Future of Adventure Series: Liminal Spaces

8 months ago  •  By  •  0 Comments

At Matter Of Form we are deeply passionate about the travel sector and the innate wanderlust in us all. Our latest whitepaper, the ‘Future of Adventure and Exploration’, delves into the often contradictory key trends regarding modern travel and offers strategical recommendations to tackle the paradoxical landscape industry experts face today.

“Adventure and travel no longer are just about physically visiting a place, increasingly it’s about the experience and the transformation that it offers us. Adventure is as much about learning something new about a place as it is about learning about oneself.” Philippa Wagner, Creative Strategy Director, Ennismore.

As the fourth in a wider series assessing the Future of Adventure and Exploration, this article will comment on the new wave of micro-hospitality offerings and the growing global capsule hotel market.

Future of Adventure Series: Liminal Spaces

Global nomads are constantly on the move and demand the ability to work wherever they are. They want to maximise their time in transit and expect that liminal moments can also be productive.

“On one hand people are working harder than they ever have before but they want to see that isn’t all of their life and there is something more. There is so much more flexibility to work from freelance, consultant and portfolio roles. And this big shift over the last decade gives people the freedom to travel but still be working. There is an increase in house-sitting overseas, no rigid end to working life and as the retirement age erodes that will impact what kind of travel they do, and how they travel. There are co-work and co-live spaces opening up but there is definitely more opportunity for travel operators in this space,” Lyn Hughes, Editor-in-chief / Founder, Wanderlust.

As a result we are witnessing the rise of a new third-space market, one that is neither home nor office. New micro-hospitality offerings are needed to supply both work-time and downtime on demand.

WeWork is valued at £14.7bn and has 253 locations in 22 countries, catering to what it calls the WeGeneration. The company has moved into communal living with WeLive, and education with WeGrow, that instils ideas around ‘conscious entrepreneurship’. What WeWork has created is a community of 400,000+ members who expect to find a home, wherever they might travel, as the separation between work, and travel is increasingly blurred.

“People are increasingly becoming third world citizens and moving between locations regularly for work and pleasure (with many people adding a pleasure trip on to the end of a work trip) so there is a huge role to play here. One of the biggest frustrations of all travellers is the airport and transfers – if hospitality brands can extend their experience from the moment you leave home to your destination this will dramatically change the experience – in addition – hospitality by its very nature is changing. A hotel is no longer just about somewhere to sleep/eat it’s a place to connect with a local community whether that’s your local community via the lobby culture that for instance Hoxton Hotels have fostered, or whether it’s the local community that you step in to when you go to a location opened up to you by the curated experiences you can connect with local people,” Philippa Wagner, Creative Strategy Director, Ennismore.

Global Capsule Hotel market is valued at 159m USD in 2016 to reach 226m by 2022 – WiseGuy Research.

Owned by the capsule hotel chain 9h, which has a number of locations in Tokyo, Do-C Ebisu offers commuters and travellers the option of a nap or longer stay in a personal pod, you can also just stop by for a sauna or to make use of their lockers.

Sleeep in Hong Kong is a tech enabled capsule hotel, where each pod features smart circadian lighting that induces sleep, and can be booked by the hour.

The ‘love/sleep hotel’ idea is going global with apps like As You Stay and Recharge enabling users to book hotel rooms by the hour or even by the minute, with no minimum stay requirement.

Within the series, we will look to explore further travel themes such as Voyages of Self Discovery, Transformative Travel, Human Touch and New Luxury. If you would like to read more, you can download the full ‘Future of Adventure’ report. If you wish to discuss any of the content or hear our thoughts on how to put some of our insights into action, please get in touch via [email protected] and we would be delighted to have a chat.