Arum analyzes new hotel market trends at The District

las nuevas tendencias del mercado hotelero en The District

Diversifying the range of services and activities available to satisfy increasingly demanding travelers is one of the hotel market trends that came up at The District, the first conference dedicated to examining the real estate sector in terms of capital. Nearly 7200 real estate experts met at the Fira de Barcelona from October 19th to 21st and analyzed different aspects of the industry, including the development of segmented residential spaces and the use of the Internet as a purchasing channel.

Arum Group CEO Jesús Abellán participated in the panel on “Tourism and the search for emerging markets around the world.” The panel included Rodrigo Martínez, CEO of Theboringuest, a consulting firm specializing in the hotel sector, Jacopo Villatico Campbell, founding partner of Casco Development, a builder of sustainable real estate projects, and Albert Grau Vidal, co-director of the hospitality area at the real estate consulting firm Cushman & Wakefield. The panel shone a spotlight on the difficulties experienced by the tourism sector during the pandemic and the new challenges that have arisen in recent years, both for entrepreneurs and customers.  

“During the Covid-19 era,” explained Abellán, “we experienced what no business plan can contemplate: the worst of the worst scenarios. Everything you do during those moments is drastic, but what really counts is what you do afterwards, analyzing how your market’s mental shifts and new ideas about life can affect your business.”

With uncertainty reigning supreme and the difficulty of finding new sources of financing, it was complicated to pursue comprehensive remodeling of existing buildings to adapt them to the new circumstances. But what could be done was to design new developments. As an expert in hotel management consulting, Arum Group decided to focus on greenfield developments, taking into account the opinions and participation of all the stakeholders in a tourism real estate project. This guaranteed coordinated and meaningful planning that didn’t neglect the details. Abellán defines it as a reaction of supply to the change in demand, as it was clear that from 2021 onwards, travel would be marked by the search for new life experiences.

After months of pandemic-induced confinement, people were eager to get out of their homes, explore new destinations and invest in properties that allowed them to enjoy the outdoors. According to several studies, consumer priorities shifted and travel rose to the top of the list. In addition, luxury segments showed more interest in buying a home than a car. 

Beyond location

“Apart from “location, location, location”, the paradigm of real estate, in residential tourism we saw people incorporating three new factors: access, services and climate,” explained Abellán during his speech at The District. In making a decision to buy a second home, a client examines the ease of travel to their new property, the range of activities and services that complement their stay, and the weather conditions throughout the year. 

The range of services you can offer is a major plus and, from an investment point of view, the great advantage is that it can be managed by third parties, through hotel operators. If before Covid-19 generational change was already a relevant factor in this sector, after the pandemic, these hotel market trends have accelerated and specialization in specific market segments has been accentuated.

Unassisted Senior Living Services

In this regard, Arum Group studied the possibilities of the niche of retired seniors. “In assisted Senior Living, health services is such an important component in the operation that the real estate and services part was not so relevant. However, unassisted Senior Living services make perfect sense when it comes to second homes for Northern Europeans who, because of the weather conditions, want to move temporarily or permanently to Spain to enjoy its advantages. They can be offered many services and activities in unassisted Senior Living to make a product very attractive.”

Rodrigo Martinez from Theboringuest added that Covid changed the relationship many older people had with new technologies. “As a result of the pandemic, many people who did not use the Internet as a purchasing channel before are now doing so. But what is really important here is to find a complete offer that goes beyond accommodation. An offer that does not only appear at the moment of purchase, but also throughout the journey of inspiration. This means that a good social media strategy can help you capture the customer you are interested in because they will find reasons to buy.”

When it comes to new hotel market trends, factors like agility, ease and efficiency in digital communication are fundamental to ensuring the search for experiences on the Internet translates into real conversions. And when it comes to residential tourism, it is clear that hotel development must ensure a comfortable and exclusive space for short holidays, but also for the traveler considering investing in real estate that allows for much longer stays throughout the year.