IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has sought the expertise of Fortune 500 Futurist, Faith Popcorn. The collaboration comes as the InterContinental brand celebrates 70 years of luxury travel.
Looking at luxury travel trends of the future, Faith focused specifically on guest experience, service, destinations as well as hotel design. She believes that Virtual Reality (VR) escapism and immersive brand experiences will shape service and guest experiences in the future of luxury travel:
Some of the areas she discussed were clanning experiences wherein VR technology will enable real-time sharing of adventure and luxury among friends or family. Hotels will partner with fashion brands to sponsor guests’ in-room wardrobes, complete with 3D printed designer clothing. Wardrobes will be customised to suit personal taste based on online shopping habits, size and local weather conditions.
Luxury as we know it today will become so accessible that consumers will seek more extreme and un-attainable experiences. Hotels will provide guests with game-like environments for fantasy escapes, which could involve living out danger in a safe environment.
Futurist Faith Popcorn said: “Consumers will be craving immersive experiences which will allow them to indulge in luxury in both a physical and a virtual sense. By harnessing Virtual Reality (VR) and the constant flow of personal likes, dislikes and bio-data, hotels will be able to provide guests with once-in-a-lifetime experiences seamlessly and spontaneously—or so it will seem.”
By 2086, as space itself becomes the ultimate luxury, VR will evolve interior design so that it can be tailored by guests.