Driven by local concerns about overtourism, Promads will embrace conscious tourism, increasingly seeking culture-driven community venues, as well as destinations that promote long-term, sustainable solutions to the rapid rise in tourism. According to Kesang Ball, co-founder of the global travel community Trippin, market disruptors have contributed to this epidemic.
“Disruptors like Airbnb, which have been seen quite positively, are actually making a negative social impact on the local environment,” she says. “Cities like Amsterdam and Venice are suffering from overtourism, and the steps they’re taking to stop that are going to change how people travel.” In Paris, meanwhile, 43 strategically placed signs by the Enlarge Your Paris project are pointing tourists away from well-known sights to discover the overlooked highlights of Greater Paris.
Armed with in-depth knowledge of global issues and the impact brands have on various societal and environmental ecosystems, Promadic Travelers will not trust easily. As a result, over the next decade, brands looking to enter the sustainable travel market will heavily embrace transparency and realism. According to MediaCom, while 80% of people believe that companies need to take steps to minimize their environmental impact, 65% believe that brands overstate their eco-friendly credentials. And such credentials are of growing importance to Promads, with Edelman’s Trust Barometer revealing that 81% of people say a major consideration for brand purchase is being able to trust the brand to do what is right.
Imagine a living magazine where the art on the walls, the fashion, and the facilities all change each month—somewhere you could find something perpetually new, where the content and space adapt to needs and tastes, and where your stay is seamless thanks to next-generation technology that changes the way the Promadic Traveler engages with travel.
Designed by Norm Architects, The Audo is a hybrid space hinting at this future. Located in Copenhagen, and comprising 10 guest rooms, a café, co-working space, and concept store, The Audo acts as a showroom that “reflects the rapidly changing intersection of home, work, and hospitality in a single, community-building universe.” According to the company, the room designs will continually evolve, as will the concept store’s theme, while the restaurant will experiment with different gastronomic directions in order to show that visiting The Audo is not a one-time-only experience.
With wellness and personal progress at the forefront of people’s minds, Promadic Travelers will expect hotels to provide both service and design that respond to and enhance their moods. According to McKinsey, about 15% of the global workforce, or about 400 million workers, could be displaced by automation in the period 2016–2030. As a result, emotive and mood-responsive human service will denote a premium in a world of automated check-ins and touch-button room service. To achieve this will require a renewed focus on emotional intelligence (EQ) in the next decade, while levels of service will be increasingly augmented by technology.
Recent innovation from design agency Layer highlights how this future might work. Its new Move seating concept for Airbus uses sensors to monitor passengers’ temperature and position throughout the flight, sending targeted messages via an app to advise them on how to improve their comfort and well-being. One can imagine how this kind of functionality, combined with EQ-enhancement, could lead to whole new levels of service.
In such a context, design will no longer be primarily about aesthetically pleasing the Promadic Traveler. Instead, guestrooms will be biometrically responsive, reacting to and enhancing the moods and emotions of Promads. Mattress brand Casper, for instance, has expanded its product line-up with a smart night light designed to support better sleep. The wireless LED lamp is primarily controlled by a series of simple gestures, emitting warm light to counter the stimulating effects of blue light that interrupt circadian rhythms.
Within the next decade, key value shifts will have taken place, taking us into the age of the Promadic Traveler.
The preceding article is excerpted from the 2020 edition of Directions, an annual magazine by Design Hotels that looks at movements underway in art, design, food, wellness and fashion, and how they affect the way we live and travel. This year’s issue explores the motivations, values, and desires of the Promadic Traveler of tomorrow—one who does not ask where to travel, but why.