Written by: Ekaterina Meshcheryakava
We live in a time where NFTs are as common as oil paintings of waterlilies back in the time of Monet. Digital art is on the rise and cannot be ignored. Technology has been on the rise, especially in the past two years, with people trying to replicate real-life experiences from the comfort and safety of their homes. The way art is perceived and its value has also gone through a transformation. The artwork has become an experience — something people can interact with and not just merely view. The immersive aspect of it gives people a chance to leave something behind, to contribute. Once you have become a part of something and left your mark it becomes personal, thus more valuable to you and memorable. So, what exactly does this mean for the hospitality industry?
It is long known that the physical environment has a big impact on customers as well as employees, their satisfaction levels, and the experience they have at the property. Art has the power to reduce stress and provide an escape to a wandering mind. The artwork you choose to put in your space showcases the identity and culture of the property; it goes hand-in-hand with the brand. If correctly chosen, artwork has the power to become a focal point of the room, attracting attention and spreading the word about the establishment. Social media is a source of free publicity if explored correctly.
Hotels have already grasped the importance of art and its use within their spaces. The Peninsula Hotel in Paris has introduced an “Art in Resonance” program aimed at celebrating and showcasing contemporary artists from all around the world. The project was timed in alignment with Art Basel Hong Kong but was moved to the City of Lights for Paris Fashion Week. Artists were set to create original pieces to be displayed throughout the public spaces of the property. This, however, is just the beginning.
Digital exhibitions are one of many examples of how art has evolved through the times. They transform the entire space into moving paintings of famous artists such as Van Gogh and Monet. These exhibitions attract people due to their “Instagrammability,” as well as the immersive experience it allows. It is important to note that around 40.1 percent of millennials base their choice of a travel spot exactly on this factor.
Hotels now tend to invest heavily in the design of their spaces, creating a specific vision and identity. They collect artworks in lobbies and public spaces like they do wine in their cellars. Wine, however, supports the image the property wants to portray. Art, on other hand, is a long-term investment and shapes the identity of the space. Though controversial, it might be time to retire the traditional approach to art within hotel spaces. While there is still a sense of nostalgia to the physical aspect of art and its value to interior design, art can be so much more within the hospitality industry. It needs to be dynamic and ever-changing. Collaborations with digital artists and designers can open a whole new world of possibilities and opportunity. Can you imagine being able to change the mood and energy of the space with a blink of an eye?
Guests’ needs and expectations change and evolve with every year, and even more so with the growth of technology. It becomes harder and harder to stay recent and fresh. Just like art, the hospitality industry is an expression of the feelings and experiences of each generation; therefore, the ability to adapt and grow in today’s constantly-changing environment is key. The industry is in a unique position where they are placed at the core of human experience and thus, are able to introduce art to a wider public in new and exciting ways. In this way, hotels can become a playground for exploration and innovation.
This blog post tied for Second Place in the Spring 2022 HFTP/MS Global Hospitality Business Graduate Student Blog Competition presented by the HFTP Foundation. Participants are students participating in the Master of Science in Global Hospitality Business, a partnership between the Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership at the University of Houston, the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and EHL. The blog posts that received the top scores will be published on HFTP Connect through July 2022. Learn more at HFTP News.
Ekaterina Meshcheryakava is a graduate student pursuing the Master of Science in Global Hospitality Business program, which is in partnership of three schools: EHL, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and University of Houston.