It's June, and while it may not feel like it, the summer holidays are here. But how do you make sure your trip is sustainable and avoid single-use plastics on your flight or in your home or in your hotel?
While it's difficult to imagine a plastic-free holiday at the moment, futurists predict that the hotels of the future will be founded on sustainability.
In 2119, a hundred years from now, hotels could be built from old plastic waste, and use renewable and biodegradable alternatives in their products.
This is according to Hilton’s Future-Gazing report that was created in partnerships with renowned futurist Gerd Leonhard, CEO of The Futures Agency.
As well as sustainable measures, he predicts the hotels of the future could feature trips to the moon, personalised rooms that can transport you to famous locations, and fast-food nutrient pills.
He said: “In 2119 we will still be searching for unique experiences, but they will be more personalised than ever. As technology shapes our lives we will seek out moments of offline connection with others. One hundred years from now hotels will have to create opportunities to converse, collaborate and connect, delivering moments that matter, individually, to each and every guest."
Leonhard suggested that technology will allow hotel spaces to continuously update to respond to an individual’s real-time needs, conjuring up spas or bars depending on the guest’s interests, and that microchips could be used to wirelessly control the settings around us based on our body’s need for temperature and lighting adjustments.
He also suggested that hotels will become more sustainable, and could even be made from ocean-dredged plastic, while chefs will be able to use biometric data to automatically create meals based on our preferences and nutritional requirements.
Sound far-fetched? Joshua Sloser, Senior Vice President of Digital at Hilton, says that this kind of personalisation is already happening, and will only increase in the future. He said: “It’s all about making it easy, taking the pain out of travel, and making it fun again.
“It’s hard to forecast what in a hundred years the technology will completely be able to do. But if I think about it now, those experiences, through Hilton’s Connected Room [that enables guests to control their room from their phone] those are all the things that start to build the infrastructure and the experience for our guests to say ‘hey, I want the room set up in the way that’s important to me. I like my room really cold, or actually I like it a little bit warm. I travel with my kids and I want to have kids content available for them to watch. Or look, I’m in the middle of a season of something great on Netflix, and I want to be able to pick up where I left off.’
“All those things are things we’re working on now. And the technologies will change and the abilities to do things will change over time, but the principles won’t.” he said.
Sloser explained that the hotels of the future will use technology to ensure they are sustainable, and laid out his vision of a hotel that can adapt to its inhabitants in real time: “Imagine all the times we’re using energy when guests aren’t in their room. We don’t really have the technology ubiquitously in place to control that. By putting in that sort of technology everywhere at scale […] that gives us the chance to actually activate those sort of things like saving energy, being efficient in how we deploy our operation, be mindful in what we use and what we put in a room or how we service it."