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Hospitality Design Industry

30 October 2019

Why Hospitality Design is a Booming Industry Today

Why Hospitality Design is a Booming Industry Today

The hospitality experience is currently undergoing a fundamental shift due to evolving demands of the modern guest. Primarily, customers seek three main concepts:

  • Authenticity – that the interior design feels genuine and appropriate for the facility
  • Interactivity – that the environment reacts and can be interacted with (such as changing design elements with the seasons, internet connectivity)
  • Sustainability – using sustainable and recyclable materials, minimising the carbon footprint

Industry analysts feel Airbnb drives much of this change in hotel and hospitality. While low cost is one factor for this change, many travellers are attracted to the “living like a local” approach. This attitude is altering how hotels approach design.

What is Hospitality Design?

Put simply, hospitality design is how interior designers approach creating a warm and welcoming environment for customers. It must consider functionality as well as attractiveness, also style and mood, with a view to maximising efficiency and profitability for the owner. Hospitality interior design concepts apply to hotels, country clubs, spas and B&Bs, to restaurants, cafes and other eateries, to public houses and bars, and to fitness clubs, gymnasiums and health spas and many others. It is one of the biggest industries globally, attracting millions of people every day to various leisure pursuits. Because of the importance and profitability, the correct interior design is vital.

Why Hospitality Design is a Booming Industry Today

The Universality of Hospitality Design

Hospitality interior designers design, create, and present available functional space with a view to creating the ideal style and mood. This is no easy task, especially when the demands of the customer changes over time. Most importantly, it must be profitable. Professional commercial interior designers who work primarily in hospitality work alongside architects and builders, contract tradespeople (electricians and plumbers), retailers and manufacturers of interior design goods to ensure physical elements align with both owner requirements and customer expectation.

Balancing Functionality with Attractive Design

We find that the most luxurious designs are found at hotels and spas. However, such establishments understand the need to balance this attractive design with a functional approach to interiors. Functionality is as much of an important concept for the customer as it is for the provider. Whether the designer is looking to create a hotel lounge area or a high-end restaurant, hospitality areas and establishments want to maximise profit potential, looking at total capacity of patrons, and elements that will attract people there to spend money. Caution is advised, as such establishments must include features to attract patrons; expectations are usually high if they are to spend money there. A restaurant is a great example of this. A hospitality designer needs to ensure the kitchen design is as simple, safe, and efficient as possible while the dining area must be attractive and utilise space efficiently, cautiously avoiding the potential for overcrowding and for wasted space. All the while, they must pay considerable attention to creating attractive visuals.

The Three Modern Design Elements

At the beginning of the article, we highlighted three demands of the modern hospitality customer which designers must look to increasingly incorporate into their designs.

Why Hospitality Design is a Booming Industry Today


Customers expect honesty of materials and aesthetic, reflecting the values of the country or region in which the facility is located. More than ever, they require traditional materials from the place of origin and a local pride reflected in their leisure facilities. More attention to craftsmanship and to a certain degree, supporting local businesses is important to the younger generation. It is more than possible to promote a modern design while respecting traditions.


With millennials now the primary force in the jobs market (and therefore travel and leisure custom), they expect leisure facilities to make modern conveniences available. In the near future, that will mean the Internet of Things (IoT) and easy connectivity for their devices. Contrasting with the view of local pride in the last point, it’s important to juxtapose this with an internationalist approach to connectivity and outreach.


Water conservation, renewable energy, and sustainable materials and a low carbon footprint: the new eco-conscious leisure customer already expects care for the environment. Dubai is fast becoming one of centres of sustainable hospitality design. Hotel Indigo Dubai Sustainable City will be a net carbon zero energy building aiming for 100% energy production from solar power while the restaurants will be supplied by local farms and biodomes in the complex.