From London container hotels to Amsterdam houseboats and from Balinese tree houses to hybrid hostels that blur the line between hostel and boutique hotel, the hospitality industry is changing. And it is mainly driven by customer preferences.
The hospitality industry was once ruled by staunch traditionalism instilled by large companies with strong brands and strict design standards. Irrespective of geographic location, the overall experience conformed to the ‘cookie cutter’ standards of the hotel company. Whilst this formula delivered familiarity for the global traveller, many now see it as stale.
“We want to be part of this shift in the hospitality industry and create something new, traveller’s desires are far more eclectic than ever”
“The customer perception of quality is changing. To a greater extent, customers are now seeking unique experiences and are willing to explore ‘alternative accommodation’, trusting TripAdvisor peer reviews as much as the reputation of traditional brands” continues de Boer. These days, a stay at a luxury Parisian apartment via AirBnb can outrank a stay at the Park Hyatt Vendome.
New technology and changing customer preferences are disrupting the old order and smaller, independent developers and operators are seizing the opportunity.
Those opportunities include InSitu’s tented boutique resort Origin Uluwatu following the successful launches of Aria Villas Ubud and it’s sister property Origin Ubud.
“We are changing our approach in the way we create and operate our properties” says Arjan de Boer. Instead of charging typical development and operator fees, InSitu partners with the investors and takes an equity share in the project. Similarly, at their properties the full monthly service charge is split between the staff members at the end of each month. This creates greater alignment between stakeholders and ultimately a greater experience for the guests.
After 20+ years in the hospitality industry the right combination of people and opportunity was what finally made Arjan de Boer take the jump and go independent.
“Going independent has been the ultimate goal for myself and my business partners Yuta Oka and Jork Bosselaar. With a shared vision and complimentary skills and abilities, we’re prepared to give Insitu our all”
And times are busy at InSitu. There are currently half a dozen projects in the pipeline, ranging from hotels in Sri Lanka to a brand new co-sharing space labeled District 6 at Odeon Towers. Despite the workload, de Boer is filled with energy. “This is our passion, our life – not a job. I want to continue working with interesting people and create new and innovative projects 30 years from now.“
InSitu is also the initiator of the new district6 workspace that is opening next to Raffles Hotel in central Singapore at the end of June 2017.