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    New research suggests the design and connectivity are key to attracting millennial hotel guests

    Hamish Kilburn

    To understand how hoteliers can win over the most competitive demographic in the hospitality sector – millennials – hotel furniture manufacturer Knightsbridge Furniture surveyed 1,000 18 – 34-year-olds to understand just how important design is in the modern hotel… 

    A recent survey, carried out by Knightsbridge Furniture, revealed that an overwhelming 87 per cent of consumers aged between 18 – 34 years old cited the interior design as important when booking a hotel, with 81 per cent identifying a ‘cool bar’ as a critical factor in their choice.

    The research also highlighted the power of social media as a communication tool – a topic that Hotel Designs covered a few months ago with Designing Instagrammable –  with 76 per cent professing to have shared an image of a hotel (including bar, pool, restaurant, bedroom) that they have stayed in. Furthermore it is a signifier of good taste, with 83 per cent stating that they booked a hotel because they had seen images from someone they follow on social media. 73 per cent check the social media feed of hotel before booking and one in three would be put off booking altogether if a hotel had no social media presence.

    “49 per cent would be put off if they couldn’t book instantly online.”

    A considered design scheme could also be part of the solution for hoteliers wanting to build a loyal following among the ‘millennial generation’. As whilst 82 per cent of millennials stating a preference for experiencing a new hotel each year, a significant 42 per cent will return for an impressive design.

    Website performance was another key area of investment for hotels – which is another topic that Hotel Designs has put in the spotlight recently with its Marketing in the Modern Age series of features. More than half of millennials would be put off booking a hotel if the website was difficult to use, 49 per cent would be put off if they couldn’t book instantly online.

    “Thriving hoteliers recognise the necessary investment in design, furniture and finishes to keep this audience returning,” said Alan Towns, Chief Executive Officer, of Knightsbridge Furniture.” Equally important is the management of social media channels and vitally, having the best Wi-Fi in town!”

    Main image credit: Knightsbridge

    Infographic - Stanley Security

    Research: 73% of guests would like to skip the front desk…

    599 452 Daniel Fountain

    The hospitality industry is becoming more green, however it still has a long way to go.

    According to 2016 research from OpenKey, the average 200-room hotel produces approximately 12,000 non-biodegradable plastic key cards each year which is equivalent to 1,300 tons of plastic waste annually.

    That is a lot of waste to end up in landfills each year. Consumer demand for ditching the key is higher than ever. According to the infographic below from Stanley Security, 73% of guests would prefer to skip the front desk. Find out more research findings below…

    Infographic - Stanley Security


    50% Brits struggle to sleep in hotels: how operators can ensure perfect night’s sleep

    999 569 Daniel Fountain

    Research from Beacon, the UK’s leading purchasing company, has revealed that over 50% of UK hotel guests struggle to get a good night’s sleep when staying in a hotel. With summer holiday in full swing, Beacon, working alongside its leading bedding supplier Fogarty, has pulled together its top tips on how operators can make sure guests get a restful sleep during their all-important summer breaks away.

    With a good night’s sleep high on the nation’s agenda, sleep expert, Dr. Sleep from Fogarty, discusses the importance of sleep: “We spend a third of our lives asleep, and evidence proves that the quality of this sleep is essential to allow us to reach our full potential during our waking hours. Small changes can make a big difference in improving your guest’s sleep experience, which in turn will undoubtedly lead to greater customer loyalty.”

    SleepingLauren Parker, Buyer at Beacon, continued: “So many of us are struggling to sleep in hotels, but this can easily be improved, and operators should capitalise on this opportunity. Our recent research found that guests would be willing to pay an extra £10 for a larger room, £8 for a choice of pillows, £9 for a larger bed and £10 for an extra bed to help with their sleep in hotels, suggesting there is money to be made in offering sleep related upgrades. This indicates how important sleep is to guests, so considering some small changes could really benefit your business.”

    Top Tips with the help of Dr. Sleep and Fogarty

    Fresh plants
    Consider investing in fresh plants in your hotel bedrooms to help to maintain good air quality. We would suggest choosing flowers such as jasmine or lavender; these scents are known to have a positive effect on the quality of sleep. The display of flowers in a bedroom also creates a more soothing and relaxing atmosphere, putting your guests at ease.

    Bedroom thermometers
    As you get ready to go to sleep, your body begins to cool down to its optimal sleep temperature. To help this process, use bedroom thermometers to set the temperature in bedrooms to between 15-18 degrees, or by giving guests the option to turn off their heating about an hour before bedtime; which is plenty of time for the room to reach this temperature.

    Hotels can be noisy, with this creating disturbances for some sleepers. You can provide your guests with a more peaceful sleep through soundproofing bedrooms, which needn’t cost the earth – thicker curtains, or the provision of ear plugs can help improve guest experiences.

    Studies have shown that the scent of lavender has excellent sedative effects and helps to promote better sleep. To reap the benefits of this in hotel bedrooms, you can invest in the plant, a diffuser or pillow sprays. Lavender pillow sprays have become increasingly popular, with one of Beacon’s leading suppliers, Gilchrist & Soames, stating that sales for 2016/17 have increased by 40% over the 2015/16 period.

    Anti-allergy bedding
    During spring and summer many of us will experience an increase in allergic symptoms. Allergies are one of the most common causes of sleep disturbances and anti allergy bedding helps protect your guests. Fogarty provides an anti allergy range, fully endorsed by Anti-Allergy UK, that has been treated with anti-microbial material, providing you with peace of mind that your bedding is fresh, clean and safe.

    For more information about Beacon please visit

    Whitepaper: Sustainability enhancing 'competitive positioning'

    Whitepaper: Sustainability enhancing ‘competitive positioning’

    1000 479 Daniel Fountain

    The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) has released their first Whitepaper – “Sustainable Destination Management Trends and Insights: A Path to a Brighter Future” at IMEX Frankfurt.

    The Whitepaper identifies how Destination Management Organisations and Convention Bureaus are using sustainability to drive the development and implementation of robust destination sustainability strategies. These strategies are supporting their city’s overall social, environmental and economic development agenda and enhancing competitive positioning.

    The report draws from analysis of 35 cities who participated in the 2016 GDS-Index benchmarking study. Through case studies and comparative data, the research – conducted by MCI Sustainability Services – highlights ten key insights on how destinations can reinforce their strategy through: leadership, financial incentives and capacity training, strong local community and supplier engagement, and effective communication about sustainability.

    According to MCI’s CEO Sébastien Tondeur: “Cities are the growth engines of the future, representing beacons of opportunity that carry the promise of education, employment and prosperity. The MICE industry has a critical role to play in supporting cities with the adoption of key sustainability practices. I am delighted to see how the GDS-Index is promoting a “Path to a Brighter Future” for destinations around the world”.

    Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA, comments: “The GDS-Index is accelerating sustainable development via knowledge sharing of its best practices and innovations. Building on the inspiration of the programme’s Scandinavian founders, the Whitepaper collects and shares these pieces of wisdom with the ultimate goal of supporting other destinations to focus on sustainable growth”.

    Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, mentions that “2017 is the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism and for this I am particularly delighted and inspired to see how this project has grown and how the participating cities are using the research for further improving their strategies and sustainability performance”.

    To view and download the whitepaper click here.

    Geberit teams with the Sleep Geek to uncover secrets to a good night’s rest

    957 547 Daniel Fountain

    Hotel Designs partners Geberit have teamed up with The Sleep Geek as part of a national campaign.

    Central to the campaign was a radio broadcast with independent sleep practitioner, educator and environment analyst James Wilson, aka the Sleep Geek. During the radio interviews, which aired on 33 stations around the country to more than four million listeners, the Sleep Geek used results of a Geberit survey into people’s sleeping habits to offer tips on reducing night time disturbance.

    The research revealed that 90% of Brits wake at least once a night, with 1 in 10 people waking five times or more. The number one reason for waking is to use the toilet, with 80% of people struggling to get back to sleep following a visit to the bathroom. During the radio interviews, the Sleep Geek explained how the bathroom environment can have an impact on people’s ability to get back to sleep after going to the toilet.

    Sleep practioner James Wilson - aka the 'Sleep Geek'

    Sleep practioner James Wilson – aka the ‘Sleep Geek’

    He said: “Turning the bathroom light on to navigate your way to the toilet sends a message to the brain that it’s time to wake up. This corresponds with the research which revealed that 40% of people turn on the light when they wake to go to the toilet. Add to this the shock of sitting on a cold toilet seat and it becomes clear that we don’t stand much chance of keeping our brains in sleep mode.”

    The campaign incorporated online resources, including a dedicated landing page on the Geberit AquaClean website. Here, consumers could hear more from the Sleep Geek, and learn more about the benefits of Geberit AquaClean Mera and Geberit Monolith Plus. Both products feature an orientation light while the Geberit AquaClean Mera also has a heated seat and a super quiet flush to ensure disturbance is minimised.

    The Geberit Sleep campaign also attracted a large audience on social media channels, including a Facebook competition to win a luxury sleep hamper.

    “Using a number of very effective marketing tools, including radio and online, the campaign highlighted how the bathroom can be designed as a night time environment to help reduce disruption to sleep patterns,” commented Raffaela De Vittorio, Marketing and Brands Director, for Geberit. “While we can’t guarantee a good night’s sleep, products such as Geberit AquaClean Mera and Geberit Monolith Plus offer ways to make the bathroom environment as comfortable and relaxing as possible, even in the middle of the night.”

    For more information call Geberit on 01926 516800 or visit

    Pullman Hotel Liverpool - Quadriga

    Millennials are on the move – can hoteliers keep up?

    1024 768 Daniel Fountain

    Over the last few years we have seen a new type of guest evolve – they’re knowledgeable, savvy and will rarely be caught without their smartphone in hand. Whether it’s looking up the local hot spots, using maps to navigate around a new city or trying to book a table at the hotel restaurant, millennials will be doing it digitally. Mark Brooks-Belcher, Global Sales Director at Quadriga, explains…

    Millennials are looking for a quick, flexible and efficient service, all in real-time. They also expect this to be tailored specifically to their preferences, meaning any form of communication needs to be as instant and effortless as possible. While this may seem like a lot, it’s actually just a combination of things that hoteliers should already be implementing and if not, certainly planning towards.

    Hoteliers should be making digital a part of everything they do – taking it beyond traditional interactions such as self-check in and in-room entertainment, to the power of digital marketing, personalisation and real-time information delivery.

    Hotel Kamp - Quadriga


    Guests are becoming more demanding for interactive platforms that have the ability to self-serve and provide information at their fingertips. Hotels that implement digital signage solutions across the board will not only be projecting a stronger, more unified brand image, but ensuring any millennials staying with you aren’t greeted by A4 paper signs in Times New Roman font.

    With technology only set to advance, hoteliers need to ensure they’re catering for the digital demand that their millennial guests are searching for, all the while providing a streamline experience. This new generation of jet-setters not only expect, but demand a quick, flexible and efficient service, soon becoming aggravated or confused by limited access to information, and the inability to use digital platforms throughout their stay.

    Recent examples of Quadriga’s solutions at hotels include designing and installing a converged solution offering high quality WiFi and wired internet access across all the rooms at the Pullman Liverpool as well as a TV system offering a ‘better-than-home experience’. At the various hotels of the Kämp Group in Finland Quadriga integrated several technological services under one umbrella; and at the Renaissance Malmo was tasked with updating the listed building’s internet access without damaging the aesthetics of the highly-rated hotel.