How would you characterise clients’ expectations of hotels nowadays?
Sébastien de Courtivron: Their expectations have changed significantly in recent years, particularly following the pandemic. The clientele is both more mixed and more demanding. Some take advantage of the rise in teleworking to stretch out their stay, combining leisure with remote working. Others, having decided to cut down on the frequency of their trips, expect a lot more from each stay: they are looking for unforgettable experiences, one-of-a-kind moments, immersion in local life and more interactions with hotel staff. There are also higher expectations in other areas, such as hotels’ focus on sustainable development. On all fronts, expectations are becoming increasingly demanding.
How are hotel industry operators adapting to best meet these demands?
Sébastien de Courtivron: Brands are transforming their offer to respond to these new uses. These changes can first be seen in the layout of the hotels themselves. They are now more open to the city, with ground-floor bars, restaurants, co-working spaces and rooftop terraces. Offering a variety of spaces and uses that helps make establishments livelier and converts them into shared places where people can meet up. Improved IT infrastructure is another part of the programme to guarantee optimal connectivity, both in the rooms and the communal areas. Digitisation has also been used to streamline the check-in and check-out process. Reducing admin helps to encourage interactions with hotel staff on other matters. These include tips on how guests can get off the beaten track by meeting a local craftsman in their workshop or visiting an unusual location away from the customary tourist attractions.
In these circumstances, how is Covivio supporting hotel brands?
Sébastien de Courtivron: Covivio shares the same vision as its partner brands. We support them in their ambition to revise layouts to make hotels more open to their environment. Furthermore, we are rolling out technology designed to both optimise connectivity across all buildings and improve management via Building Management Systems (BMS). Eventually, thanks to generated data, smart building solutions will enable finely tuned consumption management in relation to the occupancy of an establishment’s various spaces. The aim is twofold: increasing sobriety and further improving client comfort.