotels worldwide, lobbies double as tech-centric shared spaces to connect savvy travellers, while guests at hip boutique brand Vīb can relax at various multi-functional community spaces or even bond with fellow fun seekers at individual gaming pods.

And with the acquisition of WorldHotels this February, it just means travellers have unprecedented access to a pool of 300 (and counting) upscale luxury accommodations with distinctive personalities at premier destinations.

3. Local allure

All Sadie Hotels are found in a city’s main neighbourhoods, placing guests in direct proxy to local interactions and experiences.

All Sadie Hotels are found in a city’s main neighbourhoods, placing guests in direct proxy to local interactions and experiences.

All Sadie Hotels are found in a city’s main neighbourhoods, placing guests in direct proxy to local interactions and experiences.

Armed with technology and research at their fingertips, today’s global creative class want more than the actual hotel stay – they seek travel inspirations from a local’s perspective, they are curious and above all, willing to embrace the culture and people of the land they are in. And that’s something Best Western properties understand fully.

Diving deeper into the psyche of today’s global creative traveller are boutique brands Sadie Hotel and Aiden Hotel. Not your typical lodging built from the ground up, these properties target native developers who seek to tap on Best Western’s experience and expertise, so that after retrofitting or rebranding, staying guests get to enjoy hotel aesthetics that’s creative while steeped in local flair too. 

In addition, the edgy-chic Sadie was designed with the modern adventurer in mind, each hotel embodying the eclectic spirit of its neighbourhood while still delivering upscale amenities mandatory for today’s modern traveller. This also means no two hotels are ever alike, allowing guests the closest immersion into the local setting as possible.

No cookie-cutter moulds used at GLō hotels, which stand out with distinctly sharp architecture designed for both business travellers and families too.

No cookie-cutter moulds used at GLō hotels, which stand out with distinctly sharp architecture designed for both business travellers and families too.

No cookie-cutter moulds used at GLō hotels, which stand out with distinctly sharp architecture designed for both business travellers and families too.

4. Family and friends pave the way

Today’s global traveller is heavily influenced by social media, drawing jet setting ideas from Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. What’s surprising however, is how celebrities and social media influencers rank lowest – even brochures sit a notch higher – when it comes to their impact on a global traveller’s eventual travel plans. This may be a sign of an increasingly discerning crowd that sieve and curate information for themselves, rather than digesting information whole.

According to research by travel technology provider Amadeus on the travel habits of Asia Pacific’s millennial generation, it is in fact families and friends who are the most trusted voices when it comes to travel.

A slice of haven – also an Instagram worthy shot – at Tawaravadee Resort BW Signature Collection by Best Western.

A slice of haven – also an Instagram worthy shot – at Tawaravadee Resort BW Signature Collection by Best Western.

A slice of haven – also an Instagram worthy shot – at Tawaravadee Resort BW Signature Collection by Best Western.

5. The Human Touch

In today’s modern travel world, people crave a lifestyle touch, a place where hotel guests are free to connect, for an avenue that seamlessly connects travellers to native experiences.

And because no one traveller is alike, the Best Western group has taken to celebrating each guest’s uniqueness with 2019’s campaign: ‘Every Guest Has a Journey. Just like how the hotelier carries a dynamic portfolio, ranging from its original namesake brand Best Western, to upscale properties of BW Premier Collection by Best Western, and the urban-hip face of Vīb – the campaign turns the spotlight on their guests from all walks of life.

In fact, there’s even a ‘Travel Inspiration’ page dedicated to fueling the wanderlusts of their guests, recommending themed trips (hot air balloon spots or following a coffee trail anyone?), money-saving tips for your next spring or summer holiday, and even nifty ‘what to do in 48-hour’ articles on various cities that house the Best Western name. With 4,500 hotels spread over 100 countries, there’s surely an experience to be found for one and all.







Best Western® Hotels & Resorts

This article is brought to you by Best Western® Hotels & Resorts.